On the Job with an Investment Expert

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West McCann remembers when he asked
 his father for a few dollars as a child, and
 his father explained the concept of interest and the cost of taking a loan. His dad didn’t
 charge him interest, but the conversation
 served as an initial seed, making McCann
 aware that there was a world associated with how lending money makes money.

“That was all it took. Moving forward, I always had an interest in how money works,” he says.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Georgia State University in 1987 and has worked in the investment industry for more than 30 years.

As the new president of The Naples Trust Co., he’s motivated both by his passion for serving others and by his deep experience in finance, which includesa previous stint as senior managing director of Northern Trust Wealth Management. Naples Trust is a division of The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co., which has 33 employees at five locations and $2 billion in assets.

Why did you pursue a career in wealth management?

I was a student at Georgia State University and I was working in the bond-trading department [at Wachovia, now Wells Fargo]. I found that excitement around the securities industry. It was a chance to use my brain against, and in collaboration with, some of the smartest people in the world. I started translating how to take the knowledge and experience that I had gathered in my early years in the investment world and really begin to help people. With the Naples Trust Co., I get a voice at the table and the opportunity to test and see if I’m as creative and as energetic as I think I am to be able to grow this company.

What kind of challenges do you deal with daily in your industry?

Our clients depend on us, and while we are talented and effective in creating investment plans to serve our clients, we don’t control the stock market and we don’t control the outcomes. So each day I’m trying to pursue how do we make sure that each and every client is being touched in a way that we’re delivering a value-added level of advice and expertise and discipline around their wealth management plan.

What are your goals as president of Naples Trust?

I want to further contemporize our comprehensive wealth management programs so that all of our clients are receiving the full scope and scale of what we’re able to deliver to them. To contemporize is not a reflection of “we’re not doing it right,” but it’s our commitment to be aware of industry changes. If you’re trying to do it the same way you were doing it five or 10 years ago, the industry is going to leave you behind.

You serve on committees and in leadership positions for numerous charitable groups. What’s one memorable moment?

Our volunteers [at New Horizons of Southwest Florida, of which he serves on the board] sit down in the afternoons with students, and when you see a retired senior citizen wanting to help our youth and you see a youngster whose English is challenged, perhaps, or otherwise is in challenging circumstances … and they’re working nose-to-nose on a math problem, it’s just magical.​

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