In 2017, Whitnell was acquired by Associated Bank. This has created tremendous opportunities for Whitnell to go to the next level. There are many benefits that can be realized from having a larger, well-capitalized partner backing a company as it grows. One such benefit includes having access to a talent-pool that can be leveraged to create depth on the bench.
Whitnell is pleased to announce that Patrick Hickey, a seasoned wealth management leader, is taking over as CEO in January of 2019. The transition from Bill Thonn’s leadership to Patrick Hickey’s leadership has already taken place internally. In December of 2018, Whitnell formally thanked Bill for his 13 years of leadership with an honorable send-off. We truly appreciate all that Bill did to guide and grow Whitnell for many years.
Changes in leadership can sometimes produce anxiety for people, particularly if they are already happy with how things are going. The Whitnell organization has a strong commitment to being transparent and forthright in our communications. So we want you to know what’s coming down the road and how we believe this will benefit you. We believe great things are ahead.
As always, Whitnell will continue to place our client’s interests at the center of our thinking and decision-making. Pat shares this commitment. Whitnell is a trusted advisor to our clients and serves as a fiduciary, which means we act in your best interests. This will not change.
However, Pat does have a vision for the future of Whitnell and it can be summarized in 6 words: “keep the culture, grow the firm.” The “culture” means that we will continue to do things The Whitnell Way, building deep and long-lasting relationships with clients that allow us to address a wide range of financial concerns: investments, taxes, estate plans, insurance, retirement and charitable giving.
Financial Planning remains a cornerstone of how we serve clients and develop long-term strategies. All of our efforts are designed to produce connection, comfort and continuity for the people we serve. This also will not change.
However, to grow, Whitnell will need to make some changes. This is where Pat’s experience in leading high performing wealth management teams will really help us and deliver benefits to you. How so? Here is Pat’s vision.
- Make investments in technology and infrastructure to keep Whitnell ahead of the curve.
- Add the right team members over time to keep service levels very high and create growth opportunities for our colleagues and company.
- As appropriate, leverage the capabilities and resources of Associated Bank to empower Whitnell team members to introduce services to clients, especially entrepreneurs, that could really benefit them. A clear example of this is the new Executive Planning service.
- Expand Whitnell’s geographic presence and capabilities to serve more affluent families over the next several years.
Pat played a key role in the acquisition of Whitnell by Associated Bank. For the past 7 years, Pat has led the Private Client Services team at Associated Bank. In this role, he has also helped ensure that other acquired businesses have a smooth transition into the Associated Bank operating environment.
“I see Whitnell as a jewel to nurture and grow” says Pat. “In my role at Associated Bank, I could clearly see the pace at which the RIA market was growing and resonating with certain types of clients. Whitnell being a part of the Associated Bank family makes both organizations stronger and better positioned to compete in the marketplace. Now both Whitnell and Associated Bank have the ability to actively engage clients across our enterprises. That’s what I find really appealing about this opportunity” states Pat.
“Culture is a very important consideration for any merger or acquisition,” says Pat. “I believe the Whitnell culture and Associated Bank culture are quite compatible. I’m delighted that we’ve retained the team, even after a year and a half of working together. In fact, I feel a sense of energy in our halls and in our conversations that I find truly exciting.”
© 2019 Whitnell & Co. The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only.