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March 21, 2013  BY Sarah Redohl

COLUMBIA, Mo. — When Polly Reynolds left her position as a trust officer at Landmark Bank in February 2012, The Trust Company, based in Manhattan, Kan., had already begun looking to open its first branch the previous fall.

“They really try to look for talent above location,” Reynolds said. “And they’re passionate about communities like ours, that are very diverse.” The former CIO of Landmark Bank, Mike Greim, went to work for the Trust Company. When the board voted to expand, he asked Reynolds, who had already resigned from Landmark, if she would be interested. On July 2, 2012, Reynolds opened The Trust Company’s second location under The Trust Company’s mission statement: to preserve and enhance your peace of mind.

“I call it the pillow test,” Reynolds said. She strives to let clients know where they are, where they need to be, and keep them informed and up-to-date. “Our bread and butter is retirement planning and discretionary investment management accounts,” she said, “but we really are full-service.”

An area that is always top-of-mind with Reynolds is estate planning. “It’s not if you die, it’s when,” she said. Although she jokes she likes to put the fun in financial, Reynolds says planning for death should be taken seriously because it’s of vital importance. On the other hand, she tries to make it lighthearted so the tough questions are a bit easier to answer.

“I’ll open up to [my customers], too, so they know they can open up to me. I’m not just a trust officer, but I’m also a friend,” Reynolds said. “If you only focus on profit, you’ll never be profitable. The needs of our clients always come first.”

Reynolds, who was a non-traditional student and attended college after having children, has always been a “numbers girl”, and decided to go into engineering or accounting, ultimately choosing the later. She says being a woman in a male-dominated field might have given her a competitive edge, despite some drawbacks.

“I tend to open up more, and ask important questions that some men may not feel comfortable asking,” she said. “When I left [Landmark], so many customers told me how much I exceeded their expectations.” And she has continued her personal care in her new position.

After its initial success, the Columbia branch of The Trust Company hired a second employee, Reynolds’s son Kyle, who also worked for Landmark Bank and is “super outgoing”.

“It’s a family business here, just like the one in Manhattan, whether we’re related or not,” Reynolds said. The Trust Company plans to wait until the Columbia location has been running for two years before looking for its third location.