Pitcairn is a 100-year-old multi-family office, but it is a firm that is far from being stuck in the past. It was founded in 1923 to serve the needs of the Pitcairn family, but since becoming a trust company and a multi-family office in 1987, it has been at the forefront of the evolution of the family office space and currently serves more than 120 multi-generational families including 22 single-family offices.
As the firm begins its second century, it is also going through a long-planned leadership transition. Leslie Voth, the firm’s first female CEO and first non-family chairman of the board, has announced her long-planned retirement as CEO, effective November 16, 2023. She will continue in her role as chairman at least through the end of her current term in February 2024.
Under Voth’s leadership, Pitcairn grew as a multi-family office by creating an open architecture investment platform and offering a complete suite of family office services. She also led the development of Wealth Momentum, an experience-based family office model that delivers at the intersection of family and wealth to create better outcomes for clients.
Speaking of Leslie Voth, Clark Pitcairn, chairman, Pitcairn Company, the holding company said, “I had the privilege of hiring her, helping her grow and watching her journey to become the leader she is today…Her passion for our clients and our employees is infectious, and under her leadership, Pitcairn is in its best position in 100 years.”
When it came time for a transition, the most important concern for Pitcairn’s board was that the handoff be seamless and that continuity and stability be maintained. After being informed of Voth’s intention, the board began an 18-month-long independent search process before concluding that the best succession plan was already in-house and unanimously choosing Andrew Busser, president, family office, as Voth’s CEO successor.
“Leslie’s contributions to the growth and maturation of Pitcairn are immeasurable,” said H.F. “Rick” Pitcairn, the firm’s chief global strategist. “It’s a tribute to [Leslie’s] acumen that she hired Andy, who is now her successor and will lead Pitcairn on the next stage of our journey. Andy understands our business, our clients and how to continue the growth trajectory that Leslie set for the company. We could not have chosen an individual better positioned to take Pitcairn into our next hundred years.”
Throughout his Pitcairn career, Busser has spearheaded the development of the Pitcairn Experience, and he continues to position Pitcairn as a leading innovator among family offices. Before joining Pitcairn in 2015, Busser was a partner at Symphony Capital, a healthcare-focused investment manager of private equity and hedge funds.
As a result of Busser’s transition to CEO, there has been some additional shifting of roles throughout the firm. J. Matthew McCarte, CFP, CTFA, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with Pitcairn, assumes leadership of the relationship management team, while Karen Carlson, CFP, a 13-year veteran of the firm, leads the ultra-high-net-worth relationship management team.
Pitcairn was established as a family office in 1923, but the story really began 40 years earlier, in 1883, when John Pitcairn founded the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, today known as the Fortune 500 Company PPG Industries, which built the family fortune. It was his three sons who established the single-family office. Today’s multi-family office, incorporated as a trust company, has 73 employees (49% female), a 100% open architecture platform of family-focused investments with more than $7 billion in advised assets, and offices in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, DC, and a presence in Florida.
Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs and select professionals.