Whenever an organization or an individual introduces a new service or product that can simplify a particular task for people, it is known as innovation. When our founders came together to establish Legacy Private Trust Company, they were innovating private wealth and asset management through personalized service and customized portfolios. February 16th is recognized as Innovation Day, which gives us an an excellent opportunity to celebrate our founders’ vision and innovative spirit by sharing our story and how Legacy has grown into the successful company it is today.
Industry Turbulence Leading to Inspiration
In the early 2000s, the trust and financial services industry underwent many changes. Mergers and consolidations were taking local trust offices out of Wisconsin and moving them to large metropolitan areas, resulting in a lack of a local presence and high turnover. This ultimately reduced the level of personalized service that Legacy founders Mr. Michael Mahlik and Mr. Joseph McGrane felt they could provide their clients. Acting as true entrepreneurs, they saw this as an opportunity to form an independent fiduciary to provide the high level of customized service their clients sought. Mr. Mahlik and Mr. McGrane both saw a need in the market that was not being met, and with Mr. Mahlik taking the lead, they assumed the risk and took on the arduous process of turning their vision into reality.
Turning a Vision into a Business
Once the idea for Legacy Private Trust Company was born, the hard work began. – raising the necessary capital and obtaining a trust company charter. As it turns out, Mr. Mahlik’s vision was the first business model of its kind in Wisconsin; the state had never granted a charter for a combined asset manager and trust company not attached to a bank. This led to a long process that ultimately resulted in Legacy obtaining the charter, it also required Mr. Mahlik and Mr. McGrane to raise more capital than they had initially planned.
Getting Off The Ground
After raising the required capital, receiving a charter, and establishing a board of directors, the next step was to recruit employees and set up the office. Entrepreneurs wear many hats, and there was a lot to be done. At this time, Mrs. Sue Fencl, Mrs. Lisa Kewley, and Mr. Nick Carver joined Mr. Mahlik and Mr. McGrane. According to Mrs. Kewley, “Building a business from the ground up is hard work but also a lot of fun. Together we were setting up a phone system, buying furniture and carpet, and setting up an office layout.” According to Mr. McGrane, “We were able to attract top talent from the beginning, which gave us a solid foundation and in large part led to our success. Mr. Mahlik emphasizes that “Without the help and support of several well-known and respected community leaders and the board of directors, Legacy would not be what it is today. For that, I will always be grateful.”
Opening For Business
With a solid foundation in place, four years after Mr. Mahlik’s vision began, Legacy could finally open for business in February 2004. Despite the financial crisis of 2007-2008, Legacy persevered, tripled its office space, and added new staff members. As of today, over 18 years later, Legacy Private Trust Company employs over 40 professionals across four office locations and is approaching $2 billion in assets under management for over 450 relationships.
What Lies Ahead?
This entrepreneurial story has a very happy ending, and the Legacy team is excited about the future and opportunities ahead. Our founders are very humble, and they credit loyal clients, employees, and investors for the success Legacy has achieved. According to Mr. McGrane, “Mike and I had the idea and laid the groundwork, but the people we brought into the organization were instrumental in building the success we have achieved. It’s all about them. While that may be true, it goes unsaid that without our founders’ hard work, dedication, and vision, Legacy Private Trust Company would not exist today. Our hats are off to them and to all entrepreneurs who continue to question the norm and identify opportunities for improvement in the markets and industries they serve.
If you feel you are ready to become a part of the Legacy Private Trust Company family, call us today at 920-967-5020, or visit us at www.lptrust.com. We welcome the opportunity to work with you and provide you with the level of service we are known for.