McIlwee joined Rick Shephard's shingle right out of UCLA and has helped grow it to about 80 clients. He recommends traditional investments like real estate for clients like Jane Lynch and Schiff Co. founder David Schiff but has a personal weakness for art: "I won't say there isn't a business manager side of me that thinks I'm buying something that won't go up in value."

Personal extravagance McIlwee and his partner recently donated two Annie Lapin paintings to LACMA and OCMA.