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Montecito Bank & Trust Invests in Community

Montecito Bank & Trust is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Founded in 1975, the bank celebrated its 43rd anniversary on March 17, 2018, and operates 13 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake Village.

“Our mission is to make the communities we serve better places to live and work—we do that by listening to the community and responding to their needs,” says Janet Garufis, Chairman and CEO, Montecito Bank & Trust. “By doing this, we make sure that every decision we make, every person we hire, every product we offer, is designed to meet the community’s needs.”

Taking Care of People: Montecito Bank’s Wealth Management

Regarding Montecito Bank’s Wealth Management division, “we are the only trust company headquartered in the tri-County area,” says EVP, Director of Wealth Management Jeff Pittman, further noting that decisions are made locally, and clients have direct access to the decision makers, all the way up to Chairman and CEO Garufis.

“MB&T’s Wealth Management department manages over $1.2B for high-net worth individuals, families, foundations, endowments, institutions and nonprofit organizations,” Pittman says. “We are able to customize our solutions for each and every client based on their specific objectives and constraints—this flexibility is what sets us apart from other investment companies. We are not the one-size-fits-all model of larger institutions.”

As such, those looking for an experienced investment advisor are ideal clients.

“Our average advisor has more than 25 years of experience—they can create and implement a plan to achieve their financial objectives though efficient portfolios customized to their unique return objectives and risk tolerances,” Pittman says.

Advising and Investing

Montecito Bank & Trust also offers a full array of fiduciary trust services, including trust administration, property management, custody and tax reporting; as well as ESG/SRI solutions for clients who want to bring about positive change though their investment strategies.

“I think we would all agree that informed consumers often make better choices,” says Pittman, adding that many of us receive little, if any, guidance about investing and personal finance while attending middle school, high school and even college.

“Montecito Bank & Trust has been a leader in developing and delivering financial literacy programs to K-12 students for many years,” Pittman says. “We are very proud of this work and we carry this commitment over to our work in the Wealth Management department. The ultimate goal is to help clients achieve their financial objectives but a secondary goal would be to also help them become more informed consumers in all areas of personal finance and investing.”

Montecito Bank & Trust also has a history of unwavering corporate philanthropy in the local communities it serves, annually donating $1.4 million and volunteering over 5,100 hours to nonprofit organizations in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

“Those in the community who choose to do business with a community bank know that by doing so, they are giving back to their community,” Garufis emphasizes.

Montecito Bank & Trust’s primary role as a community bank is to gather and safeguard local deposits—and lend those dollars back out into the community to promote economic activity and growth—and then give some of those corporate profits back to the community in support.

“This is the heart of our business practices and it’s all made possible because of our amazing and loyal customers,” Garufis says.

Those same loyal customers have also awarded Montecito Bank & Trust 16 Best Bank Awards in the past six years.

In other accolades, Montecito Bank & Trust received a 2017 designation of a Super Premier Performing bank by The Findley Reports, an independent service which rates the financial performance of banks, and has been designated a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank 33 times since it opened its doors 43 years ago. The bank was also awarded a 5-star, Superior Bauer rating for December 31, 2017 financial data.

“And we were named the 2017 Bank of the Year by the Western Independent Bankers from among more than 550 independent community banks headquartered in 13 western states, and the American Banker’s #2 Best Bank to Work for in the entire country,” Pittman says.

Montecito Bank & Trust has numerous locations throughout Ventura County, as well as in Santa Barbara.