First Financial Trust, A Subsidiary of the Savings Bank: Your Best Interest Is Our Only Interest

Return to top of page

Our Story


Your best interest is our only interest.

The words "Your best interest is our only interest" are more than just our tagline. To us, these words make up the heart and soul of who we are. They guide our mission and steer everything we do to help our clients every day.

Here at First Financial Trust (FFT), we put each client's best interests first because our clients are like family. Every relationship is unique and each client's needs are deeply personal. As part of the FFT family, one of our dedicated investment professionals will be your trusted investment partner. No impersonal call centers or one-size-fits-all investments here. We deliver honest, proactive, personalized guidance and advice. We are always thinking and acting based on what's best for you, your family, and your future.


Your True Fiduciary.

Fact: Not all investment professionals are created equal.

When choosing the right investment partner, one of the most important questions you need to ask is, "Are you a true fiduciary?" The answer from many financial advisors and investment professionals is unequivocally: no. As one of about fifty nationally chartered trust companies in the United States, First Financial Trust is a true fiduciary. This means we are always thinking and acting in each client's best interest and always putting our clients first, over and above any individual or firm goals.

Being a true fiduciary is not only the key driver of our company's mission, it also means that we are held to a higher standard - the Fiduciary Standard - which requires that we meet stringent rules and regulations defined by the U.S. Investment Advisers Act of 1940.


How does First Financial Trust compare
to other financial management options?

First Financial Trust


Self-Service Technology Platforms

Registered Investment Advisors

> Operates as a true fiduciary and acts in client’s best interests

Green Dot Red Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Held to the Fiduciary Standard

Green Dot Red Dot Red Dot Green Dot

> Regulated by the OCC, not the SEC

Green Dot Red Dot Red Dot Red Dot

> Manages total financial relationship (trusts, investments, estates)

Green Dot Red Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Communicates pro-actively; provides investment advice & counsel regularly

Green Dot Yellow Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Holds assets in client’s name, not firm name

Green Dot Yellow Dot Yellow Dot Yellow Dot

> Discloses completely transparent fee structure

Green Dot Yellow Dot Green Dot Yellow Dot

> Provides experienced advisors & administrators that directly manage each investment account

Green Dot Yellow Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Dedicated, personal service – client always has “someone to call”; financial professionals available to speak with clients and answer questions

Green Dot Yellow Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Accessible and convenient. Easy, straightforward communication.

Green Dot Yellow Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Human - team knows clients as people, not account numbers

Green Dot Yellow Dot Red Dot Yellow Dot

> Nationally chartered trust company – one of only about fifty in the U.S.

Green Dot Red Dot Red Dot Red Dot

As we said before, being a true fiduciary is more than governance or regulations, it's how we run our business and why we are so passionate about working with our clients every day.

When it comes to your money, your family and your future, you deserve a true fiduciary to ensure your best interests always come first.


Long-term relationships built on 100% trust and transparency.

Honesty, transparency, and communication are hallmarks of the FFT approach. We help our clients protect and grow their assets through trust administration, investment management, and estate settlement services. We listen carefully to understand each client's unique situation and goals, and then bring decades of market experience to the table to develop a holistic, completely customized plan to meet those specific needs.

We get to know each client personally, building strong relationships and spending time regularly talking about life changes that can affect a personal financial plan. We pride ourselves on our accessibility. This means you can always reach your dedicated FFT investment professional, who knows you as a person, not an account number. Our customer-focused approach ensures objectivity and transparency and allows us to focus entirely on the best strategies to meet your goals.




Brendan Szocik Image

Brendan M. Szocik, CFA

President and Chief Executive Officer
Email Brendan See Bio


Joseph Giovino Image

Joseph A. Giovino

Executive Vice President and Senior Investment Officer
Email Joseph See Bio
James Hohman Image

James D. Hohman

Senior Vice President and Investment Officer
Email James See Bio
Rick Ciolino Image

Rick Ciolino

Vice President and Investment Officer
Email Rick See Bio

Trust Administration

Kathryn Boyle Image

Kathryn Boyle, J.D., CTFA

Senior Vice President and Chief Fiduciary Officer
Email Kathryn See Bio
Peter Armbruster Image

Peter C. Armbruster, CTFA, CFSC

Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer
Email Peter See Bio
Janice Casoli Image

Janice M. Casoli

Senior Vice President
Email Janice See Bio

Trust Operations

Mercy Smith

Mercy Smith

Trust Operations Associate
Email Mercy See Bio
Michelle  Kelley

Michelle Kelley

Trust Administrative Assistant
Email Michelle See Bio