July 20, 2019 | eFocus @ Legacy

In 2000, Michael Mahlik was concerned about the level of service he could give to his existing wealth management clients amidst a wave of bank consolidations and financial mergers. In the midst of his 26-year executive career at Associated Bank/Trust Company in Neenah, he aspired to continue to nurture his client relationships in the local market versus transferring to a large urban center. The solution was the founding of Legacy Private Trust Company, Mr. Mahlik’s vision for a local, independent wealth management business steeped in the values of exceptional service, enduring relationships, and unparalleled trust. Joined by Joe McGrane, Mr. Mahlik set out to make his vision a reality.

With a plan in place, Mr. Mahlik received support from attorney Robert DiRenzo, who navigated the legal and regulatory requirements of the Department of Financial Institutions in order to allow Mr. Mahlik, along with August Pabst and Richard Bergstrom as co-organizers, to apply for a charter. After receiving DFI approval, Mr. Mahlik then went to work to raise the required amount of investor capital through a rigorous process of letterwriting, phone calls, meetings, and presentations. Having raised the necessary capital, the next step was appointing a board of directors. Mr. Mahlik was joined on the board by Richard Bergstrom, August Pabst, James Beré, Jr., and Dr. Timothy Flaherty. Years later, Fritz Merizon and Paul Klister joined the board as well. These people were well-known and respected in the community, and their belief in Mr. Mahlik’s plan helped to
jump-start the business.

The original Legacy employees (Sue Fencl, Lisa Kewley, Nick Carver, Dave Schedler, Laurene Brooks, Bo Bohannon, Mary Jovanovich, and Linda Fahrenkrug) were individuals who, like Mr. Mahlik and Mr. McGrane, believed a passion for serving clients was the top priority.

Soon after opening for business in 2004, directly ahead of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, Legacy tripled its office space and added four team members—just as the market halved itself. Legacy persevered through the economic downturn and has flourished. Today, the company employs 37 team members with virtually no turnover and holds nearly $1.4 billion in assets under management. While hard work, trust, and dedication are what lead Legacy to this milestone, Mr. Mahlik also believes that he and his team have had no shortage of good fortune. It was good fortune that his colleagues believed in his business plan; that he found supporters and investment capital; and that he built the right team to withstand the financial crisis. In the spirit of heartfelt gratitude, the team at Legacy Private Trust Company remains committed to nurturing this good fortune to help our clients grow theirs.