Five questions for our CEO Anthony DeChellis

  • January 11, 2019

What compelled you to come to Boston Private? What do you feel is unique about our culture?

Many firms provide private banking, trust and wealth management products but few really understand the motivations and personal goals behind each relationship and can actually deliver the full resources of the firm seamlessly.Since joining Boston Private in November, I have experienced first-hand the deep commitment we have to you, our clients; to truly understand the problems you are trying to solve and then solving them. This, coupled with our delivery of world-class service, is what I see sets Boston Private apart.

What has been your focus in the first 90 days?

Since late November, I’ve met with employees across the country as well as clients to learn from their experience and solicit their input on ways the firm can best meet and exceed client expectations. Our management team is hard at work charting a course for both our immediate future and our longer-term vision, which we look forward to sharing. You can expect that our vision and plans will be ambitious as we are determined to compete at the highest levels in the key areas of Banking and Wealth Management.

Looking at the year ahead, what do you think clients should be thinking about?

Whether you are one of our business banking clients or someone who uses our wealth advisory, trust and estate planning services, you should expect continued market volatility and global macro uncertainty. The key is to make sure you have worked with your advisors to devise a strategic plan designed to weather severe stresses while still positioned opportunistically in accordance with your risk tolerance. I’ve spent time speaking with our wealth advisors as well as our corporate cash management experts and we concur that now is a good time to review your business and financial plans to be sure you have factored in all risks and opportunities relevant to achieving your goals.

Here at Boston Private, we talk a lot about understanding our clients’ “Why of Wealth” – what motivates them, and why their “wealth” matters to them in the first place.  What is your Why of Wealth?

There are a lot of things that drive me. Professionally, I’m inspired by the clients I’ve helped to serve over the years – their unique stories, admirable goals and complex needs. I have built my career by focusing on clients and I am thrilled to join an organization that shares my passion for excellence and at its core understands that all great things follow from putting our clients' interests first. I believe companies that listen intensely to their clients and can flex their organizations to deliver what the clients want and need will achieve great things. Boston Private has so many inspiring clients who are achieving amazing things; I’m learning something new about each one of you every day.

On a personal level, I’m motivated by my wonderful children, all at various stages of launching into the world. Raising strong, yet compassionate children has been one of my greatest senses of accomplishment. We’ve raised them to appreciate the opportunities they have, to embrace diversity, to value education and as a family we do our part to ensure that all children, especially those at the earliest stages of their education, have an opportunity to learn and achieve at the highest levels. I believe that education is one of the greatest gifts we can receive, a cornerstone to solving many of the world’s toughest challenges.

What was the last book that inspired you?  

I love to read so it’s hard to pick just one book to talk about.Here are three that I’ve read recently that resonated.

Da Vinci has been one of my favorite historical figures for a long as I can remember.  His insatiable curiosity and remarkable achievements are endlessly inspiring.  Leonardo demonstrates conclusively that we are only limited by our imagination, curiosity and willingness to relentlessly try, fail, learn and repeat.  Isaacson does a wonderful job of taking us through the timeline of Da Vinci’s life journey and helping us understand how his extraordinary talents developed through his passion for learning, understanding and a never-ending quest for excellence.

The other two books take a look at how humans will increasingly solve problems with greater speed, agility and accuracy. The books drive home the idea that we perform better as a society when we work as teams with common goals and that computers will dramatically aid our ability to think together. The books put this idea forward as not just an aspirational thought, but more of a necessity to thrive in the future.  It forces one to think about how great things will be achieved in the future, which will likely be more often by extraordinary “swarms” of brilliant people aided by supercomputers than by one “rockstar talent.” 

Da Vinci may not like it, but imagine what he could have done with today’s advances in technology.  What seems a certainty is that given the accelerating rate of innovation, the best days for humanity lie ahead of us.