Q&A with Garrison Lickle, President and CEO of Chilton Trust Management, LLC
by Boardroom Brief on February 14, 2011
1. You have recently been named President and CEO of Chilton Trust Management, LLC, a private wealth management company providing tailored advice and services to ultra high net worth individuals. Formed under the umbrella of Chilton Investment Company, a global investment management firm with approximately $7.5 billion in assets under management, can you share how Chilton Trust Management is a natural adjunct to the parent company’s core advisory and investment business? Why is now the perfect time to enter the private wealth market?
Richard L. Chilton, Jr. formed Chilton Investment Company in 1992 and over the past two decades has studiously and wisely navigated the investment world, creating significant wealth for a lot of people. In the wake of the economic downturn and global financial industry crisis, clients became scared, uncertain of the advice given, fearful of the lack of transparency and ultimately resigned themselves to accepting less than they deserve.
Today, these individuals, families and foundations are looking for a firm with a seasoned group of successful professionals that value trust, integrity, objectivity and responsibility with a total focus on the client experience. We want our clients to participate in the investment process and ask them what they are looking for, not the other way around which has become the norm. We believe now is precisely the right time to build Chilton Trust and offer an appropriate transparent alternative.
2. Chilton Trust Management will be operating independently of the Chilton Investment Company, preserving the culture and leveraging the reputation of one of the most reputable names in money management. What services will you provide from your new headquarters located at 396 Royal Palm Way on Palm Beach?
Our island-based offices and headquarters are now fully operational on Royal Palm Way on Palm Beach. We offer full-service, private fiduciary wealth management services, including asset allocation advice, individually managed portfolios, trust and estate planning, tax counsel, and family office services.
3. As a highly-respected fiduciary wealth management professional with over 30 years of experience, you are not only known for your sophisticated investment acumen, but have established a history of connecting and building lasting relationships with clients and a disciplined and successful management philosophy, which enables you to recruit the most talented people in the industry. Moving forward, what are your key priorities and strategies for building Chilton Trust Management?
The financial industry has changed dramatically over the past 3-6 years. The interests of the client has been lost and the level of service diminished to such an extent that the lack of service is not only tolerated, but accepted. In fact, across industries we all suffer indignities daily at the hands of big companies and have been beaten down to the point now where we rarely question poor service, but accept it. Our mission at Chilton is to reverse the current trend and restore faith and trust by providing full advocacy, listen to our clients , have them participate in the investment process and build portfolios that allow them the comfort and safety they deserve and deliver an incomparable level of service for our clients.
4. Most recently, you served as Regional President of Lehman Brothers Trust Company and Managing Director of Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman, and joined Barclays Wealth as Managing Director following the Barclay’s acquisition of Lehman. Prior to Lehman, you were Chairman and CEO of U.S.Trust Company of Florida. As an expert in the trenches, how have you seen the investment needs and the psychology of clients change in light of the economic downturn and instability in the industry? And how is Chilton Trust Management uniquely prepared to respond to these challenges?
We have been through more than a battle, but a full on war during the recession, and there’s no doubt many people have suffered… a lot. Our job is to lead these individuals from their fox holes by providing a destination point for those who have held a defensive ‘cash posture’, too long. If you believe the US and world economy is capable of rebounding, (which we do )you need to participate in the recovery. At Chilton Trust we are working with clients money, which will be managed by one of the country’s most successful investors and most reputable firms with offices in London, Connecticut, New York and three locations in China. We are uniquely positioned to provide superior fiduciary management services and investment advice to individuals, families and their foundations to help them gain the confidence again to move back into proper investing.
5. When you aren’t growing your clients’ assets you are folding your towering 6’ 7” frame into airplanes, accumulating over 4,000 hours of flying time over the past 32 years. I read with great interest in a trade publication your Jon Krakauer-inspired personal account of last year’s expedition where you flew your small Carbon Club SS almost 3,000 miles from Yakima, Washington to West Palm Beach over the Rocky Mountains in the middle of winter. As you dodged storm systems you were also filing away important lessons in life. Can you equate your personal views on risk to your professional investment philosophies?
Do the research first then move forward adapt and overcome. Whether it’s planning an incredible flying adventure or exploring a business opportunity, solicit and listen to expert advice from those who have done it, and confirm credibility from every source. When originally planning my trip across the Rockies (which was delayed due to production scheduling of the plane) I questioned every pilot I knew about whether the trip would be prudent. The responses ranged from, “That’s very risky and dangerous, so you should not go” to “you will love it, its easy if you are prepared with a focus on the weather and good planning, every pilot should do it”. I discovered the ney sayers were those with no personal basis of experience and those who had taken on similar journeys were the very ones encouraging me to take the trip and more than willing to educate me on how best to minimize the risk. At Chilton, we have a global investment and research staff operating 24/7 that focuses on fundamental boots on the ground research and quality global business models that have proven track records with sustained results. This model likewise dials down the risk of how to build a portfolio you can sleep well with.
6. Your love of the outdoors is not limited to the skies, but the pristine and endangered areas you fly over including one of Florida’s most precious ecosystems, the Everglades. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Everglades Foundation, you are dedicated to its restoration. You are also Co-Chairing the 6th Annual Foreverglades Foundation Benefit taking place on Friday, February 18th at the Breakers on Palm Beach. Please share who you have signed on as your special music guest which warrants the refreshingly exotic island dress code: blue jeans preferred.
Kenny Chesney is our headliner, though cowboy hats are optional. We’re very excited about this event, which is connected to helping restore and preserve our state’s most valuable resource and one of our Country’s most needed eco systems, the Florida Everglades. The board in comprised of very seriously dedicated and bight leaders such as Paul Tudor Jones, Jimmy Buffet, Nathaniel Reed, Jack Nicklaus and Marshal Field shaping the direction of the charge. Last year over 800 charitable and passionate Everglades’s enthusiasts attended our benefit, raising over 2 million with our then headliner Sting. In shaky economic times, that kind of support sends a powerful message regarding our interest as a community in preserving the Everglades. We of course encourage everyone to participate, as the health of the Everglades is the health of our future. The event can be found at www.evergladesfoundation.org.
About Garrison Lickle
Mr. Lickle is President and CEO of Chilton Trust Management, LLC. Prior to joining Chilton, Mr. Lickle was Regional President of Lehman Brothers Trust Company and Managing Director of Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman. After the Barclays acquisition of Lehman Brothers, Mr. Lickle was a Managing Director of Barclays Wealth. He served as Chairman and CEO of U.S. Trust Company of Florida before joining Lehman. Mr. Lickle was a shareholder with the law firm of Gunster and started his career as a Managing Partner of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam, & Roberts (now known as PILLSBURY WINTHROP). He is a Director, member of the Executive Committee of The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, where he also serves as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Mr. Lickle is a Director, member of the Executive Committee of the Palm Beach Civic Association and serves as Secretary/Treasurer. He is a board member of The Everglades Foundation, a member of the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center Leadership Council in Cleveland (OH) and Weston (FL), and a member of the Board of Governors of the Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults in Palm Beach, and a founding member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Leadership Council on Psychiatry. Mr. Lickle is a past Chairman of the Town of Palm Beach Shore Protection Board. He received his BA and MBA from Rollins College, and his JD from the University of Richmond.