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2018 Trusted Advisers Up-and-Comer: Matthew Suarez

Central Trust Co.

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Matthew Suarez is always one step ahead of the game – whether it’s planning for his own career or helping a client manage finances.

As an investment officer and portfolio manager for Central Trust Co., Suarez says he takes his role as financial confidant very seriously, putting clients’ well-being at the forefront of his work.

“I help my clients by choosing, every day, to make sure I put their needs first in every decision I make,” he says. “Them being able to sleep at night is my top priority.”

Oftentimes he’s helping clients choose where to invest their dollars and meet uniquely specific financial needs and goals, while also establishing boundaries for responsible investment and financial dealings.

“Step one is always determining what they want this money to do for them,” Suarez says. “My job/goal is to invest their hard-earned money in a way that will help them achieve their financial goals while at the same time, making sure they are not taking more risk than what they are comfortable with.”

Suarez managed about 200 accounts in 2017, with a sum of $55 million – increased from $43 million in 2016.

Making these critical financial decisions for clients entails getting to know them as individuals, Suarez says.

“Undoubtedly, most important is my time spent getting to know them,” he says. “Anyone can pick an investment at random and hope they do well. I instead try to do my best at getting to know my clients on a personal level – get to know their history, their families, their hopes and goals.”

There’s a lot of weight on Suarez’s shoulders when he looks into the crystal ball of a client’s financial future. To be rooted in a sound educational foundation, he’s currently studying to earn a certified financial planner designation.

After all the hard work, Suarez says one of the best parts of his job is seeing clients’ finances flourishing.

“If their accounts are making money or are more protected during increased market volatility,” he says, “then the impact and response from my clients is fairly immediate.”

Outside of the office, Suarez finds the time to enjoy his hobbies: He’s a master scuba diver and rides a motorcycle. He also makes time to give back to the community in his multiple roles as vice chairman of the Tree City USA Citizen Advisory Committee in Springfield; member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s The Network; member of the associate board of The Springfield Little Theatre; and member of the Rotaract Club of Springfield. Suarez was named the Rotaract Club’s member of the year for 2015-16.

“He is always willing and able to help wherever he may best be of service,” says Derek Richardson, a past president of Rotaract Club. “Matthew is a shining example of what an emergent leader should be. He is not self-serving and takes a vested interest in contributing to the success of others. He is committed to serving for the betterment of our community and his clients.”

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