EP.63 BUILDING A NEW TRUST COMPANY: A Discussion with BETSY BROWN
Part of the fun of the Wealth Actually podcast is to delve into topics around wealth management and better ways to help families understand the intersection between wealth and the fulfillment of goals and ideals. I also get to speak to people as they describe their entrepreneurial journeys- which in itself provides many lessons on the path to success. Occasionally, you get both in one conversation. Enter Betsy Brown. In this episode, we talk about: Betsy's background at larger institutions and the entrepreneur "bug" The changing Wealth Management Industry The desperate need for independence and customization for clients The appeal of Tennessee as a legal jurisdiction, a growing business haven, and a nexus for diversified businesses How this led her to the formation of Pendleton Square Trust Company. The development of her support system and the importance of having a community of entrepreneurs to lean on and share ideas (and opportunities!). The importance of story-telling in communicating, not just to the families she speaks with, but the market at large The influencers in her life that provide her "north star". This is a particularly fun I get to see this up close as I work with Pendleton Square Trust Company to bring the message of benefits of Tennessee law to the advisors for family offices, foundations and fiduciaries in the Northeast and beyond. More information about the firm and Betsy can be found on the links below: LINKEDIN: BETSY BROWN Transcript Tell us about the origin of the firm and what makes it special: We chartered Pendleton Square Trust Company in October of 2015- so we are about to celebrate our 5 year anniversary! Happy Birthday, Pendleton Square! We are a chartered trust company regulated by the TN Department of Financial Institutions. The opportunity came about from listening to families frustrated with the traditional corporate trustee options. We also studied and implemented accounting and administration technology platforms to build our dream independent trust company. I always use the term “we” because it took a team. My partner Derek Church is a genius- he is an attorney and oversees regulatory, compliance and operation side of the business- our board and investors believed in us and supported our plans to build a best in class independent trust company. Our trust officers and team members are serving our families and building efficient processes. I want to stress that we are an independent trust company- our definition of independent is that we are not affiliated with other banks or financial institutions- we focus on trust administration and we do not manage the liquid assets. As a fiduciary we are held by law to the highest standard of responsibility. Our model is designed to avoid conflicts of interest and provide a natural system of checks and balances, we are not managing assets or drafting estate planning documents. In addition- our fee structure is simple and transparent. I also want to share how the concept of INTERdependence is extremely important for our model. We are interdependent on the network of advisors surrounding the family- the financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, family CPAs, insurance specialists. There is constant communication and collaboration with our partners as we serve the family. In many cases, the financial advisor is the quarterback of the relationship- we are there to assist and provide the backbone of trust and estate services. How did you get into the trust business? I cannot believe that I am approaching 25 years in the financial services industry. I grew up in the traditional big bank environment- and I am so thankful for my strong credit and analysis background. I spent 10 years in Debt Capital Markets- a true transaction business- but my mentor always told me I should be in the long-term relationship business. I transitioned to private wealth and trust business for the next 10.