“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” -Chinese Proverb
Twenty years ago, a group of trust customers and trust professionals came together to form an independent trust company to serve the Oklahoma City community. Our core belief was that fiduciary services are best provided locally by local decision makers who enjoy personal relationships with their clients. They named the company Heritage Trust and adopted the tag line “Money does grow on trees…family trees.” Today, Heritage manages more than $2 billion for Oklahoma families, as part of Argent Financial Group’s $18 billion wealth management platform.
My step-father, Bob Ellis, was the first person to tell me about the Chinese proverb about planting trees, and it stuck with me. And my favorite children’s book is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, where a tree gives everything it has to serve the boy he loves, from childhood to maturity. So you can imagine my dismay when, in 1998, a local banker, who learned of our plans to start a trust company, told me he was “too old to plant small trees.”
For the past fifteen years, I have been writing letters to our clients as part of our TRUST publication. In preparation for our 20th anniversary, I looked back at prior letters to see what I had written, fearing that my old words might come back to haunt me. Instead, I was struck by how relevant those words are, even today, and how they provide accountability and serve as a moral compass for Heritage into the future.
As Heritage continues to grow and serve the next generation, we are focused on building a company that is independent and sustainable, serving its clients with humble confidence. And while we do not know what the next 20 years will look like, we trust that our clients, employees and shareholders will continue to be well served by the values that have guided us for the past twenty years. ￼￼￼
Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.
Co-Founder and Chairman