From Acorns to Oaks

This year, Westover will celebrate its 25th anniversary, our silver anniversary. It’s incredible to look back at these 25 years and see how far we have come. Last week, we passed a significant milestone when our assets under management were valued at over $500 million. It astounds me when I realize we are entrusted with managing more than half a billion dollars of our client’s assets! 

Let me tell you about our very first client, Judy. She’s still a Westover client, and her case demonstrates multiple elements of the Westover experience that make our services and relationship unique.  

Judy first interacted with me when I only wore a legal hat. She needed traditional estate planning documents – a will, revocable trust, and general and health care powers of attorney. During our interaction, I learned Judy had substantial, unrealized gains in her stock portfolio and a charitable heart, especially regarding her church. Her lifestyle was modest, and she didn’t want to put herself in a higher tax bracket by selling those securities and realizing unwanted gains. I advised that we draft an additional document, a charitable remainder trust (CRT). It would provide her with an income stream of 7.5% annually and simultaneously give her a charitable deduction for the residual value of the contribution to the trust of her highly appreciated securities. She could thus unlock those gains and pay no tax. She agreed. 

She also asked me to serve as the trustee. The CRT was drafted in March 1999, six months before Westover was born. Nine months later, she was back and unhappy with her broker’s handling of her CRT portfolio. Judy asked me to put on Westover’s investment advisory hat. In so doing, she became our first client.   

For 25 years, we have performed all the functions required by her CRT—stock and bond selections, investment management, trustee fiduciary functions, trust tax preparation, and reporting. Judy continues to receive distributions from her trust every six months, and we are eternally grateful for her confidence in us. 

So you see, her CRT was the acorn from which the Westover oak has now grown. 

As you all know, the strength of Westover is in our people and in the experience, judgment, services, and advice we provide. In this regard, I think we have a first-team All-NBA group. I’m simply the coach, and I put our folks on the floor for you, letting them do their thing. Whether it’s Chip on the investment side, Dennis on the tax side, Matt and Steve on the wealth planning and management side, or Jenn, Kelly, Sawyer, and Izzy on the admin side, you know you will always receive our best professional effort and advice.  Promptly and with you at the center.  

Westover lives by three core values: one—always put our client’s interests first; two—provide thoughtful, experienced advice and solutions that improve our clients’ lives and grow their assets in a way that is consistent with their risk profile; three—interact with our clients as we would our own family — with love, admiration, and respect.   

Thank you for making Westover’s journey to half a billion dollars so enjoyable. I hope you’re still by our side when we reach $1,000,000,000.  

Peace,

Murray

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