The Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank will significantly expand its wealth management division this fall as two longtime independent Island financial advisors join the bank, bringing their clients with them.
Ray LaPorte and Ted Desrosiers will join the Martha’s Vineyard Financial Group at the end of September, savings bank president and chief executive officer Paul Falvey announced Monday.
Mr. Desrosiers and Mr. LaPorte are independent brokers and financial advisors based in Vineyard Haven. Formerly affiliated with the investment company and trade network Advest, they are currently affiliated with LPL Financial Services.
The new relationship will expand the assets under management by the bank’s financial group to $300 million. Currently the savings bank has total assets of about $700 million, with $200 million in its trust and wealth management division.
“It’s an important transaction for us,” said Mr. Falvey, speaking to the Gazette by telephone on Tuesday. “We gain a whole group of new customers and we also gain two very experienced management professionals who have long roots in the community. It will help us be more responsive and attentive to our customers,” he said.
He called the expansion a key growth step for the bank.
“I would not be surprised if we end the year right around $900 million [in total assets under management] which is an important size for our institution. It allows us to be sure to stay on top of all the best products and to give back to the community,” he said.
Mr. Desrosiers and Mr. LaPorte will continue to work from their office located adjacent to the savings bank’s branch office in Vineyard Haven (formerly the home office of the Martha’s Vineyard Cooperative Bank which merged with the savings bank in 2007). But they will be employed by the bank.
Mr. Falvey also said the bank’s investment division, which currently is affiliated with the investment company Infinex, will switch over to LPL. He said the change will not be noticed by customers.
“The LPL name was not a driver in any of this, although LPL probably does have better systems and services so that is a positive for us as well. And it’s going to make for an easier transition,” Mr. Falvey said.
And he said the move will bring expanded benefits to the customers of Mr. LaPorte and Mr. Desrosiers through the bank’s trust division with its trust and estate planning services.
The announcement comes during a time of change in the banking community on the Vineyard. Last month Cape Cod Five Savings Bank, the dominant regional bank on the Cape, announced plans to open a full service office in Vineyard Haven next year. The new Cape Cod Five bank will he headed by Richard Leonard, an Islander and former chief operating officer at the savings bank who retired last year.
Mr. Desrosiers and Mr. LaPorte are both well known in the Vineyard community. “Partnering with [the savings bank] is a natural for us,” Mr. LaPorte said in a statement included in a bank press release this week. “Ted and I respect the bank’s commitment to remain an independent, Island-centric bank and it was important for us to keep the business on Island and collectively grow the business and widen client offerings.”
Mr. Falvey said talks with the two men have been underway for several months.
“I think it was the appropriate due diligence path, we made sure it was a good fit all the way around,” he said. “This is just us looking out longer term for the bank, it’s a strategic decision for us. Cape Cod Five and what they are doing is completely separate,” he said, adding: “I expected there would be more competition on the Island at some point. There’s a great market here, it has performed well, it’s just a matter of time before other banks come in. We feel good about where we are.”