Bridgeford Trust Company enthusiastically announces the expansion of our leadership team to include Ashley Blake as President and General Counsel. Ashley has multiple years of experience assisting clients and their advisors with the power and sophistication of South Dakota’s modern trust laws.

An attorney by training, Ashley has a deep understanding of South Dakota trust law and trust company law. Prior to joining the Bridgeford team, she practiced for multiple years at Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz, & Smith LLP – one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious law firms in South Dakota. Ashley specialized in South Dakota trust and trust company law at her firm, regularly working with attorneys, advisors, and clients across the nation and around the world. Ashley understands the nuances of South Dakota trust law and ways it can be utilized for the benefit of Bridgeford’s clients, both domestically and internationally.

In her prior position, Ashley regularly assisted her clients with a vast array of trust administration issues including: modification or reformation, decanting, division or severance, merger or consolidation, termination, removal or appointment of trustee, advisor, or trust protector, court approval of accountings, virtual representation questions, and changing the situs and governing law of trusts. She also regularly reviewed trusts drafted by out-of-state attorneys for South Dakota validity and provided guidance to her trust administration clients on the requirements of South Dakota trust law. Helping her clients achieve their objectives both non-judicially and through formal court approval, Ashley has worked with numerous ultra-high net worth clients and their attorneys and advisors on a variety of trust issues, from consent-based matters to contested litigation.

In addition to her trust administration experience, Ashley is an industry leader on South Dakota trust company compliance and regularly assisted trust companies, both public and private, with regulatory compliance matters in her prior role. Ashley earned her Bachelors, with Honors and a double major, from Harvard University and graduated first in her class and with Sterling Honors from the University of South Dakota Law School, where she received numerous scholarships and awards.

Bringing a wealth of trust and trust company experience to the team, Ashley will serve on both Bridgeford Trust Company’s Board of Managers and Trust Administrative Committees. She will also lead all of Bridgeford Trust Company’s South Dakota operations from our office in Sioux Falls. Ashley will specifically oversee and work closely with Bridgeford Trust Company’s trust administrative and compliance teams in both our Pierre and Sioux Falls offices, focus extensively on strategic plan implementation, and support the company’s growth, business development, and legal initiatives.

David A. Warren, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, comments,

“As one of Bridgeford’s trusted and reliable external legal advisors for years, I have directly experienced Ashley’s tremendous legal acumen, smart and practical approach to problem solving, superior knowledge of South Dakota law, and intimate understanding of trust company operations and compliance – all skills and attributes that will make her an outstanding member of Bridgeford Trust Company’s leadership – and we could not be more thrilled to welcome her to the team as we continue our growth across the nation and around the world.”

Please join us in welcoming Ashley to the Bridgeford team! As she begins her new role with us officially on February 1, 2022, we encourage you to reach out to get to know Ashley and see how her unique personal and professional background make her ideally suited for her new role at Bridgeford. For questions or further information on our continued growth, don’t hesitate to contact us via our contact page or by calling (605) 224-9189.