From delivering papers in deep snow at the age of seven to navigating the landscape for senior living today, Lancaster Pollard co-founder T. Brian Pollard is no stranger to adapting to changing conditions.
Since its founding in 1988, Lancaster Pollard has grown to encompass an umbrella of companies specializing in senior housing finance: Lancaster Pollard & Company, Lancaster Pollard Mortgage Company and Lancaster Pollard Investment Advisory Group. (Pollard now serves as president and CEO of the mortgage company and as senior managing director of Lancaster Pollard & Co.)
Today, Pollard is leading the company through what promises to be several years of change. He shared with SHN his views on the challenges that lie ahead, what brought him to senior housing in the first place, and what his daughter has in common with the nation’s 40th president.
The biggest challenge in the senior housing industry is…. continued pressure on government payor programs and the introduction of new payment models that will force operators to find even greater efficiencies while maintaining clinical excellence. The shift from volume-based care to value-based care will require greater collaboration between providers across the continuum of senior housing and health care to ensure residents reside in the most cost effective and appropriate setting to achieve the best outcomes.
The future of seniors housing is….very bright due to exceptional long term demand characteristics from a growing senior population, the emergence in past years of new options for senior housing and care that have broadened the base of potential consumers, and the positive impact new technology will have on operations and the general well-being of residents.
People should seek a career in senior housing because…. of the stability from growing demand; the intellectual challenge of a dynamic industry that incorporates elements of hospitality, housing, and health care; the entrepreneurial opportunity available to bright minds that can help to shape future service models; and the satisfaction of contributing to the quality of life for our country’s senior population.
Before I entered this industry I was…. a banker in the capital markets group of a large commercial bank. This was a great experience that gave me exposure to many different industries and a sound understanding of the capital markets but also fueled my desire to be in a smaller, more nimble and entrepreneurial environment.
I entered this industry because….of the realization that complex industries like senior living require in-depth knowledge to serve well. This is particularly true in the world of finance, where deep understanding of opportunities and risks are vital to sound underwriting decisions and the delivery of measurable value to clients. It was the need to develop this broad industry knowledge through specialization that prompted the formation of our company in 1988.
My first job was…. a newspaper delivery boy in Louisville, Kentucky. Not sure how that business is handled today, but back in the 70’s you were an independent contractor that required a young person to learn concepts of billing, collections, customer relations (people are very particular about their morning paper!) and develop resourcefulness. I still remember the challenge of delivering the Sunday paper on cold winter mornings in deep snow before sunrise to satisfy my early-rising customers.
My first car was…. a yellow Opel station wagon that I purchased for $400. The car lasted about nine months before its final resting spot on the side of the interstate which left me with a rather long walk home.
My favorite vacation was…. a family boat trip to the out-islands of the Exumas, Bahamas. Hundreds of sparsely populated islands that are ringed with white beaches and clear waters teeming with sea life. The few Bahamians you encounter are incredibly friendly people who are the most skilled seamen and fisherman I have ever met….and then there’s the fresh-baked Bahamian bread!
If I could meet anyone past or present it would be…. Ronald Reagan. Regardless of your political beliefs, he was an effective Chief Executive that helped restore pride and confidence in the greatness of the United States. My first daughter got his last name.
The craziest thing I’ve ever done was…. to fly three friends in a small Cessna 30 years ago as a newly minted young pilot to attend the Preakness horse race in Maryland. You have the feeling that you’re bullet-proof when young, and looking back on it my friends had no idea how much peril we were all in.
Interview by Elizabeth Ecker