A family focused on helping others to make sound financial decisions since 1984.
Dr. Geoffrey Bullard set out to find a financial planning strategy to meet his own family's financial needs. He discovered that what has now become known as "financial planning" as a basis for sound investment management was unknown in the early 1970s. "Well, then," he said, "I'll have to learn to do it myself." After seven years as research director at both small and large Wall Street firms, the present company was born along with co-founder, Charles McLeod. Charlie McLeod, due to unforeseen medical complications, died very early in the development of the business. By maintaining his name in the name of the firm, we continue to honor his necessary contribution during those early days of the firm’s founding.
In the Beginning
The firm's beginnings started in an office prominently positioned at 575 Madison Avenue in NYC between East 56th and 57th streets. For many years, Geoffrey commuted between Albany and New York each week. In 1988, with the assistance of a satellite dish to receive real-time stock market data, Geoffrey moved the firm to Albany. The office was relocated to a small office located in the historic Pastures district at 111 Green Street, Albany, New York. By 1993, the staff had outgrown the existing office space and the company was moved to a much larger office in what had once been Public School # 3 on 30 Watervliet Avenue in Albany. In 2005, the building was sold and converted into the Henry Johnson Charter School, thus necessitating a move to 194 Washington, Albany were the company currently resides.
As is often the case with small family businesses, Geoffrey's two children became a part of the operation of the firm from a very young age. Starting in 1986 at the age of 15, son Barnaby took an early interest in investing and spent his summers in Manhattan working with Geoffrey and learning the business. Starting in 1987, daughter Thessaly began spending school holidays assisting with special projects. It became an annual Thanksgiving tradition to send boxes of freshly picked apples from a local orchard to clients, and Thessaly was recruited to help with hand-packing each box.
In addition to Charlie McLeod, there have been a number of key employees who played a pivotal role in the firm's history. In 1992, Timothy Briney joined the firm and added the financial planning program for independent schools. After twenty years of service, Tim retired June 30, 2012. In 2000, Nancy Gardeneer joined the firm. Nancy and Geoffrey had known each other going back to their days working together at First Albany, a corporation where Geoffrey was research director. After earning Bachelor's and Master's Degrees at Cornell Thessaly rejoined the firm full time in 2003. Barnaby rejoined after five years in the United States Navy and five years in a west coast investment firm. He has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester and a Business degree for San Diego State University.
Well into our second generation, Bullard, McLeod continues to honor its commitment to provide objective, fee-only advice, emphasizing the preservation of capital. The firm has built a strong regional connection with a world-wide reach. We continue to hold on to the values and ideals that have best served our clients in the past while incorporating new technologies and talent to better serve our clients now and well into the future.(photo credit - Marty Kerins)
In the 30 years since the firm's founding, we have celebrated a number of milestones:
- 2004 - The company celebrated our 20th anniversary by organizing a concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall that drew an audience of over 800.
- 2008 - BMA celebrated our 25th anniversary by sponsoring a world-premier concert, a play, and a juried art exhibit at three local venues respectively: The Egg, a center for the performing arts located on the Empire State Plaza, Capital Repertory Theater, and the Albany Institute of History of Art.
- 2009 - BMA gained Women Minority Business Certification.
- 2011 - Thessaly was the recipient of the Business Review’s 40 Under Forty award.
A Family Tradition
Supporting the arts is a family tradition and a major commitment of Bullard, McLeod. This commitment evolved from Geoffrey's personal interest in knowing artists and is made evident by a large art collection on display throughout our offices. Over the years, we are proud to count as clients nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and not-for-profit organizations. We continue to support the arts and a variety of not-for-profit organizations because of the essential role these serve in elevating the quality of life in the Capital Region.
A Scottish Thistle
The incorporation of a Scottish thistle as the company logo was chosen for two reasons. First, the thistle represents the resilience of the Scots who, along with their national flower, are able to thrive in a difficult climate. This is a fitting symbol of Bullard, McLeod’s investment management style. It is also a tribute to our late founder, Charles Anderson McLeod, Jr., a Scotsman, who passed away eighteen months after the firm was founded. His friendship and business acumen have been instrumental in the company's success.