Uncertain economy raises stakes for wealth management
WITH GREAT INTEREST: Mark K.W. Gim, executive VP for wealth management at Washington Trust, says that tax policy and an aging population are among the factors impacting the current state of investing.
COURTESY WASHINGTON TRUST
By Rhonda J.Miller PBN Staff Writer
Mark Gim was appointed The Washington Trust Co.’s executive vice president for wealth management in May. The post is in addition to his existing position as treasurer for both The Washington Trust Co. and its publicly owned holding company, Washington Trust Bancorp Inc.
Gim takes on this critical responsibility amid the nation’s shifting economic landscape and Rhode Island’s sluggish economic recovery. He is charged with establishing and executing strategy for the wealth-management division, strategic planning, and oversight of the bank’s investment and wholesale funding portfolio.
PBN: What is your overall perspective about taking on this critical responsibility, with the nation, and especially Rhode Island, slowly recovering from the recession?
GIM: At first glance, it’s a challenging environment. We have a slow national recovery from the recent recession and an even slower economic recovery in Rhode Island, certainly as compared to the rest of New England. At the same time, it is a time of opportunity, we think, both for investors and for wealth advisers. Clearly, the economic circumstances are quite different from what they were a decade ago. We think the need for advice and solutions is even greater than it was than before the recession.
PBN: What are your objectives in this new leadership position? Will it change the direction of Washington Trust’s wealth-management strategy?
GIM: The overall goals of Washington Trust Wealth Management really haven’t changed very much in the last decade or so, but the way we go about achieving them has. We continue to provide what we think is very comprehensive, accessible, prompt and customized advice to our clients that helps them achieve their goals, and not just to help them watch the value of their investments grow. The direction of our strategy, whether it’s investment management or life planning or trust services, hasn’t changed philosophically, but we think the opportunity to serve that market has increased. We think that we have improved our ability to provide sophisticated and responsive advice. My real objective is just to try to make the breadth of our solutions better known, more accessible and relevant.