Bank News, First County Advisors/Wealth Management

First County Bank receives the Women’s Choice Award® as a highly recommended Financial Firm by Women for Women

image002As the leading advocate for female consumers, WomenCertified Inc. is pleased to announce that First County Bank has received the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors & Firms based on rigorous evaluation of objective criteria and additional points of reference that obtain feedback regarding the advisor’s service and practices. First County Bank is the first and only independent community Bank to have earned this award.

The Women’s Choice Award is the only recognition program for well-qualified advisors who are committed to the women’s market and serving their female clients. Achieving this award reaffirms the commitment First County Bank has to extraordinary service in addressing the financial needs of women and their families. “First County Bank is honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award. As our goal is to be a trusted advisor to our clients, this recognition validates our commitment to excellence in serving women and all members of the community. Thank you for this honor,” said Rey Giallongo, First County Bank Chairman and CEO.

WomenCertified Inc., originator of the Women’s Choice Award, was created by Delia Passi, a leading advocate for female consumers and former group publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines. Delia has created the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors & Firms in an effort to help women identify those advisors who are committed to providing quality service. The award allows this outstanding group of advisors to showcase their commitment to the women’s market, while giving potential clients a starting point for entrusting their finances to an advisor. Recent studies indicate the following in regards to women and their finances:

  • Only 35 percent of women use a professional financial advisor, most (79 percent) doing so for retirement investment recommendations.**
  • In the US, women control about $11.2 trillion of the nation’s investable assets (39% of the country’s estimated $28.6 trillion of investable assets). Nearly half of that is managed solely by women.***
  • Fewer than 2 in 10 women feel “very prepared” to make wise financial decisions. Half indicate that they “need some help” and one-third feel that they “need a lot of help.”****

 

As the financial industry wakes up to the fact that a great majority of the female population are seeking advisors they can trust and greatly value financial security, WomenCertified Inc. has created the solution. This powerful, national initiative distinguishes advisors who support female consumers in their quest for financial education.

ABOUT WOMEN’S CHOICE AWARD

The Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor Program is based on 17 objective criteria associated with providing quality service to women clients such as credentials, experience and a favorable regulatory history among other factors. Financial advisors do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisors, though they may have paid a fee to participate in the Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor Marketing Program. WomenCertified Inc., home to the Women’s Choice Award, awards businesses, brands and services based on high recommendation ratings by female consumers. The Women’s Choice Award represents the collective voice of women so they can help each other identify businesses that deserve their loyalty and referrals. To learn more, visit www.womenschoiceaward.com.

** 14th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers (2014) ***Source: Harnessing the Power of the Purse, by the Center for Talent Innovation 2014 ****Source: Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women, 2010−2011 Prudential Research Study (article breaking it down here).
First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Meet First County Advisor AnnaMarie Boccuzzi

First County Advisor AnnaMarie Boccuzzi

First County Advisor AnnaMarie Boccuzzi, Estate and Trust officer.

Our investment and wealth management series continues with a spotlight on First County Advisor, AnnaMarie Boccuzzi, Estate and Trust Officer.

Tell us about yourself? 
I earned a B.S. in Finance from the University of Connecticut before continuing on to graduate from the ABA Trust Program at Williams College and the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University. Prior to joining First County Bank, I worked as a Financial Analyst at Citicorp, Trust Officer at Connecticut National Bank, Shawmut National Bank and Fleet Bank and served as Vice President/Trust Officer at First Union National Bank.

What is your favorite part of the job?
What I enjoy most is helping clients achieve their personal and financial goals. It is both an art and a science to decipher each client’s unique circumstances, make recommendations and implement a financial plan or estate plan that will accomplish their objectives. Each client has different priorities and constraints, and as a result, each plan is a little bit different. It’s those specific details surrounding each situation that make the job particularly gratifying.

What are your clients most concerned about today?
Each client has different priorities. Concerns range from current investment portfolio management to planning for disability or transferring their wealth to their heirs. Additional matters include protecting their assets in case of divorce, bankruptcy or a long term illness.

Anything else you’d like to say to get people to know you?
Although my prior experience has been with large, regional banks, I welcomed an opportunity to work for a small, independent, community bank where client service is the number one priority.

