When Frank Maiorano took over in January 2010 as chief executive at Trust Company of America, he told Registered Rep. shortly afterward that company Chairman Stephen A. Finn wanted him to be “the face of the company,” to get out in the field and meet with the advisors who were clients of the Colorado-based custodian. Now Maiorano has left the company and a fellow board member, David Barry, has succeeded him as CEO and president, effective this past Monday.
Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Nealson told Registered Rep. today that Maiorano, who married several months ago, resigned last month in order to spend more time with his family. Nealson described Maiorano’s departure as amicable, and praised Maiorano’s leadership during his two-year tenure, citing revenue and client growth as well as his oversight of the new Liberty technology platform that Trust Company rolled out about two months ago. The company reports assets of $10.5 billion, up from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010. The number of investor accounts and the number of advisors have both grown by 12 percent in the last year, Nealson said. “Frank was successful as a leader for our company, and we grew in every way you can imagine,” she said. Maiorano could not be reached for comment.
Trust Company made no formal announcement of Maiorano’s departure to the general public, although in mid-November the privately-held firm notified its RIA clients in calls and letters of Maiorano’s decision, Nealson said. It caught some RIAs by surprise. One advisor who custodies with Trust Company attended its annual Focus on the Future event in October and chatted with Maiorano then. “At that meeting he said he wanted to come see me. He said, ‘I need to get on the calendar and come out and visit you guys.’ I said, ‘I’d love to have you,’ ” the advisor said. “There was no sign to me whatsoever that (his resignation) was going to happen. … I had no indication that they were unhappy or he was unhappy. But he is newly married and family is important, so the excuse they gave could be accurate.”
Maiorano and his successor Barry have broadly different backgrounds. Before joining Trust Company, Maiorano worked closely in the RIA sector for about 20 years, first with Schwab Institutional and later as a managing director at Nuveen Investments. Barry, who has been on Trust Company’s board for five years, had previously run a private company in the aviation industry, and a $500 million division of Intrawest, which operates ski resorts. “He has a proven track record of strong leadership and the establishment of award-winning service and employee culture, and has achieved great success running large, complex, global service organizations,” according to his bio on the Trust Company website, which was updated Monday with his new role there. Barry couldn’t be reached today for comment. Nealson said the company tapped Barry in part because he had already been doing some informal consulting at Trust Company; there was no recruiting effort to find Maiorano’s successor, she said.
Trust Company serves mostly turnkey asset management programs and individual investors who like tactical trading. Initial reception to Trust Company’s new Liberty tech platform appears strong; Nealson said 96 percent of advisors have adopted it so far to allow their clients to access their accounts electronically with it. Maiorano and Chief Information Officer Dennis Noto stopped by Registered Rep.’s New York office in September to show it off. Liberty, largely designed in-house, functions on electronic tablets across operating systems of all kinds. Trust Company expects to migrate off its TCAccess platform next year and allow advisors to use Liberty to manage their client accounts.
Consultant Tim Welsh of Nexis Strategy in Larkspur, Calif., said Maiorano helped build Trust Company’s brand, enlarging its reputation among advisors who may have been unaware of it before. Maiorano also leaves behind a strong bench of executive talent that he recruited last year, Welsh added: Nealson, who came from Republic Financial Corp., a global investment management firm in Colorado; Noto, formerly of Computer Research, Inc.; and National Sales Manager Bob Oros, who formerly led sales management and recruiting at LPL Financial.
“His legacy was the management team that he left behind,” Welsh said. “Those are some really big wins.”