Building Buckingham: How Buckingham Got Its Name

I’m pretty frequently asked the question, “Where did the Buckingham name originate? Sounds kind of regal. Anything to do with Buckingham Palace?”

Well, in a way, yes. But really, no. It’s a convoluted story.

In the early 1980s, my good friend, Paul Forman, owned and lived in a duplex on Buckingham Drive in Clayton, Mo. As you might already know, Paul – a University City High School classmate and Mizzou fraternity brother – later became one of the four founding partners of Buckingham Asset Management. Buckingham is one of several streets located in a neighborhood known as the Moorlands. The original developers of the Moorlands clearly had their hearts in “Merry Olde England,” as most of the streets in the area are connected to royal places or names of English renown, such as Oxford, Byron, York and Cromwell. And much of the architecture of the residences – single as well as multi-family dwellings – reflects this style.

So, in a way, our company’s name does have a tenuous royal connection. But the real reason for choosing Buckingham as the name of our wealth management company originates from a much more pragmatic rationale.

Paul had become tired of working as a corporate executive, so in the mid-1980s he decided to go into real estate and launch a rental property investment company. At that time, I was a partner at the CPA firm then known as Rubin, Brown, Gornstein & Co. (now RubinBrown). Along with one of my partners, Dan Bindler, we and our wives decided to help Paul accomplish his goal of starting a new business. We purchased his duplex on Buckingham, thus providing him with the financing to kick-start his new career. And what did Paul name his new company?

Buckingham Properties!

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Stuart standing in front of the duplex located at 7552 Buckingham Drive in the Moorlands neighborhood of Clayton. The name of our company, now celebrating 20 years in business, originated with this building.

Paul became very successful in his new endeavor and went on to acquire numerous rental properties in Clayton and University City, from which he and his investors reaped substantial financial gains. One of Paul’s primary investors, and a significant participant in Buckingham Properties, was Steve Funk. It probably won’t surprise many of you to hear that both Bert Schweizer’s CPA firm and my own handled the accounting and tax work for Paul’s company. We didn’t know it then, but we “Fab Four” were well on our way to joining the new evidence-based world of passive wealth management, driven by the belief that by doing the right thing for our clients, we could help them achieve their most important financial goals.

Still, how did Buckingham Properties turn into Buckingham Asset Management? Interestingly enough, the company’s initial name was going to be Littany Financial. In 1994, Bert had filed paperwork to start his own asset management company, which he planned to call Littany Financial after the street he and his family lived on – Littany Lane. At the same time, however, Paul and Steve were in the process of closing down Buckingham Properties. The timing was right, and the four of us came together to form a more complete asset and wealth management company. Because the name Buckingham was an already known and respected entity, we thought it made good sense to enter the world of investment advice using it rather than Littany Financial. We thought the name would be recognized and come with positive energy. Happily, Paul agreed to pass on the Buckingham name to our new venture. And as a result, we were better able to approach his successful and high-income investors, introducing them to our new company and its unique asset management strategy. A number of our early clients came from this group. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My wife, Susie, and I still pass by the old Buckingham duplex on our weekend walks through the Moorlands neighborhood. And although we no longer own the building (we and the Bindlers sold the duplex back in the 1990s) memories of its influential past always bring a smile to our faces.

 

The opinions expressed by featured authors are their own and may not accurately reflect those of the BAM ALLIANCE. This article is for general information only and is not intended to serve as specific financial, accounting or tax advice.

© 2014, The BAM ALLIANCE

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