New Ownership, Same Values


When Tom Newman, owner of
Thomas A. Newman & Associates, PA, decided it was time to sell his company, he and his wife, Barbara, couldn’t have imagined a better buyer than someone who has been a dedicated employee, colleague, and friend for 23 years.

(Back row, L-R) Rick Erickson, Fred O’Brien.
(Front row, L-R) Lil Shelton, Polly Watson, and Tom Newman.

In May, 1985, I was in need of a secretarial person to act as secretary, office manager, and administrative assistant,” Tom Newman says. “Polly Watson applied and I hired her to start immediately. It was the best business decision I’ve ever made. She has always treated my customers as if they were her own and now, I’m proud to say, they’re hers.”

“We have children who go to school here and we live here. We would never do anything
to jeopardize our good name.”     —Polly Watson

Polly began her career at Thomas Newman & Associates in 1985 when she was just 21.

“I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life yet,” Polly says. “As time went by, however, I discovered I really enjoyed this line of work and chose to make a career out of it. After nearly 25 years in the business with Mr. Newman, I feel like I’ve been mentored by the best there is. Taking over the company seemed like the next logical step.”

As a woman business owner, Polly says she especially enjoys educating other women on investing so they can make good decisions regarding their own retirement.

“There are a lot of hungry representatives out there who just want to make a sale,” she says. “I take pride in doing what’s best for each and every client.”

Polly, who holds her life, health, variable annuity, general securities license, and is a Financial Paraplanner, says she couldn’t imagine a stranger taking over the business she helped build. She serves as the office’s general securities principal for Mutual Service Corporation, an independent broker/dealer.

“We’re like a family,” Polly says. “I didn’t like the thought of someone I didn’t know taking over, especially not knowing how they might treat our clients and employees.”

Of course, Polly is quick to point out that although she is the new owner of Thomas A. Newman & Associates, Tom Newman, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, CAP isn’t stepping out permanently. 

“He’s still very active in the business and works full time servicing his own investment clients,” she says. “I don’t see him ever slowing down.”

Born and raised in Leesburg, Polly knows and understands the Lake County area well. She serves as an ambassador for the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce and is a new member of the Leesburg Rotary Club. 

“My staff, associates, and I call this area home,” she says. “We have children who go to school here and we live here. We would never do anything to jeopardize our good name.  Our goal is to provide the best information and services possible to better the community for the future.”

A complete insurance and financial services company, Thomas A. Newman & Associates offers financial and estate planning, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, IRAs, and more. The firm also specializes in employee benefits for companies ranging from four to a thousand employees.

“For both small and large companies, we offer complete benefits including medical and dental insurance, disability, 401(k), IRAs, and more,” Polly adds.

After a quarter of a century in business, Thomas A. Newman & Associates has handled literally thousands of transactions, making for many satisfied clients.

To assist with the day-to-day workings of a successful company, Polly is surrounded by her talented, competent staff and associates.

Lil Shelton, staff member, who earned her BSBA in international management has been with the company for 12 years and is a licensed life and health agent. 

Fred O’Brien, CLU, ChFC, Associate, has been in the life insurance and financial planning business since 1970 and helps clients work toward their goals. Independent life and health agent Rick Erickson also works out of the Leesburg office. Polly’s associates also include several independent contractors who are not only knowledgeable professionals, but also service-oriented to assist and educate their clients. They have independent branch offices located in Tallahassee, Gainesville, Longwood, Winter Park, and Kenansville.

Polly prides herself on providing  quality customer service.

“If you leave a message, we assure you it will be returned within 24 hours, if not the same day,” she says. “We’re an old-fashioned office with old-fashioned values.”

(Click on logo below for website link)

Securities and Advisory Services offered through Mutual Service Corporation. Mutual Service Corporation and LPL Financial are affiliated companies and are members of FINRA/SIPC.  Thomas A. Newman & Associates PA is not affiliated with Mutual Service Corporation and LPL Financial.

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