Wilmington Trust: Investing in Community

wilmington trust

Wilmington Trust: Investing in Community

As the head of Wilmington Trust’s Long Island division, Dan Shaughnessy is excited about creating a more modern, reimagined version of private wealth management in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

“This is where I’ve raised my children and I’ve spent pretty much my career on Long Island: This is home for me,” says Shaughnessy, a certified exit planning and mergers and acquisitions advisor.

In February 2020, Wilmington Trust of Long Island launched with a kick-off event at Stony Brook University’s Wang Center. Then Covid-19 happened and Shaughnessy’s team pivoted to virtual relationship management and brand building, and effectively used the time to learn about the local business community and what’s important to its members.

Founded in 1903, Wilmington Trust has about $201 billion in assets and $165 billion assets under management.

“We are representatives of a global wealth management firm and a very respected, strong, safe enterprise: M&T Bank,” Shaughnessy says.

As a provider of wealth and institutional services for M&T Bank, Wilmington Trust is a holistic management firm, offering investment and cash management; planning: tax mitigation, asset protection, philanthropy, and family governance; and private banking.


What sets Wilmington Trust apart from other investment firms is its interdisciplinary team of financial advisors.

“At the end of the day our business is a relationship business,” Shaughnessy says, adding the team is interdisciplinary and serves much like an advisory board to clients, making prudent customized recommendations, to help clients accomplish their goals.

“We are fond of the phrase ‘providing at times advice on advice,’” Shaughnessy says. “Often, wealthy families, successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and nonprofit organizations have a team of advisors. And they just want a second set of eyes to make sure that what they’re being given is accurate and the best for them.”

Highly accredited, experienced, and educated, Wilmington Trust team members are part of the fabric of the community. Investments, Wealth Planning, and Private Banking.

“We have a team of more than 50 planning experts whose expertise range from tax mitigation to matrimonial planning to family governance and philanthropy,” he says, noting that the Wilmington Trust team includes their Chief Economist and Director of Investment Strategy Meghan Shue, who’s a frequent guest on CNBC and a regular presence on Long Island, and Alvina Lo, Chief Wealth Strategist, an ACTEC trust and estates attorney, who often speaks at national conferences and resides on Long Island.

wilmington trust
L to R: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison, and Dan Shaughnessy


In 2018, Shaughnessy founded the Business Owners Advisory Council to help support the Long Island business community.

“We’re trying to empower business owners in our communities through education and shared experience,” he says. “We do that through virtual programming and in-person workshops.”

Recently, the BOAC entered into a partnership with Inkwiry, a financial software company, and will introduce the BOAC Financial Literacy Initiative to about 1,200 students next semester at Stony Brook University.

Sponsoring this financial literacy initiative, Wilmington Trust and M&T Bank hope to expand outreach to include high schools in underserved Long Island communities. The BOAC will also support a mergers and acquisitions summit, as well as a workshop to empower local nonprofit organizations.

“Our hope is that we improve outcomes and enhance lives,” Shaughnessy says. In that same vein, Wilmington Trust and M&T Bank plan to expand their outreach to underserved Long Island communities and nonprofit organizations.


Living in the community, team members of Wilmington Trust truly care about people and often, along with members of their families, engage in volunteer days.

“Our day-to-day jobs align with those values of caring about the members of the community as a whole, but our volunteer days are a more direct way of expressing that,” Shaughnessy says.

Recently, Shaughnessy and three dozen colleagues volunteered at Island Harvest, helping to feed about 1,000 people.

“It was great to look down an assembly line and see people in our green M&T T-shirts stuffing boxes to feed families on Long Island — veterans and senior citizens — who otherwise would not be able to eat.”

The company plans to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity and volunteer for other organizations throughout Long Island, from western Nassau to eastern Suffolk.

“Our corporate volunteer days provide my team and I with opportunities to express our commitment to the Long Island community in a unique and meaningful way,” Shaughnessy says.

“Our goal is to have a positive impact,” Shaughnessy says. “We volunteer to make a difference.”


By the end of this year, Wilmington Trust expects to have dedicated office space in Melville, Hauppauge, and Westhampton Beach.

In the meantime, Shaughnessy’s team works out of the M&T Bank Long Island headquarters in Hauppauge.

“We look forward to introducing professional wealth managers dedicated to serving the local communities throughout Long Island, including both Forks on the East End,” he adds.

Adds Shaughnessy, “We are actively recruiting for proven wealth management professionals who are as passionate about making a difference in our communities. I really truly believe the best is yet to come for our Island, certainly from our perspective as the Business Owner Advisory Council, M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust.”

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