by Mike Vogel
Updated 11 months ago
A Rare Startup
Dean Klevan knows a thing or two about startups. After spending 12 years with Citibank in Ireland, Argentina and Uruguay, he opened Citibank's first trust bank office in Japan in 1985.
President / Coral Gables Trust
Family: Wife, Valerie; three sons.
Second home: Hendersonville, N.C.
Easy to remember birthday: Oct. 31.
Memorable Halloween costume: Argentine gaucho while living in Buenos Aires.
First equity investment: Citicorp.
Last year, he opened a rarer bird -- a startup independent trust company in Florida. New independent trust companies are scarce because they require sophisticated -- and therefore expensive -- personnel. In addition, trust companies earn such small fees that they need a huge volume of assets to become profitable. New trust companies can take five to seven years to become profitable, compared to two years for a de novo community bank, says Benjamin Bishop, president of investment banking firm Allen C. Ewing & Co. in Jacksonville.
Klevan, an Army brat and Wharton graduate who calls Philadelphia home, had just left Morgan Stanley in Miami when a group interested in founding a trust company in south Florida contacted him in early 2003. Klevan, 55, opened Coral Gables Trust Co. with just over $4 million in capital. It targets clients with $1 million to $3 million in investable assets. To land them, the company relies on its board. Notable members are Goldman Sachs veteran James Davidson; Willard "Wil" Wheeler Jr., former vice chairman for Northern Trust Bank of Florida; and former Merrill Lynch Trust Cos. CEO David W.S. Chambers, among others.
Klevan says the trust's selling points are having its board members as clients and its open platform investment style, which allows it to pick what it sees as the best outside funds and managers rather than potentially poor-performing proprietary products. "If you're using in-house services, it's hard to fire yourself," Klevan says. "When someone is a client with us, they're really investing alongside of us."
A Bonding Experience
Lisa and Shannon Glor met while working at Disney World. They got married at the Disney wedding chapel in 1997. But aside from frequent trips to Disney, their only tie to the Mouse these days is financial planning for former colleagues.
LISA and SHANNON GLOR
Senior financial advisers, assistant vice presidents / Merrill Lynch
First equity investment: Disney for Lisa; Lord Abbett Affiliated Fund for Shannon.
Favorite Disney rides: Space Mountain and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.
Offspring: Alexandra "Lexy" Faith Glor, 2.
Net worth in the last year: Increased 10%.
The Glors are unusual, a husband/wife financial planning team. In their 10th year with Merrill Lynch, they manage $60 million in assets from their Tampa office. They are the only husband/wife certified financial planners at Merrill Lynch.
Lisa Glor, 35, grew up in Farmington Hills, Mich., the daughter of broker John Kulhavi, who has been with Merrill Lynch for more than 30 years. He taught his children to save a third of what they receive, tithe another third and do as they please with the rest. Shannon Glor, 34, grew up on his family's cattle ranch near Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. After Lisa and Shannon married, they moved to Michigan to be on her father's team and help manage close to $1 billion in assets. Longing to return to Florida, they relocated to Tampa in 2001 to build their financial planning practice. Former Disney co-workers became a client base, and they've also done the traditional networking among CPAs and attorneys.
Shannon Glor, wife Lisa says, is a "phenomenal cold caller." He focuses on the investment side and is a candidate in the chartered financial analyst program. She gravitates more toward financial planning, tax and estate planning issues. They aim for clients with at least $250,000 to $500,000 in investable assets who want the gamut of wealth management services.
Says Lisa Glor, "If someone says I have $10 million and I just want to trade the hot stock of the day, that's not what we do."
Citizens First / Investors' Security
Newly Chartered Trusts
Gary W. Davis, 53
Citizens First Trust Co. (proposed)
Gary Davis spent 17 years with a Bank of America predecessor and the last 11 in charge of charitable planned giving for All Children's Hospital Foundation in St. Petersburg. The effort to open a trust in The Villages is a venture of St. Petersburg-based Sabal Co., which owns Sabal Trust Co. there, and the owner of the local Villages bank, Citizens First Bank. Citizens First Trust hopes to open this month, capitalized with $3 million, and go after The Villages market of younger, affluent, active retirees with average incomes in the high hundreds of thousand dollars. Ideal clients would have $500,000 in investable assets, but Davis says there's no hard minimum.
Charles Idelson, 54
Investors' Security Trust Co.
Charles Idelson spent 35 years with financial institutions, including a final stop as president of SunTrust for Lee and Collier counties. Investors' Security, opened in January, is an independent trust founded by Idelson, senior fiduciary manager Chris Gair and senior portfolio manager Andy Sheppard. It has $130 million in assets under management and targets Lee, Collier and Charlotte county residents with at least $500,000 in investable assets, whom Idelson says have been neglected by larger institutions. "I think $1 million is a nice account, and if we do our job right, in five or seven years that will be a $2-million account," Idelson says.