2018 marks a major milestone for us at Bartlett & Co. We’re thrilled to be celebrating a legacy of 120 years in business, helping Cincinnati families and organizations grow their wealth.
Just think for a moment what was happening back in 1898, when Benjamin Bartlett, a partner at George Eustis & Co., bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. In that same year:
- French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium.
- Caleb Bradham renamed his carbonated soft drink “Pepsi-Cola.”
- Future U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War.
- Cincinnati residents donated enough money to save the Cincinnati Zoo from bankruptcy.
The world has changed in extraordinary ways since then. Yet here we are, going strong at 120 years of unbroken heritage to our namesake, Benjamin Bartlett, and looking ahead to a bright future.
How did we do it? I attribute Bartlett’s longevity to four hallmarks of our company culture:
1. Forward focus
Through the many recessions, bubbles, and market fluctuations, Bartlett has been able to stay ahead of the curve to manage our clients’ assets. Whenever those ups and downs occur, that’s when our expertise really comes into play—to help people both protect and grow their assets over time.
That includes predicting technology advances for the next three to five years, and looking 10 to 20 years ahead for succession planning. Bartlett proactively searches for ways to integrate the best and brightest technologies into our approach so that each individual is offered the best experience. As we head into the future, our eyes are always set on “What’s next?” We’re continually growing the next generation at Bartlett advisors through training, leadership development, and mentoring. These efforts help us connect multiple generations of families with advisors they can relate to and feel comfortable with.
2. Open to change
We have a track record of striving to stay at the forefront of relevant changes in our industry. Back in the 1940s, Bartlett and predecessors were among the early firms to become a Registered Investment Advisor. We recognized early on that this change would be disruptive and we quickly took action on it. This meant that our team was held to an even higher standard of care for our clients, ensuring that we keep their best interest at the top of our priorities.
Today, we continue to enhance our services based on the needs of our clients. Bartlett has expanded our work beyond simple management of stocks and bonds to focus on providing a holistic wealth management solution, which means offering financial planning as well. For clients preparing for retirement, this planning may include Social Security analysis, cash flow planning, healthcare analysis and more to help make the transition from earning a paycheck to living off of savings a little easier. For younger generations, even though retirement is a long way off, planning is crucial to help them reach long-term goals. Their plans focus more on expense management, maximizing savings, debt management, insurance analysis and other work to ensure they are fully utilizing their current resources.
3. Personal service
Since we have been in Cincinnati for such a long time, some of our clients have been with Bartlett for decades. While we offer best-in-class technology to enhance the client experience, we’re all human. We still want to connect with wealth advisors face-to-face. We want to be able to discuss our best course of action with a real live person we know and trust—whether it’s here in Cincinnati, or out of town, or through video conference.
That’s why Bartlett continues to take a highly customized approach to each person we work with—and that’s what clients are counting on. Sure, we live in a world where we might want to Google the answer to everything. But at the end of the day, we still need sound advice from real people. Wealth management has always been, and still remains, based on relationships. That’s where having the 120 years of experience is helpful.
4. Community ties
Bartlett’s culture has always been tied to strong participation in the Cincinnati community. As a company and as individuals, we have supported many local causes in the arts, social services, civic endeavors and education.
It is one thing to be an investment advisor. It’s another thing to know that you know you are part of a company that has a heritage of being involved in the community… to know that you, too, are going to be involved in the community. Giving back is part of the Bartlett DNA—and that’s a legacy we’re proud to take with us into the next 120 years.