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Mission Management and Trust is a small newly formed company of just eight employees that has already made great headway in an
cantís industry, current bank loan policies, and other factors can be openly discussed from multiple perspectives.
1. What coordinative mechanisms does First Community use to manage the potential conflict between its sales and finance/auditing functions?
2. What qualities should First Community emphasize in hiring new staff to ensure that its functional organizational structure will not yield too many problems?
3. What are the key types of information transfer that First Community needs to emphasize, and how is this transmitted throughout the firm?
4. Why might a small finance company have such a simple structure while a larger firm might find this structure inappropriate? ?
industry that is dominated by giant corporations. Mission Management and Trust opened its doors just two years ago, and it already manages
over $45 million in assets. What makes Missionís development even more impressive is that Mission is the first minority- and women-owned trust company in the nation.
The trust management industry provides services to individuals, organizations, and companies who want their assets managed and protected by specialized outside firms. Mission management provides personal service to its customers at a level of sophistication that is unusual for a firm of its small size. Understanding that the trust management business is highly competitive, Mission developed a unique strategy that highlighted socially conscious policies combined with good business relations.
When the company was formed in 1994, it was created with more than the goal of just making a profit. Founder Carmen Bermudas started Mission with three principal goals in mind. ď1. To run a top quality trust company; 2. To promote within the company and, by example, increase opportunities for women and minorities; and 3. To donate a portion of all revenue to charitable projects supported by clients and staff.Ē As these statements demonstrate, Mission Management and Trust was created with a specific purpose in mind that was focused not just on the business of trust management but on the responsibility of being a good corporate citizen.
Even with these lofty goals, Mission faced the problem of finding clients who not only wanted quality services but were not hindered by some of the potential sacrifices a socially conscious investment company might make. Many investors want a high rate of return for their trusts, and social policy is of a much lesser concern. This was not the market Mission wanted to address, so it had to be selective in developing a client base.
Mission needed to find clients
THE OB SKILLS WORKBOOK 285
Mission Management and Trust
Developed by Mark Osborn, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
ith more than 500 business and political leaders in attendance from across the state of Arizona, CEO Carmen Bermudez of Mission Management and Trust accepted the prestigious ATHENA Award. The ATHENA, which is presented by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, is annually awarded to companies that have a demonstrated track record in promoting womenís issues within their company and the community. The 50-pound bronze statute that was presented to Mission Management and Trust was particularly special for the companyís leadership because it was a tangible demonstration of their commitment to the community and to womenís issues.
that fit its social philosophy about investing and corporate responsibility. The ideal customers would be individuals and organizations that were committed to socially conscious policies and wanted an investment strategy that reflected this commitment. Mission found a perfect niche in the market with religious institutions. Churches and other civic organizations across the nation have trusts that they use to fund special projects and maintain operating expenses. They need effective service, but in many cases these organizations must be mindful of investing in companies and other projects that do not refelct their ideals. For example, a trust company that invests in companies in the highly profitable liquor and cigarette industries would not be consistent with the philosophy of many religious organizations. Mission services this niche by developing an organization that is structurally designed to make socially conscious decisions.
Mission has already begun to meet one of its principal goals, which is to donate a portion of its profits to charities. By the end of 1994,
Mission had already donated $4500 to causes ranging from Catholic Community Services to the Jewish Community Center scholarship program. These donations not only fulfill a goal of the organization but assist in the socially conscious client recruitment. Missionís target client base will find Mission a much more attractive trust company because of its charity programs. A religious organization can be comforted with the reality that some of the dollars it spends on trust management will be recycled into the causes it promotes itself. The mission policy makes good social policy, but it also makes good marketing sense. Understanding your clients is crucial to developing a small business, and Mission has mastered this principle.