Melissa A Sommer,

Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer & President

Darwin is not the only dog in Melissa’s life. In addition to her resident dog, Bobby, she and her family have fostered over 50 dogs over the years. Melissa not only has a big heart. She also has the passion, the skills and the can-do attitude to make things happen in a big way. As Darwin Trust’s chief executive, she brings a broad and deep background in investment strategies and products to her responsibility of building the firm’s overall vision and strategy.


Prior to joining Darwin Trust, Melissa was president and chief executive officer of First Financial Trust, N.A., responsible for the investment strategy of a national chartered trust company with $400M under management across over 800 relationships. Earlier she served in portfolio management roles at Bank of America’s US Trust and Columbia Management Group and State Street Global Advisors. She also served as a senior fixed income research analyst at Salomon Brothers, Inc., and an audit supervisor at Coopers & Lybrand. Melissa received a BBA in accounting and English from The University of Notre Dame and an MBA with a concentration in finance from The University of Notre Dame Graduate School of Business.

She is a member of the CFA Institute, Boston Estate Planning Council, Boston Security Analysts Society, Women in ETFs and AICPA.  She is the regional representative of the The University of Notre Dame Monogram Club and is a former advisory board member of the The University of Notre Dame Mendoza School. She is a commission member for the City of Newton Parks & Recreation Department. She has also served on the Newton West Little League and Burr Community Afterschool Program boards. She is a member of the volunteer staff for the Pan-Mass Challenge, and she and her family have rode and volunteered for over 20 years. She lives in Auburndale with her husband, three kids and, of course, Bobby. She and her family are avid bikers, skiers and golfers.

Why I’m so passionate about Darwin Trust

I value the approach we take as a true fiduciary, looking at our clients’ complete situations to help ensure we’re working in their best interest.

How I define the Darwin Difference

The Darwin Difference is our holistic approach to doing what’s right by our clients.