William Hart, founder of Chicago-based Hartline Investment Corp., has been elected chairman of the board of National Advisors Trust Co., the independent trust company owned by over 130 independent financial advisory firms nationwide. He succeeds Joseph Kopczynski, an original NATCO shareholder who stepped down as chairman after 10 years, but has taken on new responsibilities as CIO and consultant to the new chairman. Hart will continue as chief executive of Hartline Investment Corp., his 18 year-old RIA firm with over $600 million in client AUM.

Ron Ferguson, named CEO earlier this year after a nationwide search, said in a statement that he was “delighted that Bill Hart has accepted the chairmanship of National Advisors Trust,” noting his stature as a founding shareholder and his “solid bank trust background.”

National Advisors Trust was organized in 2001 by 82 independent financial advisory firms as founding shareholders. Since then, the shareholder base has grown to 130 firms.