Pitcairn President and CEO Leslie Voth is stepping down from those roles in mid-November after more than three decades with the century-old firm.
Voth will continue serving as chair of Pitcairn and Family Office President Andrew Busser will take over her responsibilities as president and CEO of the $7 billion multi-family office in a planned transition almost two years ago in the making.
Busser will be replaced by Managing Director Matthew McCarte, a 25-year veteran of the firm.
Voth first joined Pitcairn in 1993, when the family office served 100 households descended from American industrialist John Pitcairn Jr., and their various foundations. She held a series of leadership roles, including chief operating officer and president of wealth management, before becoming the first female to serve as both CEO and chair of the board, positions she was named to in 2012 and 2019, respectively. She is also the first chairperson unrelated to the Pitcairn family.
It was under Voth’s leadership that Pitcairn grew the firm's multi-family model, shed all proprietary investment products and brought female representation to 50%. She also led the development of Pitcairn’s signature “experience-based” family office model, dubbed Wealth Momentum.
“Leslie Voth is an incredible visionary and her contributions to this firm over the last 30 years are invaluable,” Pitcairn Co. Holding Company Chair Clark Pitcairn said in a statement. “I had the privilege of hiring her, helping her grow, and watching her journey to become the leader she is today.”
Voth arrived at Pitcairn six years after the single family office was restructured as a chartered trust company with multi-family capabilities and immediately became involved with creating “a first-class client experience” that would extend to other ultra-wealthy families. The transition to an open architecture platform around 2007 was driven by a desire to meet clients’ evolving needs, she explained, by expanding access to all possible investment strategies and products.
"We did a ton of research. We went to talk to some of the wealthiest families in the country and realized that they were really seeking a different experience on the investment side. So, we thought, ‘Boy, we're early days in our MFO, we could really distinguish ourselves if we did this,’” Voth said. “We wanted to be more sophisticated than others as a private trust and really saw this as part of our evolution.
“We were the only one that I know of in our industry that had the legacy we did and took revenue out of our own pockets to move into this open architecture platform,” she added. “But our clients really treasure that we’re on the same side of the table as them.”
Voth hired Busser as managing director in 2015 to focus on growth and strategy after more than 13 years managing investments as a partner at Symphony Capital. In 2017, both were part of a team developing a “century plan” looking forward to Pitcairn’s centennial anniversary this year and, in 2021, Busser was named president of Pitcairn’s family office group.
“From working together, it was clear that Andy had the skillset that we needed for the next phase of our firm,” said Voth. “And so, we had a lot of discussions.”
“It’s all about promoting from within and that's been a high priority at the firm over the years,” Busser said. “It's been a high priority for Leslie, for which I'm extremely grateful."
His replacement, McCarte, is “a fabulous, client-focused leader with the respect of his colleagues,” Busser added.
Pointing out that Pitcairn’s average new client has more than $80 million in investable assets, Busser said his top priority will remain ensuring a “super high-touch, full service experience.” That includes investing heavily in human capital and technology, he said.
Voth didn’t intentionally aim for the 50/50 gender ratio at Pitcairn and said the firm is also focused on diversifying across generations and disciplines. But she said she’s proud that’s the way it’s turned out and Busser agreed, crediting the firm’s composition for attracting some of the industry’s top talent.
With more than 120 multi-generational families, including 22 single-family offices, on the Pitcairn client roster, Busser said he expects to grow “in a disciplined, organic way” going forward, adding no more than five families a year.
“We're not going to go out and buy up a bunch of competitors at crazy prices,” he said. “We're always evolving and always innovating, but we don't want to be careless with risk or with the trust that our clients have in us.
“Having the same family own the firm for a hundred years, with employees, is an enormous amount of stability that you get very few other places,” he said. “Our clients really appreciate that stability and we don't want to ignore the value of that.”
“Andy understands our business, our clients, and how to continue the growth trajectory that Leslie set for the company,” said Pitcairn Chief Global Strategist Rick Pitcairn. “We could not have chosen an individual better positioned to take Pitcairn into our next hundred years.”