National Advisors Trust Taps Former SEI Exec as CEO

James Combs hopes to further boost the RIA-owned trust’s earnings, which have been growing in recent years

National Advisors Trust, an independent RIA-owned trust company that works with more than 135 RIA firms nationwide, said Monday that James A. Combs Jr., has been tapped as its new CEO.

Prior to joining Overland Park, Kan.-based NATC, Combs was the chief operations officer for SEI Investment Manager Services, where he led improvements in its alternative investments unit. He has been in the financial services industry for more than 20 years.

Jim Combs“I am excited to join National Advisors Trust, and to have the opportunity to lead the trust company in creating sustainable earnings growth for the future,” said Combs (left) in a press release. “With the investments NATC has made in its technology, infrastructure, and trust and custody services, the company is well positioned for increased profitable growth.”

As of March, NATC says its assets under administration top $8 billion, revenue growth has increased 18% in the past year, and profits are 50% higher than 2012 through the first two months of the year. (In March 2011, the trust firm had about $3.7 billion in assets.)

“Jim’s impressive record of accomplishments, his leadership style, his knowledge of the trust and custody industries, and his approach to strategy and vision for the company made him the ideal candidate for CEO,” said Robert S. Kaspar, chairman of the Board for NATC and a managing principal of the Windsor Group, in a statement. “We are gratified to have such a strong, experienced CEO to lead us in fulfilling our vision, mission and business growth strategies.”

Before joining SEI, Combs worked as an executive at the Wilmington Trust Co., Wachovia Operational Services Corp., Global Processing Alliance and Bankers Trust. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at West Point and a Master of Science and Engineering from the Wharton School of Business and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Looking forward, our vision is to be recognized as the industry’s largest and leading independent trust company supporting the needs of RIAs,” he explained. “Our mission is to be the trust company ‘partner of choice’ for RIAs ... We have a great deal of positive momentum in all these areas, and look forward to making some announcements in the coming months.”

National Advisors Trust is a federally chartered trust company that works with RIA firms throughout the country. The company notes that it provides RIAs with a broad range of trust and custody services, including a multicustodian investment management platform, trust-accounting services, referral marketing programs, trust education programs and more.

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Read Custodians Offer More Trust Services to BDs and RIAs on AdvisorOne.

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