Almost everyone has heard of the term “elevator speech”—that succinct few sentences seemingly delivered off the cuff that communicates your value proposition and maybe sets a little bit of a hook.
As our firm approaches its sixteenth year, we still don’t have one. My partner and late husband, Jim McCarthy, founded our firm with the goal of truly taking care of his clients—transparently, loyally, objectively, and ethically. His prior 18 years of experience in the investment industry taught him that these characteristics, so highly-valued and richly deserved by clients, were often in short supply. This code of conduct defines Seascape’s mission: to provide truly engaged, proactive, and comprehensive wealth management strategies to the families that entrust us with their assets. That is a mouthful, certainly not an elevator speech, and probably even a little corny. It does, however, get to the heart of our services.
Seascape began, like many small businesses, out of Jim’s home office. His intention from the start was to create a firm that would always be there to provide excellent guidance and services to its clients; a firm that would transcend any one individual principal or person. Therefore, Jim chose not to name the business after himself. Feeling as deep a connection with sailing and the sea as he did with his work, he named the firm Seascape Capital Management.
Jim was one of the first advisors in the state of New Hampshire to earn his Certified Financial Planner™ designation. In doing so, he adopted a comprehensive approach to wealth well before most of his peers. The management of his clients’ investment portfolios always happened in synch with their dreams and their fears-- rather than on a parallel and often disconnected track.
I joined Seascape two years later. Having created and managed two advisory firms that evolved in a family office environment, I understood the importance of making all the pieces of wealth management work together. We had that in common along with well-defined philosophies about truly taking care of our clients and our team. As an odd metaphor for markets and our industry, we also shared a love of roller coasters.
Over the years, we built a talented team of individuals with great aptitudes and attitudes—and an uncanny appetite for sushi. Our team bends over backward to get things done for our clients because they understand them as people and care about their lives. More than once, I have told the story of one of our team members making sure she got her morning’s work done before speeding off to the hospital to deliver her first child. It’s not uncommon for any of them to look for areas that need improvement and then make them better. Neither is it uncommon for them to look out for each other or me.
Seascape’s growth comes as a result of always raising the bar-- both internally and externally. To that end, we encourage and support the education of our team members so they can grow professionally and better serve our clients. Similarly, we invest back into our business to deliver the best possible experience for our clients.
We are animal lovers, and two of our team members’ dogs (and their chew toys) are often found in our office. Part therapy, part mascots, they ensure we don’t take ourselves too seriously and help keep the mood light as we dive into our work.
The history and culture of our firm would be incomplete without mentioning our commitment to giving back. Jim set the bar high here, and we remain dedicated to showing our gratitude toward the community we care about by supporting the causes dear to our hearts.
The feeling we hope to create for our clients is that we take good care of them. I guess that was a long way around to our elevator speech.
Thank you for your interest in our story and taking the time to read it.
Monica Ann McCarthy, CFA®, CDFA™, CPWA®