Legacy Trust Expands

October 22, 2008
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Grand Rapids-based Legacy Trust will open a Holland office at 246 S. River Ave. within the next few days and has selected attorney and financial professional Andrew F. Saewert to head operations there. 

Saewert will serve as Legacy’s market manager, with responsibility for delivering Legacy’s wealth management services to clients in the Lakeshore markets. He has a background in estate planning, charitable giving and related tax issues. Combined with his legal experience and his roots in the Holland community make him an “excellent” addition to Legacy’s growing team, said CEO William Walker.

“Andrew’s legal skills serve as a foundation for working with clients on their estate planning, which is a vital function in wealth management,” Walker said. 

Saewert most recently worked as an attorney with Buckman McDonald & Bauer PC in Holland, where his practice focused on estate planning, probate and trust administration, as well as business formation and representation for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Prior to that, Saewert spent seven years with Fifth Third Bancorp as vice president and team leader of its lakeshore personal trust segment that provided Fifth Third wealth management services to customers in the Holland area. In that position, he was responsible for delivering investment management and trust services, interpreting and administering estate plans, and providing income and estate tax guidance in the management of trust and investment relationships.

“As is common at Legacy Trust, there is a rich heritage amongst all of our staff of working together at the former Old Kent Bank,” Walker remarked. . When you have top-notch people available in the community and we know how they work and how clients reacted to their exceptionally good service, we are naturally attracted to those candidates when we have staff positions to fill. We go for people we know and who we know can do the job.”

Walker said Legacy Trust started hammering out a broader strategic plan for the company about a year ago — a plan that will help double the size of its business over the next three years.  

“Part of the broader strategy was geographic expansion,” Walker explained. “What we wanted to do was identify those initial geographic targets where we felt we could duplicate the success we’ve had in Grand Rapids in other markets. Obviously, with the lakeshore being close by, it’s a market we’re familiar with: We have clients and shareholders over there, so it’s a logical first step in geographic expansion. It’s a market of rich opportunity that, in our estimation, is underserved.”

Saewert also practiced law in Grand Rapids for two years before joining Fifth Third, and has served as an adjunct professor in Davenport University’s certified financial planner education program. He holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Grand Rapids Bar Association and Ottawa County Bar Association. He has also served as a volunteer teacher for Junior Achievement.

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