Houston Trust Company was founded upon a company-wide commitment to personal service. Our team has become an extension of the families with whom they have worked over multiple generations.
We measure success not in the clients we gain, but in the business we keep.”DAVID R. LUMMIS, President & CEO
We are a modern trust company built on traditional values.
We are influenced not by trends, but by our responsibility to sustain current and future generations.
The foundation of Houston Trust Company lies in our unwavering adherence to fiduciary duty, preserving and protecting our clients’ assets and best interests at all times. It is in this very principle that our company’s values take root.
Placing Clients Above All Else
We are committed to the tradition of flexible, attentive, and confidential service.
We strive for low staff turnover to ensure continuity of service.
We offer highly customized and simplified reporting practices.
We operate out of one Houston office, so decision making is always local and responsive.
Independence and Open Architecture
We are completely independent of any other financial institutions and continue to be owned by our founding shareholders.
We are transparent with our fee structure, which has remained unchanged since our founding in 1994.
We do not offer any proprietary investment products, nor are we bound by sales quotas or conflicting lines of business.
Innovative and Collaborative Approach
We structure our internal teams to ensure a timely and expert response to any inquiry or need. Team members are not siloed to departments or accounts.
We have a strong team of internal staff and external partners, such as portfolio managers, auditors and tax reporters, security specialists, and IT providers, ensuring consistent checks and balances.
Honoring Family and Community Legacies
We are committed to serving not only the families and causes of the city of Houston, but also those of the state of Texas.
We believe in investing in the future of Houston and Texas. As a company, we support causes and organizations that align with our values.
We acknowledge that as the giving footprint of our client base grows beyond our Texas roots, our support must grow with it. It is our responsibility to remain actively engaged in trends in family giving and corporate philanthropy.
The oil and gas bust of the late 1980s led to the closure of 174 banks in Texas. As a result, in 1992, James A. Elkins III, a former Executive Vice President of First City Bank, and his father, James A. Elkins, Jr. were desiring to continue providing high quality financial services to Houstonians. They recruited long-time family friend David R. Lummis, who after several years on Wall Street, had recently returned home to Houston. Elkins and Lummis recognized a mutual dissatisfaction with the trust services available to families in Texas, citing impersonal, inflexible, and low-quality service.
In 1994, Houston Trust Company was founded by Elkins, Lummis, and members of six other Houston families who desired a local, independent trust company to serve families like theirs across multiple generations. These founding families pioneered many of the philanthropic, business, and civic institutions that make up the fabric of the Houston community today.
Originally housed in First City Tower in downtown Houston, the Company began with $205 million assets under management and a staff of six, serving a handful of families with a singleness of purpose: not just to manage capital, but serve as a faithful steward of a family’s legacy.
Today, Houston Trust Company is the largest privately owned trust company in Texas with $8.5 billion assets under management and a staff of 42. The Company now serves over 350 relationships throughout the U.S., most of whom share connections to Houston and Texas. The Company operates out of one office in Houston. The original shareholders remain shareholders today, along with the Company’s employees.
In the summer of 2019, Houston Trust Company relocated to 3737 Buffalo Speedway to serve their clients in a convenient, modern office space. That same summer, the Company celebrated its 25th anniversary.
For all that has changed since the company’s founding, what is more remarkable is all that has not: private ownership, a single office operation, strict adherence to fiduciary duty, and an unwavering commitment to stay the course for generations to come. These principles support the delivery of a superior level of service at a low cost to clients.