Ep 46. Mike Bontrager and Luke Zubrod: Maximizing Trust not Profit
"Trust is always going down, like gravity, unless you proactively work on building it up."
Michael Bontrager founded Chatham Financial in 1991 and continues to serve as CEO. Luke Zubrod is Director of Strategic Initiatives; he works on ways to advance Chatham’s market impact and organizational culture, including initiatives that strengthen civil discourse within the firm. Mike was honored by Ernst & Young with an Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015 in the services category, which recognizes those who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Mike has an MBA from the Wharton School.
Stew, Mike, and Luke discuss what’s called a “multiple bottom line” or “triple bottom line” approach to business—focused not just on making money but on what social and environmental impact an organization can have. Financial services companies seem to lag behind in taking this more holistic approach. Chatham Financial is on a quest to be a model and catalyst for restoring trust in capital markets. Mike and Luke explain what they’re doing differently at Chatham by treating each employee interaction and each client engagement as an opportunity to build trust, looking out for the long-term best interest of the client even if that means forgoing the fees that stem from transactions.