Contact Information
AnnaMarie S. Boccuzzi
Estate and Trust Officer
Phone: 203.462.4483
Email: aboccuzzi@firstcountybank.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/annamarie-boccuzzi/47/127/b22/en

First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Maximize Your Retirement Savings

Retirement savings planTax time is in full swing. And while you’re tallying up your income, expenses, and contributions, think about making important contributions to your future – by maximizing your retirement savings. Whether you have an individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) or other retirement plan through your company, investing in your retirement savings is one of the smartest decisions you can make.

Here are some simple tips for boosting your retirement savings:

  • Start with a plan. If you’re eligible to join your company’s 401(k) plan, enroll immediately. If not, consider opening an IRA and saving for retirement on your own.
  • Make regular contributions. It may sound basic, but the best way to assure a good retirement is to save for it. One of the easiest ways to save for retirement is to have funds automatically deducted from your paycheck or from your bank account.
  • Take advantage of employer matching. If your employer offers matching contributions, try and contribute the maximum amount you can.
  • Give your retirement savings a raise. As your income rises, boost your retirement savings either by upping your contribution percentage or by making larger IRA contributions (consult your tax advisor).
  • Roll over old 401(k) plans. If you’ve left your company, be sure to take your retirement assets with you by rolling them over to a Rollover IRA. This will give you greater control of the management of your funds.
  • Leave your funds for retirement. Withdrawing funds for other purposes may result in costly tax penalties, thereby reducing your savings even more.

 

If you want to learn more about IRA plans contact a member of First County Advisors.

First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Meet First County Advisor Paul Bubniak

Paul BubniakOur investment and wealth management series continues with a spotlight on First County Advisor, Paul Bubniak, vice president & trust officer.

Meet Paul
Paul Bubniak has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. As one of our trusted First County Advisors, he helps advise clients on investment management, estate planning, as well as trust and fiduciary services for individuals, families, endowments, foundations and nonprofit organizations.

What is the favorite part of your job?
Educating clients and prospects about their portfolios is one of my favorite aspects of the job. I enjoy meeting in person to ensure clients have a complete understanding of how their portfolio works and how their assets are invested.

What are your clients most concerned about today?
Clients are most concerned about market fluctuations and corrections and any effect these may have on the growth of their investments over time.

What are some things your clients don’t know about you?
I am a father of 5 children with a set of triplets.

Anything else you’d like to say to get people to know you?
I am an enthusiastic sports nut. I also have a love for family vacations on the beach as well as activities around the house like gardening, landscaping and cooking.

Paul J. Bubniak
Vice President, Trust Officer
Phone: 203.462.4294
Email: pbubniak@firstcountybank.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-bubniak/14/1b5/507

First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Meet Our First County Advisors Team

Dave Metzgar, First County Advisors, wealth management, trustsWorking Together to Help You Reach Your Goals

At First County Bank, we gauge our success by the value of our greatest asset – our people. From the individuals and businesses who have entrusted us with their financial goals to our dedicated employees who work so hard to serve them, our local people have been the key to our long-term success and longevity.

In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce you to members of First County Advisors, our knowledgeable wealth management team. They will tell you about themselves and share helpful tips and answers to the frequently asked questions they encounter in their professional lives.

Meet David Metzgar
We begin this week with David Metzgar, senior vice president, senior trust officer. In nearly 30 years with First County Bank, David has helped guide customers in the areas of investment management, retirement services and trusts.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Upon graduating University of Connecticut with degrees in Accounting and Finance (class of ’81), I was hired by the investment firm Bache, Halsey, Stewart, Shields (now Prudential Bache). I attended the account executive training program and was assigned to the firm Sam Skurnick and Company. Mr. Skurnick had an investment management business and I handled his trading for five years.

In 1985, I was hired by First County Bank (then called the Stamford Savings Bank) to manage the retirement services department, SBLI (life insurance and annuities) and to create an investment services department, which was formed by 1987.

In 1995 the Bank first formed its trust & investment services department – the same entity we now brand as First County Advisors. The department has grown from 2 people and $0 assets under management to today’s staff of 8 and $300 million in assets.

I have attended the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University, earning the Certified Trust and Financial Analyst designation. I also graduated from the Fairfield University Center for Financial Studies, earning the Certified Financial Planner title.

What is the favorite part of your job?
Working with people and listening to their goals and concerns and devising strategies to help meet those goals.

What are your clients most concerned about today?
Clients today are most concerned about their parents growing old and taking care of them as well as preparing for their own retirement. With interest rates so low, clients are also interested in having their investments earn a good return while avoiding excessive risk.

