San Diego-based businessman and philanthropist Irwin Zahn has always believed the combination of hard work and entrepreneurship is a great model for success. “It’s about developing and utilizing individual talent without a limit until you arrive beyond your destination,” Zahn says. “To achieve your goals and then share that success with others.”
It’s an ideology Zahn first embraced as a young entrepreneur in New York City, when he founded Autosplice in 1954. The company was originally called General Staple and began as a business that sold stapling machines. When a customer asked if the company could splice two electrical wires together, Zahn took a chance and tried to find a solution. The difficult task culminated with thecreation of a machine that uses an innovative, patented “splice band,” which wedges and crimpswires together for a complete and reliable connection. As a result, the company morphed into Autosplice, a worldwide manufacturer of interconnect terminals, component assembles and automated applicator systems considered vital for the electronic, automotive and telecommunication
industries. As the company grew, Autosplice expanded to San Diego, eventually relocating its headquarters.
“Young engineering students are creative people. I’d like for these young people to develop, on their own, new products and create new processes.” - Irwin Zahn
Last year, shortly before the sale of Autosplice in August, Zahn began talking to Marivi Shivers, a Wealth Management Advisor with The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank. At the time, Zahn was working with several other banks, but Shivers helped Zahn identify how he could potentially meet his unique philanthropic and estate planning goals.
“What I really needed was hands-on support that’s local,” Zahn says. “If I need something done financially, I want to pick up the phone and have somebody in person on a one-to-one basis.”
A Comprehensive Approach
In addition to helping Zahn with his personal and business accounts, Shivers worked with Zahn’s tax and legal advisors to implement various philanthropic strategies. The Private Client Reserve assisted Zahn with setting up and managing a donor-advised fund through the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego which helps finance local projects such as libraries and parks. They also helped Zahn infuse his non-profit public benefit corporation, The Moxie Foundation, with assets from the sale of his company.