Spokane Journal of Business

Cd’A-founded Idaho Trust sees steady growth

Two-branch institution's finance services include managing clients’ wealth

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Operating out of its original branch in downtown Coeur d’Alene for nearly three decades, Idaho Trust Bank has seen robust growth with a mix of traditional banking and wealth-management services.

Idaho Trust co-founder and CEO Tom Prohaska says the bank is enjoying a “sustainable economic climate” and hasn’t been impacted by the bank closures that have been well-publicized in the national news.

“We feel great about where the bank is, and we continue to grow,” he says.

Idaho Trust has seven employees at its 1,800-square-foot office at 622 E. Sherman. The bank operates a full-service branch in Boise, Idaho, which opened in 2003 and has 40 employees. The company also has a trust office located in Henderson, Nevada.

Prohaska says one key to Idaho Trust’s continued success is acting as a responsible, trusted adviser that is readily available to meet customers’ needs.

“At Idaho Trust, we make sure we deliver on the services we promise to the marketplace, and we do it with an individualistic emphasis,” he says. 

Last year, the company posted net income of $1.35 million, down from $1.52 million the previous year and comparable to the $1.32 million in earnings in 2020.  

As of Dec. 31, Idaho Trust had $162.4 million in total deposits, down from a peak of $183.5 million at the end of 2021 but up from $107.8 million in 2018. Year-end total loans for the bank were $104.6 million, up from $101 million a year earlier and $84.2 million at year-end 2018. 

In the past six years, Idaho Trust has nearly doubled its assets to $200.7 million as of Dec. 31, up from $100 million in 2017.

Idaho Trust’s wealth management services include investment management for individuals and retirement accounts, trust and estate administration, business succession planning, insurance, and annuities. The bank’s wealth management division currently has $800 million in assets under management.

Prohaska says Idaho Trust has nearly 700 wealth management accounts, with the average account value estimated at nearly $1.1 million.

Another key to Idaho Trust’s success has been the bank’s commitment to focusing on healthy, sustainable growth, he says.

“We take an organic approach of quality growth,” he says. “We’re not going out and acquiring other banks.”

Idaho Trust offers a holistic approach to personalized banking services that helps it attract additional clients, he says.

“We work to integrate investment goals with tax, estate, and retirement planning,” Prohaska says. “This approach also allows us to work with outside professionals like accountants and attorneys to ensure each client’s total financial well-being.”

From Coeur d’Alene, the bank predominately serves clients in North Idaho and Eastern Washington, but also has clients in the greater Seattle region and in California.

Dennis J. Mikelonis, Idaho Trust vice president and private banking team leader, says local banks offer an opportunity for personalized service.

“We’re not bashing the big banks; America needs that,” Mikelonis says. “But from a relationship standpoint, having personal relationship with your bank can go a long way.”

Mikelonis says Idaho Trust continues to recognize the importance of online banking services but doesn’t want to lose the personal touch.

“We have a very robust online platform from the desktop to the tablet to the smart phone. I think that’s important for today’s customer,” Mikelonis says. “But our business model is to couple that with a responsible, personal relationship. Our clients want to know they can talk to somebody when they need to.”

On that personal level, Idaho Trust offers its proprietary investment process, LifeNeeds.

“Every person has their own life needs,” Prohaska says. “It might be planning for retirement or saving for college or creating an income.”

That’s why a core mission at Idaho Trust is to help create and preserve wealth—in some cases for generations. “There are examples where we are working with the third generation of a family to invest assets and act as a trustee of family trusts,” Prohaska says.

Idaho Trust poses questions through the LifeNeeds process to assess clients’ goals and the risk levels clients are comfortable taking to meet their goals.

Based on the assessments, Idaho Trust plans custom portfolios to suit individual clients and works cooperatively to implement them.

Another priority for Idaho Trust is to be active in the community, Mikelonis says.

  • Keith Erickson

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