Linda Fitz is well known in the financial services community as co-founder of Kochis Fitz, created in 1991. (The firm then merged with Quintile in 2008 to create Aspiriant, based in San Francisco.) But she is also well known in the Bay Area for the energy and diligence she applies to historic preservation and environmental causes.
The seeds of her philanthropic interest were first sowed some 25 years ago when she helped organize a Victorian house tour in her hometown of Woodland, Calif., to save an old fashioned vaudeville house on Main Street from being torn down. Before becoming a financial planner, Fitz worked for nearly 8 years at the San Francisco Architectural Heritage, which fosters the conservation and reuse of historic buildings in San Francisco. Today, Fitz serves on the Investment Committee and as underwriting chair for Heritage's biggest annual fundraiser, the “Soiree,” held in different preserved historic venues each year, which most recently grossed $140,000 in donations. It's not just time that Fitz donates. Heritage's deputy director Barbara Roldan estimates that over the years Fitz has raised over $500,000 and has personally contributed over $100,000.
Bay Area preservationists wasted no time when Fitz finished her last term on the Heritage Board in 2007, and elected her to the Board of Directors of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), the city's prestigious urban planning think tank. Fitz is currently helping to raise the last $5 million SPUR needs to fund its Urban Center. In addition, she is helping the Greenbelt Alliance with fundraising to further its efforts to protect open spaces and smart growth in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay.
Fitz also gives back to her undergraduate alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught a 13-week course in the Personal Financial Planning certification program for 17 years. More recently she was recognized for her donations to the world's greenest museum, the California Academy of Sciences designed by Renzo Piano.
Fitz's vision and involvement have helped protect the architectural anchors of San Francisco's history, and that is what she says makes it all worth it. “It's thrilling — seeing these buildings that we essentially have saved for future generations.”
City: San Francisco, CA
Years as a rep: 28
Years with current firm: 18
AUM: $3.5 billion (firm assets)
Product Mix: Fixed income 25%; Real estate 10%; Equities 57%; Private equity 5%; Commodities 3%
Specialty: Comprehensive wealth planning and investment management