As you may recall from a prior announcement, our founding partner, Giff Lehman, retired this month, so we have a few words we would like to share.
By way of background, Giff grew up in Seattle, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon, where he also met his wife, Pam, with whom he has two grown children. Following school, he spent 20 years in institutional money management in New York City, which included significant pension plan management and derivative strategies. In 1997, Giff, Pam, and their two children moved to Pebble Beach, which is when Giff started Integris out of his home. 23 years later, and after 43 years in the industry, Giff quietly receded from Integris, which he leaves as a 13 person firm managing nearly $400 million and serving clients in 12 states.
Over these recent 23 years, in additional to Integris, Giff:
- Finished raising his children with Pam
- Obtained his CFP® designation
- Taught investment classes at Carmel Adult School
- Served as the President of the local chapter of the Financial Planning Association twice
- Organized an annual three day financial planning continuing education conference for years
- Served on the boards of Pacific Repertory Theater, York School, the Community Foundation for Monterey County, and Center for Photographic Art
- Served on many, mostly investment, committees of those same organizations as well as Monterey Peninsula College, Cal State University Monterey Bay, Montage Health, and the Monterey Museum of Art
Giff was way ahead of his time in how he started Integris. From day one, it was structured as a fiduciary, and as a fee-only, entirely independent, comprehensive financial planning and investment management firm. This structure is still somewhat rare today, but was virtually non-existent then, and remains core to Integris’ tenets. Maybe Giff’s only misstep in 1997 was initially naming the firm Lehman Advisory Services, which Lehman Brothers did not care for…however, in retrospect, it seems Giff got the last laugh.
More important than his industriousness, Giff has a moral character that would inspire anyone. He is kind, compassionate, fair, honest, open-minded, grounded, logical, intelligent, and humble. These qualities are unwavering in Giff, and perfectly characterize who you want to run a business with, who you want to be working beside, and who you want to have doing your financial planning. And his technology prowess, well that’s another story, but is also unwavering…, and did we mention he takes teasing very well?
Even though Giff has officially retired, he remains a significant owner in Integris and continues to be a member of the firm’s Investment Committee, so we are blessed to still have his involvement and influence, and are grateful for what he did and who he has been both to us individually and to the firm over the past 23 years.
Though we will miss his daily presence, we are thrilled to see him sail off into his well-deserved retirement, which will be full of family, including his granddaughter, photography, travel, genealogy, and community work.
Giff, go enjoy, and we will be here to mind the shop and continue your legacy!
With Gratitude and Admiration,
Mike Leavy, Allison Barrientos, Kevin Mahoney