Pennsylvania Trust

Managing Through Turbulent Times

Managing Through Turbulent Times

Active Management. When I hear that phrase, two thoughts come to my mind: (1) this is how our senior leadership team at Pennsylvania Trust works to position our company for long-term success; and (2) this is how our portfolio managers work to position our clients’ investments for long-term success. Both of these observations are relevant to our coronavirus response.

As applied to running a business, most people would agree active management is critical. Indeed, we have not only been active — but really proactive — in managing Pennsylvania Trust. Recognizing the importance of talent, over the years we have focused on hiring top professionals in their specific areas of expertise, whether that was investments, financial planning, trusts and estates, tax, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, human resources, or technology and operations. More than that, we have been careful only to hire colleagues who truly care about our clients, and each other, and who are committed to delivering consistently excellent client service — no matter what the circumstance. In addition, we have empowered our talented, caring colleagues with state-of-the-art technology which, among other things, has allowed us to successfully navigate the “new normal” of working remotely during recent weeks. Thanks to this combination of talent and technology, we continue to work seamlessly on your behalf.

As applied to the investment world, the benefits of active management may be less obvious, although equally important. During the last decade, of course, the popularity of passive investing soared as getting low cost index returns was an attractive option in a bull market that lasted the entire decade. Even there I would point out that our actively managed, proprietary equity strategies outperformed their benchmarks during that decade. But, more importantly, active investment management will become essential in the 2020s. Market volatility — absent for much of the last decade — has returned and hit all-time high levels. The long equity bull market has ended in dramatic fashion for unprecedented reasons. We live in a “new normal” investment climate, one where future cash and bond returns likely will be subpar, and thus one where maximizing risk-adjusted equity returns will be essential. That is the role of active management — and our experienced team has been doing this very well for many years. I would add that Fiduciary Trust shares this same commitment to active management, so this approach will not change after our combination. (We are on track to become part of the Fiduciary organization, as of May 1st).

As the coronavirus continues to impact our lives, please know that Pennsylvania Trust is well-positioned to help you navigate these unsettled times and to help you meet your goals. We embrace that mission and thank you for your continued confidence in us.

George C. McFarland, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer

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