Client Spotlight

First American Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortune 500 Company First American Financial Corporation, which was founded in 1889. Headquartered in Santa Ana with offices in San Diego and Las Vegas, First American Trust is the oldest and largest trust company based in Orange County.  It has approximately $3.7 billion in assets under administration and $1.3 billion in assets under management. With a minimum investment level of $1 million, First American Trust works with high-net-worth families to manage their wealth across generations and with business owners and entrepreneurs who may be creating first-generation wealth. Fiduciary expertise and real estate services are the core competencies with a focus on client service and investment performance.

For the past seven years, HKA has been helping this special organization reach millions of business-minded readers through high-level media placements. With our help, plus his own expertise and early-morning availability, Chief Investment Officer Jerry Braakman has become quite the media darling. It is not uncommon for him to give interviews to Reuters, CNBC or Forbes before the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (6:30 a.m. on the West Coast).  December 2018 was a particularly rocky month for stocks, and Jerry was quoted in three separate USA Today articles.  In 2015, he was featured in the print editions of The New York Times and Los Angeles Times on the same day.

The real estate aspect of First American Trust’s offerings stands out as possibly the most intriguing.  This is not because of the relationship with First American Title (also under the First American Financial Corporation umbrella) or because real estate is heralded as the leading industry of Orange County. Rather, First American Trust gets attention for what people don’t hear about – its land trust holdings. Real estate titles held in a land trust are some of the most private assets ever devised by corporate America. In today’s day and age, where the press, creditors and the government can seemingly seize whatever they wish, real property and the identity of who owns it is still protected under lock and key by a land trust.

If the preservation of wealth is the most desired service First American Trust provides, the privacy of wealth is a close second. This amenity is at the heart of the company expansion into Nevada several years ago, when First American Trust – with PR support from HKA – opened its first office outside California, just off The Las Vegas Strip. The move positioned First American Trust perfectly to serve clients with special asset-decanting vehicles, which protect additional properties within Nevada’s special brand of trusts, which rival Cayman and Swiss bank accounts in their level privacy.

Through it all, First American Trust is a company with a heart, and this is the quality that we respect the most. This longstanding client has always believed that the health of our community depends on the generosity and support of the local business community. Employees are encouraged to participate in charitable activities, and those endeavors are supported through financial resources, hands-on group community projects or event sponsorships.