Under the rein of former CEO Clay Deutsch, Boston Private and its parent company went through a great deal of change, as the company refocused its wealth management and private banking segments. But more change could be coming.

When asked by an analyst on a recent earnings call about the company’s willingness for more change, new CEO Anthony DeChellis said he thought the appetite was there.

“We have an opportunity to maybe link those core competencies better and just create a sort of an overall stronger team,” he said. “I was very pleasantly surprised by the receptivity of our team to kind of go to the next level on what they’ve been doing in wealth management.”

And Dechellis said technology could certainly be a big driver of that change.

“There’s great opportunity, I think, to leverage through strategic partnership or alliances,” he said. “Some of those technologies can improve our client experience. So we’re definitely going to be focused on how we improve growth looking at the front end of the business where I think there’s a lot of opportunity.”

The parent company of Boston Private reported fourth quarter net income of $33.3 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, compared to an $18.3 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2017. Net interest income in the quarter was about $60 million, up about $2.7 million from the fourth quarter of last year. The margin dropped eight basis points year-over-year to 2.96 percent.

Total assets grew to nearly $8.5 billion, up more than $180 million year-over-year. Total loans grew more than $380 million year, while total deposits grew more than $470 million.

Still, Boston Private attributed slow growth as the main reason for laying off 7 percent of the company’s work force in the second half of 2018.

The bank’s wealth management division lost $79 million in net flows, despite bringing in new business flows of $194 million, primarily driven by concentrated year-end client withdrawals. Total wealth assets under management at the end of the fourth quarter were $15.9 billion, down more than $860 million from one year earlier.

The bank continued to consolidate its wealth management business last year, building up the Boston Private wealth management brand and shedding its wealth subsidiaries. The company sold its stake in Boston-based Anchor Capital Advisors at the end of 2017, and it recently sold its stake in Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough.

New Boston Private CEO Says Company Has ‘Receptivity’ for Change

by Bram Berkowitz time to read: 2 min