Memphis-based Diversified Trust, a comprehensive wealth management firm with more than $5 billion in assets, has promoted seven professionals in its Memphis office.
Robin Smithwick, managing principal of Diversified’s Memphis office, attributed the move to the company’s next generation of leaders becoming more visible and taking on greater responsibility around the firm, which also is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Diversified’s clients include individuals, multi-generational families, family offices, foundations, endowments and retirement plans. The company has offices in Atlanta, Greensboro, N.C., Memphis and Nashville. Smithwick said the company has weathered the financial crisis, recovered and grown – “it’s a real success story” – and people like the ones Diversified promoted are a big part of why the firm, for example, has topped $5 billion in assets.
The promotions were headlined by the addition of two principals, Louis Jehl and Terry Stanford.
Jehl joined Diversified’s Memphis office in 2011 and is mainly focused on client servicing and business development. He started his career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen then spent more than 20 years in financial and management roles for various public and private companies. His civic involvement runs deep as well, encompassing institutions like the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, where he is a board member.
Stanford, meanwhile, joined Diversified’s Memphis office in 1999. He oversees corporate accounting, treasury and compliance functions as well as the custody and portfolio administration of fund strategies through the company's master custodian and investment advisers.
Stanford also is responsible for the company's fund tax accounting and reporting.
Five other employees of Diversified in Memphis were promoted, including Brad Crawford as senior vice president, Lynda May as senior vice president, Hadley Miller as vice president, Edward Harper as senior associate and Carolyn Hicks also as senior associate.
“Promotions like these are really reflective of the growth we’ve had over the last several years,” Smithwick said.
Looking ahead to the firm’s 20th anniversary, Diversified CEO Sam Graham said last year the company has grown beyond being in only one or two markets and today is a Southeastern midsized comprehensive wealth management firm with a trust company core.
“I can’t believe we’ve been here 20 years already,” said Smithwick, who spent a decade at Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. before joining Diversified in 1995, a year after its founding in 1994.
Smithwick assumed the role of managing principal of the Memphis office in 2012. Besides oversight of the office, his duties include client servicing and business development, and he also chairs the firm’s business development group and is a member of the firm’s investment strategy group, institutional advisory team and marketing committee.
“We’ve been making promotions around all our offices,” he said. “We also just completed a strategic (review) for our future. We’re a relationship-building business, so we don’t do a lot of cold-calling. We’re active in the Memphis community and try to add value in the community as well as for the company.
“After 2008, it seems like clients are more interested in long-term outlooks and that relationships are more important to clients. And we coordinate all aspects of peoples’ financial life rather than just a piece of it.”
Smithwick said the company continues to see robust demand for its services and that it’s overhauled its technology and back office systems to manage the scale of growth it has now and that it anticipates in the future.