Entrepreneurial Success


About this family

A self-made success story, Thomas grew up without means but was fortunate to have hard working parents who believed in diligence and education. He spent his career working his way up the ladder at one of the nation’s more prominent automobile manufacturers, retiring at 60 from a C-suite position that afforded him not only a comfortable lifestyle, but a significant investment portfolio on which he and his wife could retire.

Like many executives, this client thought nothing of wanting to manage his money himself – not realizing the complexities of the economy, taxation, trusts and risk. He surrounded himself with several resources, spreading the money across a landscape that included a broker, a trust company and a big, well-known investment house. He also had his lawyer and CPA to help manage the process.

The process, he learned, was daunting. His people knew his allocations and his likes and dislikes, but they weren’t trusted to the final decisions. The downside of being in charge and of having three distinctly different people managing his money was that when he wasn’t available to make decisions, they either did nothing or made decisions independent of one another. He was in charge, but he couldn’t understand why the returns weren’t better.


Thomas was also caught in the minutiae of the daily operations of his accounts. He didn’t anticipate the back-end challenges of managing wealth: collecting statements and understanding their data, filling out tax forms and keeping up with tax changes, understanding materials from his CPA.

He had amassed an eight-person team that reported to him – he even had his wife handling the day-to-day bill paying. After working since he was fourteen and finally having the finances and the time to enjoy the lifestyle he worked so hard to build, he found himself with a full-time job. He had become the CFO of his own business, right down to the yes-men who simply enacted his vision without providing good advice. He realized another important fact: if something happened to him, there was no one who could step in and understand the entire picture.

And that’s where we came in: We consolidated his bill payment and now each month write the checks. We manage the tax liability on his second home. We met with his children and helped them understand his estate plan. We work closely with his CPA and his attorneys. We took over his funds, explained to him the upside and downside risks, and improved his portfolio performance well above what his team of prior managers were providing. And at the end of each month, we provide a comprehensive report that outlines every facet of his financial landscape. Essentially, we became his family’s CFO. And he began to enjoy his retirement, his family and his free time.

This profile is representative of Legacy Trust clients and the strategies that we design and implement for them. It does not describe an actual Legacy Trust client.

Personal Snapshot

  • Grew up in a poor family
  • Worked his way through college
  • Went to work to support his own family
  • Graduated, and took a job with a Fortune 500 company
  • Retired right before the Tech Boom and Bust
  • Amassed about $10 million in first generation wealth
  • Philanthropic and caring
  • Three kids, eight grand kids
  • Enjoys traveling, hunting, fishing and golf
Jonathan Darabos