Rockland Trust’s investment management division recently passed $3 billion in assets under management, owing largely to efforts to build its client base combined with Rockland’s acquisition activity, the bank said.
David B. Smith, CFA, chief investment officer at Rockland, told Banker & Tradesman that the division had approximately $480 million in assets under administration when he joined in December 2003. Rockland has grown that figure roughly six times since then, he said. The bank said in a statement that its investment management team now totals more than 60 people.
Smith attributed that growth to several factors, but largely it comes down to penetrating the bank’s legacy client base while expanding that base altogether. Rockland Trust’s management has made it a priority to hire talented people in that division and has made a greater effort to building relationships internally, between investment management and other business lines within the bank. He doesn’t call it cross selling, but rather expanding relationships.
“I think we have done a much better job of building the confidence of our colleagues so they’re more comfortable referring their clients to us when the time is appropriate,” he said.
On top of that, Rockland Trust has been fairly acquisitive from a broader standpoint. The now $7.7 billion bank has acquired eight other banks at a steady pace under its current management team, and every new acquisition introduces new potential clients to Rockland’s investment management group, Smith said.
“Each time we buy a bank we acquire more customers to talk to,” he said.
Looking to the future, Smith said he’d like to see the investment management group work with more centers of influence, like attorneys and accountants.
“While they’ve been a part of our growth, we hope they’ll become a more important part of that growth as we forward,” he said.