January 7, 2019
19 on '19

Financial management: Northern Maine financial firm invests in staff and software

Photo / Jim Neuger
Photo / Jim Neuger
Bryan Thompson, CEO of Thompson-Hamel LLC

After taking the helm as CEO of Thompson-Hamel LLC in October, Bryan Thompson has big plans for the Presque Isle-based financial firm.

While he aims to keep the number of employees at 19 in 2019, including three in Bangor, his goal is to add 100 new payroll clients after investing in staff and software in 2018.

"Right now we're at 275 payroll clients, so adding another 100 would be a huge increase," he says. Clients range from mom-and-pop shops to larger employers. "That's a pretty ambitious goal for us."

Thompson says that while there's obviously a bigger market in Bangor, there's "so much of an untapped payroll market here in Aroostook County," where most businesses have their payroll done by out-of-state providers such as ADP LLC. As a local player in regular contact with clients, Thompson-Hamel's payroll team is able to offer personalized service, says Thompson. "We get to know what's going on in their lives."

Thompson-Hamel, founded in 1962 by former potato farmer Arthur Thompson, provides services including estate planning, investments and insurance.

It got into payroll processing in 2015 when it bought Paterson Payroll in Presque Isle from its owner and opened a Bangor office in November 2016, moving to a 1,600-square-foot space in October 2017 inside a historic downtown building on Exchange Street.

The firm's 19 employees include three in Bangor.

Thompson, a distant cousin of the firm's founder, is now the 100% owner, while former managing partner Brian Hamel is now chief operating officer.

"We talk to business clients about succession plans and practice what we preach," says Thompson, noting that 2018 "was a big year for us to implement that succession plan."

Though there are no immediate hiring plans, Thompson has made it a priority to bring in younger associates to a multi-generational staff that now ranges in age from 21 to the 84-year-old founder.

"I hope he stays for a really long time," Bryan says of Arthur Thompson.

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