Peak Trust Company Announces Donation To Lerner College, Trust Management Minor

Peak Trust CEO Matthew Blattmachr speaks to UD students at the Tyler Lecture series in April.

There are lots of well-paying trust management jobs, but companies are increasingly having trouble filling them.

A new donation to the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics aims to ease this dilemma.

A gift of $450,000 from the Alaska-based Peak Trust Company, made possible by the Horejsi Charitable Foundation, will establish a certificate program to arm students around the country with the skills to embark into this specialized industry. To be known as the Peak Trust Company Trust Management Certificate, this online, non-credit certificate program will be one of the first of its kind.

In tandem with this announcement, the company has committed an additional $100,000 to create the Peak Trust Company Scholars Fund, providing vital support and learning opportunities for students enrolled in Lerner’s Trust Management Minor.

Trusts are legal arrangements that people set up to guide the use of their financial assets, for example to benefit their families or organizations. In trust management, advisors make sure those wishes are carried out and help navigate any questions and conflicts that arise.

It’s a delicate job, requiring tact, compassion and niche expertise, but UD is one of only two universities in the country offering a specific trust management minor.

“The University’s trust management focus has always aligned with our mission of building the next generation of this industry,” said Matthew Blattmachr, president and CEO of Peak Trust Company. “This gift will further strengthen these efforts.”

“I am thrilled that we’ll be able to create something that will not just serve our undergraduates, but also contribute to the future of this industry nationwide,” said Jennifer McCloskey, an attorney and director of the trust management minor.

This new program made possible by Peak Trust will expand beyond the existing minor that serves UD students. It will also welcome those outside the university to participate and hone their trust management skills.

“This gift will solidify the university’s leadership in trust management education,” McCloskey said. “We’re going to build on what we’ve already done to create an educational path that can reach a broader scope of people throughout the nation.”

“The industry has been fortunately growing … but it’s definitely suffering from a talent gap,” Blattmachr said. “With the university’s expertise and passionate leaders in this field, the gift is an effort to solve this issue and make an impact by investing in the next generation.”

“There is a shortage of talent and qualified resources out there,” McCloskey agreed. “There are too few educational programs.”

“We’ve seen the success of the trust administration management minor program in just the few years that it’s been fully operational. We anticipate the same success with this new initiative,” Blattmachr said.

The additional $100,000 gift will establish an endowment fund that can eventually underwrite students’ travel to trust administration conferences nationwide. This will be a valuable way for students to not only learn more about the industry, but make important connections.

Blattmachr provided one such connection recently on April 26 as this year’s speaker for the Chaplin Tyler Executive Leadership Lecture Series at UD, sharing life lessons and advice for students drawing from his career experience.

Growing up with an uncle who was an attorney and a father working in trust administration, as a child, Blattmachr thought driving a race car sounded like an exciting career. However, he ended up following in his family’s footsteps and worked in every corner of the business, before becoming Peak Trust’s top officer.

Today, Blattmachr may not be driving around a racetrack at 150 miles per hour, but he has found a satisfying path in trust and estates management.

“I love this industry … it definitely is a true passion of mine,” he said.

“There’s a misconception that trust management serves only the wealthy,” Blattmachr said. “But managers can help a wide range of people to strengthen their futures and plan for success long term.”

“You’ll deal with emotions, you’ll deal with birth, death, divorce … almost everything you can think of that a human encounters in their life — you too will encounter in trust management,” Blattmachr said.

After meeting Blattmachr last semester and reflecting on his deep dedication to the industry, Lerner Dean Oliver Yao thanked Peak Trust for the gift to support education at the college and change the future of the trust industry for the better.

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