Since 1981, J. L. Bainbridge & Company, Inc. has been building and managing wealth for clients throughout the U.S. From the company’s genesis as a side pursuit to founders Jerry and Fay Bainbridges' day jobs, operating out of a spare bedroom in their home, to serving clients in its downtown Sarasota building, it has found success for itself and its clients with a disciplined strategy centered on sound investments that will achieve a meaningful annually compounded return over each five-year period. It is a strategy that has served their clients through critical dips in the market and investment challenges.
Among other foundational tenets of the firm, according to Jerry Bainbridge, is the fact that J. L. Bainbridge does not sell investment products or receive commissions on the recommendations it makes to clients. “Our success,” he said, “is dependent solely on how well we serve our clients, as payment of our fees is contingent on the client’s complete satisfaction.” Also, he said, “we have a legacy of fiduciary duty dating back to the establishment of the firm in 1981. This responsibility binds us by law, as well as personal ethics, to put our clients’ interests first.”
“Perhaps most importantly,” he added, “every client gets the same level of service here. We don’t demarcate between our clients according to their levels of wealth. We’re accessible, approachable. Everyone gets personal service from highly skilled industry veterans and diversified advisors with proven experience in navigating the market.”
Looking to the future
Today, the Bainbridges own 42 percent of the company, with 58 percent owned by team members—a move made to empower staff as the company expands its services to a more holistic approach to client services.
“It’s about more than just accumulation of wealth,” said the company’s Senior Vice President John Leeming, CFP®. “It’s goal-based planning built around what’s important to the individual now and in the future.”
Thus, he added, “the dialog has changed to involve more probing, a more proactive approach to understanding a person’s goals and dreams and what that requires monetarily.”
“With this knowledge,” added Bainbridge Senior Vice President Joel G. Oldham, “we can create roadmaps to where that person wants to go, from a meaningful retirement to their grandchildren’s education to a second home to a legacy through a foundation or trust, etc. Factored into this is advice, when needed, on every aspect of related topics, with the goal of an ongoing relationship as a trusted advisor.”
“What we’re giving each individual is the freedom to do what’s important to them,” Bainbridge noted. “That’s why it’s important to us.”
Bainbridge continued: “The fact is that people generally are too busy doing what they do to make their money to do the in-depth planning we can provide. They work hard for their money, so we work hard for them.”
Their target client will understand that, Bainbridge said, but some people won’t.
“Unfortunately,” he explained, “the sheer weight of market information available online has led many consumers to believe they understand the machinations of investing and can access all the tools they need to make them experts. We’ve been at this for 40 years; it’s our job to know far more about money management than the average person does or could discover by clicking through web pages.”
Living the proof
As the company continues to progress, Jerry and Fay Bainbridge maintain their roles in the business while enjoying achievement of one of their key goals: giving back in a significant way. This is done through a family trust and foundation that provides financial resources annually to charities and organizations across a spectrum of needs.
“Again, it’s about objectives,” Oldham concluded. “Jerry and Fay established theirs early and worked over time to reach them.
“That’s what we want to help each and every client do.”