Steward of legacy
by Matt Jardin |
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Peak Trust Company, president and CEO Matt Blattmachr announced in November 2022 that the company was making a $50,000 donation to the UAA College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP). The donation was made possible by the Horejsi Charitable Foundation.
The donation will support the new First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab. Specifically, the donation will enhance the Finance Lab through state-of-the-art technology equipment, high-tech furnishings, hardware, software and subscription services. The Finance Lab will open on UAA’s campus in fall 2023 and is designed to support Alaska’s workforce development to ensure a thriving finance and accounting sector statewide.
For Blattmachr, the decision to invest in UAA was easy. Not only is it where he earned his undergraduate degree — a Bachelor of Business Administration in global logistics management in 2008 — it’s also where many of his employees got their education. Blattmachr highlighted that over a third of Peak Trust’s Anchorage office employees are fellow UAA alumni.
“In our business, it’s important to have team members who will stay a long time, not just as a business benefit, but because our clients appreciate the continuity we provide,” said Blattmachr. “It's great to have good people, even for a short time. But it’s ideal if you can have good people — invested in client success — for a long time. For our team members who have lived in Alaska and have gone to UAA, there’s a good chance this is where they want to be for the long haul. I’m grateful to the opportunities UAA provided me, and I know my colleagues feel the same.”
Blattmachr views this investment as benefiting the entirety of Alaska, not just UAA. By strengthening the finance education in the state, students who would otherwise look elsewhere to pursue higher education might choose to stay and eventually continue working for Alaska’s all-important legacy resource industries.
Blattmachr spends a lot of time thinking about legacies as they are the very cornerstone of trusts and estates.
“What I love about [trust and estates] is in many ways wealth is so much more than just money. It’s the accumulation of their life’s work, including their values and beliefs, and what they want to have done with it is a powerful thing,” said Blattmachr. “We'd like to be part of the equation that helps people properly manage it for good, so others learn the stories behind them, doing full justice to their values and legacy.”
Following the passing of the Alaska Trust Act, Blattmachr’s father, Doug, co-founded the company in 1997 after more than 30 years in the industry. Doug advised Blattmachr against joining the business, and originally, that was the plan. Blattmachr was already interning at BP and had a job lined up there after graduation. Ultimately, a childhood and adolescence spent at Peak — from office visits with dad to part-time summer jobs — only left him wanting more. So when a new board asked him to stay on at Peak, Blattmachr gave a resounding yes. Blattmachr began full time at Peak in 2008 as an assistant in the investments department. Just over 10 years later, after progressing through roles working in each department of the company, he was asked by the board to take the role of President and CEO.
“Many times in organizations where there’s a family connection, the passion isn’t there, it feels like an obligation. For me it was never like that in maybe one of the rare circumstances where it fit,” said Blattmachr. “I learned a ton from Doug and still do. He’s a huge resource, not just for me, but for the team. It’s amazing how over his 50-plus-year career, he’s pretty much seen, done it and got the t-shirt.”
Today, Peak operates three offices, the other two being in Nevada and Delaware.