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November 10, 2017

Spinnaker's incoming president eager to tackle the challenges ahead

Photo / Renee Cordes
Photo / Renee Cordes
Amanda Rand, standing next to a photograph of her husband's former lobster boat, is due to succeed Dick Curran as president of Spinnaker Trust in January 2018.

About Spinnaker Trust

Spinnaker Trust is a Maine bank chartered as a non-depository trust company that manages more than $1.5 billion for a global clientele. It provides a wide range of financial services, including investment management, trust and estate planning, and tax services, and employs around 30 people.

This January, Amanda Rand will succeed Dick Curran as president of Spinnaker Trust, the Portland-based wealth management firm he founded in 2001. Rand, a Falmouth native who began her career at Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston before returning to Maine, has been with Spinnaker for nine years. She sat down with Mainebiz in her Free Street office this week for an interview, excerpts of which are below.

Mainebiz: What happens over the next few months?

Amanda Rand: We put into place two-and-a-half years ago a principal-partnership type structure, so five of us are principals of the firm. We manage the firm much like a partnership. So as president I hope to take on more of the day-to-day responsibilities from Dick, but crucial decision-making is really done by all of the principals. We all work very well with each other and we have complementary skill-sets.

MB: Is the partnership set-up typical of your industry?

AR: It's fairly common. And for us, it's also part of our succession planning. There's this transition with Dick and myself in this one role, but then an even bigger issue is two things: One is ownership of our firm over time, and we put in a succession model where we will slowly buy out older, retiring principals over time, and that works. The other piece of the succession planning, that we spent a lot of time on over the last few years, is bringing up the next generation behind us. Succession planning is not just one event. It's constant.

MB: Where do you find new talent in today's competitive environment?

AR: We've had really good luck attracting people from Maine to come home from the Boston area. We have two people, one in our investment group and one in our portfolio management group who joined us in the last five years from Boston. They grew up in Maine, but similar to my story, they wanted to be home, doing what they're trained to do and what they enjoy doing.

MB: Are you looking for people who will eventually become principals?

AR: Yes. It doesn't work if there are only five of us as partners forever. We need to be bringing in not just the young people, but folks further on in their career, and making them part of that group down the road.

MB: Spinnaker also has many women in key roles. How unusual is that for your industry?

AR: For us, it's what we know, so it's hard to say what's different about it, because for us that's the norm. I think the firm's young age helped in that. We are completely gender-blind when it comes to hiring talent. There's no lack of opportunity here if you're a woman. I think we do a good job of mentoring all of our younger employees and making them feel that we're investing in their growth, whether they're a man or a woman.

MB: What's the average age of employees?

AR: We have the whole gamut — folks from their 20s to their 60s. I don't think there's any right age to be working with clients. But we certainly need folks with experience, and when you're sitting down with a client to talk about their portfolio, it helps to have someone in the room that can say we weathered this, they can look back 20, 30 years and say this is what we've seen. That only comes with time and experience.

MB: Where are your clients? Mainly in Portland?

AR: They all have a connection to Maine in one way or another. We have a pocket of clients in California and we of course have some snowbirds, but everyone has a connection somehow back to Maine. There's quite a large pocket of clients that are up in the Bar Harbor area, but I would say mostly southern Maine, and mostly Portland.

MB: Has Spinnaker given any thought to opening offices elsewhere in the state?

AR: We briefly had an office in Damariscotta before I joined. But we found that you don't really need a brick-and-mortar office to serve clients in another area. I'm hard-pressed to see us opening other offices in the near future, because we can service clients from anywhere. It's difficult to maintain the tight culture that I feel we have when you have lots of offices spread out around, so there would have to be a really pressing reason.

MB: Anything else you would emphasize about the firm's culture?

AR: The team approach and letting the clients' needs drive what we do and how we behave and doing what's best for them. That's really what Dick wanted to create and I think that vision has been realized, so it's continuing that going forward. We're really excited about where we are, what we've grown into, and where the future may take us.

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