What are some things your clients don’t know about you?
I am a golf nut. Yes, I like to play golf but I also collect many golf related things. I like to collect old clubs, particularly hickory shafted clubs, some of which are well over 100 years old. I also collect putters, ball markers, divot tools, and scorecards. My bookcase if full of golf books and I also have a growing collection of golf “art,” which my wife relegates to a separate room out of view.

Anything else you’d like to say to get people to know you?
I have been working for First County Bank now for close to three decades and the opportunity to work at a bank so involved with the community has allowed me to volunteer for various nonprofit organizations, which has been a very rewarding experience. First County Bank’s Foundation has had a big impact on helping people in the communities we work, and the Bank also supports its employees 100% in their volunteering activities.

Contact Information
David M. Metzgar
CFP, CTFA, Senior Vice President, Senior Trust Officer
Phone: 203.462.4267
Email: dmetzgar@firstcountybank.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dave-metzgar-cfp-ctfa/20/240/8a2

First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Sandra Greer and AnnaMarie Boccuzzi Join First County Advisors

First County Advisors, the Investment, Wealth Management and Trust Division of First County Bank announces the recent addition of Sandra (Sandy) Greer, vice president trust and investment officer, and AnnaMarie S. Boccuzzi, estate and trust officer. First County Advisors’ acquisition of these two talented individuals illustrates First County Advisors commitment to its investments, trust and estate business and positions the division to provide a robust full-service operation to serve the needs of its customers.

“With the addition of Sandy and AnnaMarie, First County Advisors demonstrates its commitment to its business and that we’re in it for the long-haul. At this time, many trust and estate businesses are shrinking their staff while we’re expanding,” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank’s chairman and CEO. “Sandy brings a solid background of investment and trust management from her years of experience and career success in portfolio management. AnnaMarie brings years of experience managing various trust relationships including testamentary and living trusts, rollover IRAs, and individual client accounts. We look forward to their contributions which complement and further enrich the expertise of our First County Advisors Division.”

Greer and Boccuzzi

Left to Right: Sandra Greer, vice president trust and investment officer, AnnaMarie S. Boccuzzi, estate and trust officer, join First County Advisors, the wealth management and trust division of First County Bank.

About Sandy Greer:

Sandy Greer will be responsible for providing investment and financial management for individuals, families, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Greer has been engaged in the financial services industry since 1980 and brings considerable personal and institutional investment experience to First County Bank. Sandy will assist clients in defining specific investment and financial objectives, review and analysis of existing investments and the development of strategies to meet short and long-term financial goals. Prior to joining First County Bank, Greer was a Sr. Portfolio Manager with BNY Mellon Wealth Management in Greenwich, CT and New York City from 1996 to 2014.

Greer contributes her time to local organizations supporting those in need. She is currently a board member for The Marvin/Under One Roof in Norwalk, CT which provides both affordable, elderly congregate housing and a (pre)school readiness program. Greer also serves as a volunteer with Junior Achievement of Southwest CT, teaching financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

About AnneMarie S. Boccuzzi:

AnnaMarie S. Boccuzzi’s primary responsibilities include trust administration, estate planning and settlement services. She will collaborate with attorneys and accountants to identify and implement appropriate strategies to address the investment, tax, family succession, retirement and estate planning needs of current and prospective clients.

Prior to joining First County Bank, Boccuzzi was vice president and trust officer in trust administration at Wells Fargo Bank, formerly First Union National Bank, in Greenwich, CT. Prior to her affiliation with Wells Fargo, she was a trust officer for Bank of America, formerly Fleet National Bank in the Stamford and Greenwich offices. Boccuzzi began her career in 1988 as a financial analyst for Citicorp.

Boccuzzi earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She completed postgraduate work at the New England School of Banking Trust Program at Williams College, MA, where she was the recipient of the Norman T. Shephard Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. In addition, Boccuzzi graduated from the American Bankers Association National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University.

Boccuzzi is committed to volunteer activities and contributes her skills to many community organizations including Parent Teacher Organizations at Cloonan Middle School and Westhill High School. AnnaMarie is also an active volunteer with Stamford National Little League, Hope-In-Motion Walk/Run/Ride which fundraises for the Bennett Cancer Center and Angels for Alzheimers Walk/Run. She is a member of St. Leo Parish.

