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The Business of Trust: Building a Future

I love business. Since I was a kid, I’ve always had this curiosity about how they worked.

I’m constantly reading about current businesses, listening to podcasts about business history, and watching documentaries about them. I studied them at Florida Southern College in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. They are these living, breathing, fascinating, ongoing concerns that go through lifecycles. They ebb and flow during both difficult times and times of expansion.

A recent development at Allen & Company got me thinking:  How healthy is Allen & Company?

The successful recruitment and hiring of my son-in-law, Zach Wesche, into The Elmhorst Group at Allen & Company was this development. As we contemplated this move, it forced me to take a step back and consider if this was truly worthwhile for his life’s work.

We only get one lifetime, after all, and what I know now is that the impact of one’s career on that one lifetime is truly consequential.

Yes, we’ve had some changes at Florida’s oldest domiciled investment firm. Ralph Allen, our venerable leader, retired a few years back. His imposing presence on our culture could be studied by the finest of business schools. So, how would we carry on?

We changed Clearing Firms in 2019 to LPL Financial. They are a massive back-office corporation, traded on the NASDAQ exchange under ticker symbol LPLA. They do functions for us, such as custody of assets, trades, statements, tax documents, trade confirmations, wires, and on and on. So, how would changing operational partners affect our business?

I’m happy to report that Allen & Company has not only survived consequential change in the last five years, but we have thrived, just as we have since 1932.

We are entrusted with $4.5 billion in client assets, which is more than ever in our history. We also set additional records last year for revenue and profitability, all while maintaining our commitment to supporting charitable causes in our communities, most notably through our recent $ 1 million gift to Bonnet Springs Park to support the Allen & Company Family Lawn.

However, our thriving culture is mostly evidenced by the recent hiring of a multitude of second or third-generation young employees.

Hayden Wright, Hunter McTaggart, John Madden, Scott Sullivan, Matthew Albritton, and now my own son-in-law, Zach, are pushing us veterans in their “Next Gen” cohort. Think about it. What does this tell you?  Would you hire your children into a company that was in decline?

The spreadsheets do indeed confirm that our fine firm is valued and trusted by more and more families. But, the real evidence, in my opinion, is that we trust Allen & Company with the careers of our children. Thank you for your trust!  We work passionately every day to continue to earn it!

July 2024

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