2017 President's Letter

Austin V. Shapard Portrait

By Austin V. Shapard, President & CEO, Fiduciary Trust Company


January 3, 2017

2016 continued the theme of reinvestment at Fiduciary Trust, which began a little over two years ago when I joined the firm. Amidst an active year of client service, our corporate initiatives focused on investments, client engagement, and broader market visibility.

With the addition of Peter Andersen as our new Chief Investment Officer, we instituted several new actions to refine our investment process. These enhancements reinforced our long-held investment tenets including diversification, tax efficiency, and long time horizons. In addition, we continued to enhance our operations in how we forecast asset class performance and construct client investment portfolios and are seeing the early benefits of these efforts.

Throughout the year, we engaged with clients in new and innovative ways, including broadcasting our first webcast, emailing versions of our Insights articles, and launching a new, enhanced website. We published a number of essays on topics ranging from families dealing with Alzheimer’s to the impact of Trump’s election on the markets.  In addition, we hosted several investment, financial planning and cultural events for our clients and professional colleagues, providing open opportunities for discussion and engagement in different settings.

We also began to thoughtfully raise our profile in the market.  To better represent our forward-looking perspective, we developed a new logo and visual identity, and enhanced our marketing communications.  We also expanded our coverage in the media, as well as our social media and advertising activities. In addition, the firm and our officers received a number of awards related to our work for clients and the community.

While we undertook several key corporate initiatives this year, our most important accomplishments continue to be the interactions and impact we have had upon our clients. We have helped young families organize their finances for new children. We have facilitated options for couples planning for well-deserved retirements. We have assisted charities in funding programs that make our communities better.  We have been steady counselors to clients who recently lost their partners and who are navigating new territories as a single spouse.

These are the types of accomplishments of which we are proudest because they reflect our principal professional goal: to help our clients live the lives they desire.  Because of our belief that clients’ accomplishments are the ultimate corporate objective, Fiduciary has continued to distinguish itself throughout the years.  2016 was no different and this focus manifested itself in our continued 98% annual client retention rate and a significant number of new families choosing to work with us—the most ever in one year.

As 2017 unfolds, we will remain committed to the success of our clients. Areas of continued internal focus include our investment process, the way we communicate and engage with clients, technology, and ensuring that we field a team of high-quality professionals defined by integrity, common sense, and empathy.

I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say that every day we feel lucky to be associated with this special institution, its proud history of client service, and its bright future.

Austin V. Shapard

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