Bank News, First County Advisors/Wealth Management, Sponsorships & Events

First County Bank Event “From Fiscal Drag to Wealth Effect” a Roaring Success

l to r: David Metzgar, CFP, CTFA, Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer, First County Advisors.; Philip J. Orlando, CFA Senior Vice President, Chief Equity Market Strategist Federated Investors, Inc.

Last Wednesday, First County Advisors, the wealth management division of First County Bank, hosted an evening networking and educational event titled “From Fiscal Drag to Wealth Effect” featuring Phil Orlando of Federated Investors, Inc. The event was a complimentary seminar hosted by David M. Metzgar, CFP, CTFA, Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer, First County Advisors.

First County Advisors were thrilled to provide customers and guests an opportunity to hear Philip J. Orlando, CFA Senior Vice President, Chief Equity Market Strategist Federated Investors, Inc. as the event’s keynote speaker. Phil spoke to a packed house at Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk.

Phil’s presentation included an overview of the economy and markets, perspective on the recent Washington debacle, what activity to anticipate in the markets, and what perked all ears: how to make money in the markets now. A lively question and answer session followed.

Dave wrapped up the event encouraging participants to consider First County Advisors for their investment, estate and wealth management needs. He and his group received overwhelmingly positive feedback for the evening with many participants interested in further discussion. If you would like to contact Dave about your investment management needs, please email him at dmetzgar@firstcountybank.com or call him directly at 203.462.4267.

 

Bank News, First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Introducing First County Advisors – Service, Responsibility, Experience, Knowledge.


It’s with great enthusiasm and excitement that I share the launch of First County Bank Advisors, the new name of our Trust and Investments Division. We recently celebrated the launch with a kickoff event at the historic and magnificent Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk. For those of you who might not be familiar with the Mansion, it was built by renowned financier and railroad magnate LeGrand Lockwood between 1864 – 1868 and it’s been a national historic landmark since 1971. For much of the evening, I felt transported to the Victorian Era…

As part of the celebration, I reiterated the four words that define the core principles of First County Advisors – service, responsibility, experience and knowledge. Dave Metzgar, Senior Vice President, Senior Trust Officer, formally introduced First County Advisors to the audience. Among the invited guests, which included First County Bank clients, board of directors, corporators and community leaders, was guest speaker Philip Orlando, CFA, Senior Vice President, Chief Equity Market Strategist from Federated Securities Corporation. Orlando spoke about his views on the economy leading into 2013, current economic, geopolitical, national business conditions and how it all impacts the market and company fundamentals. His presentation was one of the main highlights of the evening which generated interactive dialogue about, of course, politics and the economy. Orlando also offered advice on what the future holds. I’m sure we all wish we had a crystal ball these days.

In the upcoming weeks you’ll be hearing more about First County Bank Advisors and all of the services the division will provide including investment management, financial planning and trust administration for families and growing businesses throughout lower Fairfield County. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss your investment strategies you may give Dave Metzgar a call at 203.462.4267 or drop him a line at dmetzgar@firstcountybank.com.

Oh, and in honor of All Hallows’ Eve, you might want to take a drive to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion…I hear there’s been a ghost sighting, or two.

Bank News, First County Advisors/Wealth Management

First County Bank Unveils First County Advisors

Earlier this week, First County Bank announced that its trust and investments division has adopted a new name: First County Advisors.

First County Advisors offers a full range of investment management, financial planning, trust administration, estate planning and fiduciary services for individuals, families and growing businesses in lower Fairfield County.

“First County Advisors is simply a more accurate description of who we are, how we do business and what makes us different from other providers. We are committed to earning your trust and to providing thoughtful recommendations on what’s best for you, your family and your business,” said Rey Giallongo, chairman and CEO of First County Bank. “We’ve been offering this service since 1995, when the trust and investments division opened for business. Continue reading

First County Advisors/Wealth Management

Fed’s extended rate pledge boosts stock and bond prices

In the much anticipated announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee’s year end meeting, the Federal Reserve Bank said it will continue to hold interest rates at near zero until late 2014 – nearly a year and a half longer than originally planned! The decision to extend the 0%, they state, is due to economic conditions that necessitate the extension. Stock prices jumped immediately following the announcement. Visit First County Bank’s First Perspectives for more on the effects of the Fed’s extended rate pledge: http://firstcountybankperspectives.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/feds-extended-rate-pledge-boosts-stock-and-bond-prices/