TITLE: Trustee, Principal Manager
FOCUS AREAS: Education, health, human services, arts and culture, youth
PROFILE: Richard J. Smith is one of the three trustees at the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama. Smith is also the managing director of Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC. He was previously the managing director at Morgan Keegan. His educational background includes a JD from the University of Alabama School of Law.
He shares the following information about his background:
Since 1980, it has been my privilege to offer financial advice and personalized service to individuals, families, businesses and foundations. Early on, I believed it made sense to focus on everyone's greatest financial need; the long term accumulation and subsequent distribution of wealth. What seemed only logical at the beginning has proven to be the basis for a career. It has been a great pleasure to work with some of my clients for over three decades.
My associates at Smith Thornton Advisors share a commitment to fundamentally sound investment practices and to outstanding service. Steve Thornton, my business partner since 1989, and I first worked together as retirement plan consultants. After a number of years, we expanded our business and launched Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC and affiliated with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. We believe our approach offers our clients the best of all possible worlds; independence of thought and action coupled with the world class resources of Wells Fargo.
My other activities include past service on the Boards of Habitat for Humanity of Madison County, Huntsville Hospital Foundation, and the Huntsville-Madison County Library Foundation, as a Trustee of First Presbyterian Church and as a member of the Board of Visitors of Shorter University. I presently serve as a board member of Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville and as a Trustee of the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation. I am pleased to work with our son, Will, at Smith Thornton Advisors. He is a candidate for the CFA Charter and works as a Portfolio Administrator.
His professional bio shares:
Rick began his career as an investment professional in 1980 at First National Bank of Alabama, NA where he was the manager of the Trust Department and responsible for the management of personal and corporate trusts. Through trust investment activities, he met and was recruited in late 1983 by managers of AmSouth Bank, NA to open a Huntsville office for the bank’s Bond Department. The department specialized in fixed income investments. He was the first Registered Representative hired for an AmSouth branch location. In October, 1987 Rick was recruited as Branch Manager of the new Huntsville branch office of Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., a southeastern regional New York Stock Exchange member firm. He grew and managed the office for fifteen years and was elected a Managing Director of the firm. He was a founding member of Morgan Keegan’s Investment Management Consultants Advisory Group and was awarded the firm’s highest honor, the Circle of Excellence Award for Community Service. After almost 24 years at Morgan Keegan and faced with the sale of the firm, he resigned to form Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC with Steve Thornton.
Rick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia where he is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame for his four years as a Captain of the tennis team. After college, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. He is a member of the Alabama Bar Association. Early in his career, Rick completed the coursework and earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Currently, Rick is a member of the Board of Directors of Broadway Theatre League and is a Trustee of the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation. Previous board service includes Habitat for Humanity of Madison County, the Huntsville Madison Country Library Foundation, and as a Trustee of First Presbyterian Church. Rick is also a member of IMCA, the Investment Management Consultants Association.
Rick is married to Sherry Jordan Smith. They have two children; Hayley Smith Henderson, owner of Element Dance Studio in Huntsville, and Will Smith, Portfolio Administrator at Smith Thornton Advisors, LLC.