Mark S. Unger
Mark established his private fiduciary practice in 2017 after assuming the trustee’s role in a substantial family trust. Over the course of that administration, Mark worked with the family lawyers, CPA’s, banks and securities companies to liquidate the family trust into four sub-trusts for the family beneficiaries. His work was lauded by both the professionals involved and the family members who were relieved that Mark took on the full responsibility of trustee.
Mark brings the same qualities he displayed in that administration to his private fiduciary practice. That is: financial expertise, a duty of loyalty to the estate and the beneficiaries, timeliness, and complete transparency in his communications. He sets himself apart with his unwavering dedication to those principles and his ability to work with sometimes difficult circumstances. Mark’s educational and business background are the perfect backdrop for a private fiduciary.
As a lawyer in good standing with the California Bar, Mark is able to recognize all of the legal issues, and sometimes pitfalls, that most trust administrations will encounter. Having been a corporate lawyer, he is able to identify and retain knowledgeable and experienced attorneys and manage their work in an effort to keep trust expenses within reason. His experience has taught him that high quality legal advise prior to the problem is, in the long run, far more practical and frugal than addressing the problem after the fact, which can typically incur far greater legal expense.
As a former real estate executive who managed more than $100M of assets, Mark is well able to assume the portfolio management of trust real estate, insuring those assets are properly managed by experts in the field. Having had the responsibility of a Portfolio Manager overseeing P&L, supervision of asset management and leasing, planning of capital expenditures and operational budget, and financial analysis of refinancings and sales, he comes prepared to serve as the trustee of any estate which includes real estate as one of its assets.
Mark’s nearly twenty years in running a $40M business provided him the opportunity to manage accounting and finance, human resources, legal, banking and risk management. Many of those same issues are present in most of today’s trusts and estates. Having the ability to recognize and address those issues is key to a successful trust and estate administration.
Finally, and as importantly, Mark is able to work with all the divergent interests that trusts often present. His cool, calm and collected method of working with, and managing people serves him and his clients well in sometimes difficult scenarios. Having run though this process with his own family trust, Mark has first hand knowledge and experience of all the emotions that may be present in any trust situation. Unless those emotions and psychological concerns are recognized, appreciated, analyzed and addressed, the successful financial management of the trust is impossible.
A private fiduciary will be one of the more important life decisions you make. Do your homework and choose someone with the requisite skills and someone you have complete confidence in and gives you a high degree of comfort. Mark stands ready, willing and able to meet those standards.
University of California, Berkeley
– Bachelor of Science
– Haas School of Business
University of San Francisco School of Law
– Juris Doctor
– California Supreme Court Law Clerk to Justice Frank Newman
– Admitted to California State Bar December 1979
– California Bar No. 88215
Cal State University, Fullerton
– Professional Fiduciary Management Program
During an almost 40 year professional life, Mark has gained experience and expertise as a lawyer, real estate executive and business executive that provide the perfect background for his undertaking of the private professional fiduciary role.
As business litigation attorney at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, Mark focused on a wide variety of matters including tax and banking cases involving some of the country’s largest financial institutions and their bonding company, Underwriters at Lloyds. As the Vice President of Portfolio Management at Hare Brewer & Kelley, Mark was responsible for the restructuring of the debt and equity of several limited partnerships and the oversight and management of $140M of real estate holdings including office buildings, R&D/Warehouse, retail and apartments. As the President of DP Staff, Mark grew a temporary staffing company’s annual revenues from $4M to $41M while overseeing a staff of 115 employees and an annual temporary pool of approximately 4,300 employees.
San Mateo County Superior Court
– Law Clerk, Law & Motion Calendar
Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold
– Associate Attorney, Business Litigation
Smith Unger Financial
– Registered Investment Advisor and a N.A.S.D. Broker-Dealer
– Series 7 and 49 Licenses
Partin-Bennett Financial Group
– President, Bennett Securities Corp.
– Vice President Bennett Capital Co.
General Western Securities Company
Hare Brewer & Kelley
– Vice President, Portfolio Manager
Private Professional Fiduciary History
In 2016, Mark’s father-in-law passed away leaving a rather sizeable trust in which his wife and her sister were named co-trustees. It was decided by the family that Mark was better suited to handle the duties and responsibilities of trustee, so Mark took over the administration of the trust. In less than one year, working in tandem with counsel, Mark marshalled all of the trust assets including bank accounts, securities accounts, I Bond accounts held at the Federal Reserve, and real estate partnership interests. He readied the family home for sale and sold it. He worked with the CPA’s to file final personal and trust tax returns.
Following the completion of the trust termination administration, the trust attorneys applauded Mark’s work and suggested that he become a private professional fiduciary. Mark did just that and established his practice in 2017.
California Bar Association (Member of the Trusts and Estates Section)
PFAC (Professional Fiduciary Association of California)
EBTEL (East Bay Trust and Estate Lawyers)
East Bay Estate Planning Council
Mt. Diablo Estate Planning Council
Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council