“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Since 1948, Hefren-Tillotson, a privately-owned wealth management company founded in Pittsburgh, has been creating financial plans that turn client’s goals and wishes into reality.  

Hefren-Tillotson co-founder Willard J. “Bill” Tillotson had the vision to recognize that for clients to achieve their long-term financial goals, they needed a step-by-step, detailed plan. More than 35 years ahead of the competition, he developed the MASTERPLAN™, which provides clients with a comprehensive, written review of an individual’s financial goals and objectives. 

The MASTERPLAN was a stroke of financial genius and has contributed to Hefren-Tillotson’s longevity and success. When the company began 70 years ago, it had one location in the Benedum Trees Building and now has two offices in downtown Pittsburgh as well as locations in Butler, Greensburg, North Hills and South Hills. Hefren-Tillotson has expanded from 40 employees in the early 1980s to 250 and is now one of the oldest and largest full-service wealth management firms headquartered in Western Pennsylvania, managing over $12 billion in client assets. Hefren-Tillotson has clients in 42 states and numerous countries around the world. 

Having a financial plan in place is a huge stress reliever, and today’s financial plans need to address aspects that weren’t such an issue in earlier times. “College costs have sky-rocketed, so that must be considered. Also, long-term care is a newer cost that must be factored into a financial plan. Years ago, families took care of their loved ones, but today we’re scattered, and we’re more independent. While family members may be willing to care for us, many of us don’t want to be dependent on them. We don’t want to burden them,” said Mr. Tillotson. 

“My grandfather, Art Hefren, always said, ‘Do what’s right for the client, and you’ll be fine.” Hefren-Tillotson embraces the time-tested values of respect for the individual, integrity in thought and action, teamwork through family-oriented culture and relentless commitment to excellence.  

“Part of what makes us different is our commitment to the community, which comes from the top down,” said Mr. Tillotson. “We’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity in Pittsburgh and have had 23 employees go build homes with them in Guatemala as well.” Hefren-Tillotson also supports numerous other charitable causes from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to the United Way to the Walk for Children’s Hospital.   

Hefren-Tillotson also believes in educating the public as well as children about financial matters and hosts numerous free, no-obligation seminars throughout the region as well as airing a weekly radio show “Your Money & You,” on Sundays at 9 a.m. on KDKA radio, which is hosted by James G. Meredith, CPA/PFS. Their website has a wealth of information from videos and blog posts to a weekly podcast called “Ask the Advisor.”  “Our Chief Investment Officer Donald Belt has developed a financial education curriculum for grade school children, and numerous people are using it,” said Mr. Tillotson.  

The company has received many awards and accolades, including being named the Best Place to Work in the Extra Large Company category three times since 2011 by the Pittsburgh Business Times. It has been honored by being included in the United Way Hall of Fame, receiving the Outstanding Performance Award from 2009 to 2018.  

“I believe our success comes from being a family. We consider our employees and clients to be part of that family. We treat everyone with deep respect and with the highest level of integrity, which is evident by how many long-term employees we have and the retention and stability of our clients,” said Mr. Tillotson. “We love to see people get started with a sound financial plan so that they can achieve the goals they have set.”   

For more information on how Hefren-Tillotson can help you develop a financial plan that achieves your financial objectives, visit: www.hefren.com. 

By Janice Lane Palko