Woman-Owned Jacksonville MFO Turns 15
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL, October 17, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — When Kristin McLauchlan started Legacy Trust Company in 2002, she did so with no expectations – only a vision for delivering a level of service she yearned for as a client of bigger investment firms. She left the comfort of working for an established bank with nothing more than small list of clients she hoped to bring with her, riding on the confidence of her investors, her Board of Directors and herself. 15 years later, Legacy Trust Company has shed its humble beginnings, evolving into Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices (www.legacytrustcompany.com), the only dedicated multi-family office in the market and largest in Florida.
McLauchlan rebranded the company in 2010 to better reflect its true purpose, citing that its niche may occupy a small corner of wealth advising world, yet the prior name of the company made it appear like Legacy Trust played an even smaller role within it. Said McLauchlan, “Largely serving families and doing so with a long-term horizon, we are a unique provider in the wealth management world, yet we went to market as a trust company and did so against giant brands.” She continued, “We changed our name to better reflect who we are. We never actually changed direction. We have always been an MFO, but we changed our name to help people understand us.” That rebrand marked a shift not just in name, but in culture and notoriety. “Being who they are helped them get to where they are,” stated Tim Flanagan of law firm Purcell Flanagan Hay & Green, who has served as legal counsel for Legacy Trust since its inception. He added, “Their job is to shape the legacies of the families we serve. Once they isolated that, it became more like a calling, and it allowed them to defend their corner of the investment world because they began to define that corner better.”
Form the handful of clients and a lot of hope back in 2002, Legacy Trust now serves more than 60 of the market’s wealthiest families. What they do for their “Member Families” tends to surprise people. “Our clients tell us we make their financial lives easier,” said Kristin. They do so by playing the role of a family’s financial quarterback, providing oversight to the many moving parts of complex financial portfolios, including the accountants, lawyers, estate plans, foundations, mortgages and insurance pieces. Legacy Trust will pay its clients bills, negotiate car leases, and has even been known to care for a pet. “If we can make life easier for our clients in any way, let alone their financial lives, we do that,” said Susan Tronti, who has been with Legacy Trust for more than 10 years, the longest of any Legacy Trust employee.
McLauchlan says the company takes particular pride in its retention rate, over 90%. “We keep our clients because our relationships run so deeply,” she said. “We take incredible pride in knowing every detail about our clients, the good and the bad. We’ve been through marriages and divorces, births and deaths, company start ups and company sales. Our clients know we have their best interest at heart, and that we are in this for the long term. It’s a different approach than most investment firms, and that’s why our clients are our clients.”
Holly Tyrrell, who started with Legacy Trust three years ago began a program to educate the next generation of their clients’ families. “Second generation wealth education is so important. We’ve all heard the stories about kids and and squandering their inheritance or their trusts. If our job is to be the stewards of multi-generational wealth, then it’s a core belief that we have to educate those coming into the money.” Kristi Uhland is one such client. When she lost her husband, Chris, founder and CEO of Jacksonville’s SkyeTec, Kristi did an exhaustive search for the firm that was going to not just manage what Mr. Uhland was able to leave his family, but to provide guidance through a very challenging time. “With three kids, I had to make sure we did the right things. We owed that to Chris and to each other. Legacy Trust kept being referred to us. It did not take long for me to understand the difference between what Kristin and her team do and what a traditional wealth management firm does. I could not have made a better decision.” So convinced is Mrs. Uhland, she is low on Legacy’s Board of Directors.
The difference, she states, comes down to one word: “caring.” “I know they aren’t here to buy and sell stocks. They don’t even make money doing that. They care about me and they care about my kids. Kristin was one of the first people my son called when he got engaged this summer. They become part of the family, and we know they always have eyes on us.”
Legacy Trust also keeps its eyes on the community. Every employee either donates time or money to support local charities. Legacy Trust is the title sponsor of the Ponte Vedra Home & Art Tour which benefits the Ponte Vedra Cultural Center. They are a Founding Partner of what is now the Web.com Tour Championship and supports Wolfsons Childrens’ Hospital. They sit on the Board and prepare meals the the Gabriel House of Care. They even paid for the scoreboard of the Ponte Vedra High School athletic field, and don’t even have a kid in the school system. “One of the things we do for our clients is manage their philanthropic endeavors. It’s actually one of our core beliefs when bringing in new clients. So it’s important for us to practice what we preach, but it’s more important that we do it because it’s the right thing to do.” McLauchlan says she believes deeply in the Three T’s – Time, Talent and Treasure. “We all do what we can. Not all of us can write checks, but all of us have time and skills that local non-profits need. We give.”
Giving is what Legacy Trust is all about. On their office walls is their Mission Statement, “Serving our member families, Legacy Trust defines the family office experience and ensures for our clients, a meaningful legacy.” Right next to it is their simple Value Statement: “Do Good and Serve.” For 15 years Legacy Trust has been serving its clients, its communities and each other. Said McLauchlan, “We’re doing what we love doing and we’re employing a whole bunch of people who are really good at what they do. It sounds trite, but we’re like a family; a family that serves other families.”
About Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices
Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL is a boutique wealth management firm founded “by families, for families,” focusing on the preservation of generational wealth. The largest independent firm of its kind in Florida, Legacy Trust provides discerning families and foundations with an alternative to the standard services offered by institutional bank and brokerages. Legacy Trust offers its clients full concierge financial oversight and generational wealth management that includes estate planning, investment management, tax strategies and trustee services. For information, please call 904.280.9100 or visit www.legacytrustcompany.com.
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