I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a member of an expert team of wealth management professionals. As an attorney by training, I am able to speak with and coordinate with clients’ existing legal and tax counsel, seamlessly, and make sure their goals and objectives are met.
Tim Donnelly, Vice President & WM&AS Oregon Region Team Leader
Lead With Financial Planning
We lead with financial planning, primarily so that we can use a goals and objectives-based approach for our clients. Then, through our financial planning process, we can help match up their existing profile and their existing wealth with what their goals are.
It is critically important to understand all the variables to our clients’ financial picture. It gets back to our fundamental relationship-banking approach, and really knowing our clients and really making them answer some tough questions about their goals and objectives.
The planning that we do, today, not only answers the more immediate questions, such as “Can I retire?” or “How much can I spend?” but it also helps plan for those big life events, such as the sale of a business or the death of a loved one. In addition, it helps clients understand how they can best plan for their family legacy and their philanthropic or charitable goals.
A client of mine who really didn’t have any question about whether or not she could retire, her goal was to see if she could fund trusts for her children, and still retire safely, and not have to worry about it. Her idea being that she would like to fund the trust for the kids—it’s a great estate planning technique, it’s a great way to set the children up for life—but also make sure that she, in her own right, had no worries. So, through our planning process, we built in some pretty bullet-proof assumptions, as far as her ability to part with a sizable portion of her current wealth, and rest assured she could do that safely and soundly, and know that she could maintain her lifestyle, and make sure she didn’t have any worries going forward, as well as provide for the kids, now.
Financial Planning Team/Process
We have an on-staff, salaried financial planner. He’s a Washington Trust Bank employee, and his exclusive role is to provide plans for our Washington Trust Bank clients. Whether that is an initial plan to a new client, or whether this is a review over time, that is his sole role. He works in coordination with the existing relationship manager and the Portfolio Management Group to deliver a team approach so that, one, we have all of the factors covered, and two, the clients know that the plan and the bank, are bigger than any one individual.
By having all of our expertise at the table, we can better provide value to the client and really make sure we don’t miss anything, and make sure we are coming at the planning from all of the appropriate angles.
Our clients find value in this planning process. At a minimum, it gives them some ownership and some insight into what really is likely to happen. Best case scenario is that it checks the “sleep at night” box. Clients walk away knowing they are in a good spot, they have a good plan, they have a good team of advisors, they have a good portfolio, and everything is working in a coordinated fashion to achieve those goals.
By using a best-of-class approach, it allows us to structure a portfolio that’s truly tailored to our clients’ objectives. There’s no financial incentive, there’s no soft dollar arrangement, there’s no commission structure clouding our judgment as to what should be in the portfolio. The clients know that we’re building a portfolio specifically for them, and it’s completely objective.
While Spokane is the headquarters for Washington Trust Bank, we are a regional bank. We are a privately owned, strategic powerhouse that can deliver expert financial services to our clients across our entire footprint. It doesn’t matter which office our clients are served out of, they get the same level of service and the same level of expertise.
We’ve been working with one client at a time, since 1902, and we have over 100 years of client success as proof that our approach works.
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