David Smith
Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Rockland Trust
Age: 51
Industry experience: 29 years 

The investment management arm at Rockland Trust recently hit a huge milestone when it reached $4 billion in assets under management. That number will likely grow as Rockland continues to tap into new customers from its recent acquisitions of Milford National Bank and Blue Hills Bank, which came with several branches in the bustling Cape Cod market.  

Leading the charge is Rockland Trust’s managing director and chief investment officer since 2005, David Smith. Before joining Rockland, Smith was a founding partner, senior vice president and senior portfolio manager of Mellon Growth Advisors, a subsidiary of Mellon Financial Corp. He has worked in the investment management field since 1990 and has also held positions at State Street Global Advisors and The Tuckerman Group.  

Q: Some banks offer private banking, others wealth management and Rockland offers investment management. What is the difference between these seemingly similar divisions? 
A: The different terms used can create confusion for customers, especially when they are trying to evaluate the services offered. Investment management typically refers to a service that focuses on the management of financial assets within an investment portfolio. Wealth management offers a broader perspective and can be interpreted as including investment management.  

At Rockland Trust, we provide comprehensive wealth management solutions for individuals, businesses and organizations that includes investment management, estate planning analysis, financial planning, insurance analysis and tax saving idea generation. Our approach addresses the full scope of a client’s financial life with a focus on building and protecting their wealth and developing a strategy that addresses their short and long-term financial goals. 

Q: Rockland experienced 16.5 percent year-over-year growth in its assets under management in 2018. What contributed to this success?
A: This past year’s growth, while positively impacted by the market, was secondary to the skilled members of the IMG team and the strength of the relationships we have cultivated with clients, businesses and communities over the years. Our growth pushed our assets under administration to the very exciting milestone of $4 billion.  

We also continued to expand our physical presence with offices in Hyannis and Worcester. The acquisition of Milford National Bank provided additional growth and we are excited about our future including building new relationships from our recent transaction of Blue Hills Bank. Our sustained growth will allow us to reach more clients and help them navigate their financial futures with ease. 

Q: Cape Cod seems to be popular for investment management – why is that? How do you see this market progressing in future years?
A: One of the explanations for this trend is the increase of wealthy Baby Boomers leaving the Boston area to live on the Cape. As you would imagine spending time there year-round, rather than a few months in the summertime, results in more of their business being conducted there, including banking needs. Our Cape Cod team celebrated the $500 million in assets under administration milestone last year and I would anticipate that growth in this market will continue as more and more high net worth individuals move here on a permanent basis. 

Q: More community banks seem to be venturing into the investment and wealth management space. How competitive do you expect this area to get in Massachusetts in coming years?
A: Many banks are interested in diversifying their profits with revenue that’s less sensitive to interest rate changes. Wealth management is an attractive option because it can provide recurring revenue that is less affected by interest rates, compared to loan and traditional banking products. There’s a lot of opportunity and demand in this sector for institutions that offer a comprehensive wealth management solution.  

 Rockland Trust has been in the fiduciary business since our founding in 1907 and we know that to be successful, you have to have a team of experts with the capabilities to meet the unique and evolving needs of all generations. Both young adults and older generations are looking for help in managing their money and effectively planning for their future. I think you will see more banks as well as non-financial brands jump into this space because of the demand, but those with a long history in providing advice and service within a wealth and investment management solution will have the advantage.    

 Smith’s Five Favorite Beaches: 

  1. Washburn Island, Falmouth 
  2. Sanibel Island, Florida 
  3. Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 
  4. South Beach, Martha’s Vineyard 
  5. Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 

Invested in Growing Your Assets

by Bram Berkowitz time to read: 3 min