Tom Sedoric and Casey Snyder

This post was originally published on 7/1/2018, and updated on 4/6/2021

The reference defines the word “steward” as “a person who acts as a surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc.”

In addition to following a fiduciary standard for our clients, we believe being stewards of our community is equally important. Both clients and our community are hoping to achieve long-term and sustainable goals.

The second part of the “steward” definition captures something deeper - “the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.” The overall definition not only reflects what we do, but who we are and why, after a collective of almost 50 years at a major financial services firm, we joined a firm called Steward Partners.

Steward Partners is a firm where we see our work in the bigger picture of stewarding both our clients and our communities. Despite numerous regulatory requirements surrounding our involvement in any volunteering efforts, which often prove to be a hindrance, we take the notion of giving back to our communities very seriously.


Sustainable Investing and The Sedoric Group

In a recent column on “The Value of Virtue”, our friend and Barron’s Editor, Jack Otter, focused on what too many might consider to be antiquated wisdom: taking time to see the big picture in a frenzied market environment that worships quarterly results.

“Is it possible that companies that treat their employees and customers well, take steps to avoid pollution, and whose boards of directors follow best practices might outperform over time?” Otter asked. “While low-employee turnover, loyal customers, and a below-average number of consent decrees won’t affect next quarter’s results, they might produce dramatic results over the next decade.” Otter cited an ongoing effort from Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, to prod CEO’s to see their companies as more than profit-making vehicles and to be proud of their valuable contributions to society.

There has been a significant shift in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) focused investing over the past two decades as evolved from boutique status to routine. Investors now have a seemingly endless number of options when it comes to in investing in a way that demonstrates high standards of social and environmental responsibility. Gone are the days of vague impact statements—new sustainable investing tools such as Sustainalyics are setting clear ESG benchmarks so it’s simple to compare performance between companies. Investors can see where their money aligns with their values, and opportunities to divest in areas that they don’t believe in.

For anyone who hasn’t seriously examined sustainable investing opportunities as a part of their portfolio, we highly encourage it. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—ESG is a solid investment strategy with the potential for yielding strong returns and the added benefit of creating a better world for the next generations to come. 


How We’re Giving Back to Our Community

Giving back is part of our firm Steward Partners DNA. We are not alone, as Bill Green and others instilled the spirit of giving back to partners and other community leaders for the betterment of our community, region, and state. Over the years, The Sedoric Group have been inspired by Bill and his partners’ model. We will work through the obstacles or requirements in order for us to serve our communities.

Casey Snyder currently serves on the Eliot, Maine planning board as well as on the advisory board to Great Bay Community College. Erika Luczynski set up a non-profit fundraiser in honor of a friend. Tom Sedoric served on numerous boards including Piscataqua Savings Bank and under four New Hampshire governors as Chair of Advisors to the Economic Development Commission. Two recently retired colleagues have taken their mission of stewardship and sharing to new levels: Vicki Walters helped set up a community lunch program at a local church and Michele Richard and husband Dana help build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

In the age of instant gratification, it’s easy to become complacent and let others step up to serve the greater community or kick the proverbial can of responsibility down the road. When people discuss overall wellness for the long term, there is always a communal service element. With so many in our profession on the verge of retirement, it’s a healthy sign to see the next generations hitting their stride in giving back to their communities by contributing and engaging in ways they are passionate about. 

Passing the torch is necessary. Making sure that torch is one that makes our communities stronger and healthier is a legacy worth preserving. The role of a fiduciary should not cease as we lock our office doors at the end of the workday.


This material is provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of the strategy selected. Sustainable/Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) considers qualitative environmental, social and corporate governance, also known as ESG criteria, which may be subjective in nature. There are additional risks associated with Sustainable Responsible Investing (SRI), including limited diversification and the potential for increased volatility. There is no guarantee that SRI products or strategies will produce returns similar to traditional investments. Because SRI criteria exclude certain securities/products for non-financial reasons, investors may forego some market opportunities available to those who do not use these criteria. Investors should consult their investment professional prior to making an investment decision.