Jump to main content

UNC Alum, Pat Varney Creates Pathways for Wealth Management and Philanthropic Giving

Office of Alumni RelationsOffice of Alumni Relations
October 26, 2023

Pat Varney, ’99, was drawn to the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) for its exceptional business school and smaller class size compared to the larger Universities in Colorado, but what kept Varney was his experience on campus. Making life-long friends, getting involved with Greek life and studying under professors who he keeps in contact with, Varney made the most of his time on campus. 

“UNC helped me develop confidence in myself and tools needed to compete in an ever-changing business world,” said Varney. “I eventually met my future wife at UNC and I have so many fond memories of our time in Greeley.” 

After graduating from UNC, Varney embarked on a career in wealth management and currently serves on the UNC Foundation Board. He stays connected to the Bear network both through his work with alumni and community members, and through his service to the university. 

Working in wealth management, Varney assists his clients—who are sometimes old friends from his days as a UNC student—build a future based on their wants, needs and dreams. Spending time with his clients and building relationships to understand their long-term financial goals allows Varney to create implementable plans for achieving those goals. Seeing his clients work toward making their dreams reality is extremely rewarding for Varney. 

Living and working in Windsor, just a stone’s throw away from Greeley and his alma mater, Varney helps those who are looking to pass on wealth to the causes they care about. Sometimes, that means helping clients find ways to give back to UNC.  

“There are so many efficient ways to create a gifting strategy to UNC, or any charitable organization,” said Varney. “I see so many people wanting to create a scholarship... These can be accomplished via the advancement and foundation support tools provided by the university.” 

There are many ways that Varney guides clients through the giving process depending on their philanthropic vision and personal goals. When it comes to a long-term strategy, some approaches to charitable giving will both help the chosen organization and yield benefits for investors who are subject to high taxes.  

Giving vehicles such as the private family foundation, charitable remainder trust, charitable lead trust and charitable gift annuity all offer some sort of tax benefit that can advance someone’s overall wealth management plan.  

The fastest growing and most popular giving vehicle, donor advised funds, allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction and recommend grants from the fund over time. 

“Donors can contribute to the fund as frequently as they like and then recommend grants to their favorite charitable organizations whenever it makes sense for them. They are easy to establish and to maintain and can be a fit for anyone,” said Varney.  

Varney advises individuals who are beginning to think about charitable giving later in life, to include their certified public accountant, estate planning attorney and financial advisor in those conversations. When there are questions about the deductibility of various types of contributions to a donor advised fund for federal and state tax purposes, this will ensure givers are receiving personalized and accurate advice. 

Helping clients establish and create their charitable intentions, Varney feels that some of the most gratifying grants he has been a part of satisfy a client’s wishes to achieve.  

“Most grantors feel a strong sense of satisfaction giving away a portion of their wealth while they are alive and can see the reactions of the lives that they changed and improved,” said Varney. 

There are many ways that individuals can give to the charitable organizations closest to their heart. With benefits ranging from an immediate or delayed tax deduction to continuing to receive fixed payments from a gift, there’s likely to be a giving option that aligns with everyone’s specific philanthropic vision and financial goals. Visit the UNC Planned Giving website to learn more about philanthropic giving and how you can build your legacy. To get in touch with UNC Development with questions or to talk more about giving options, email gift.planning@unco.edu or call 970-351-2551. 

Patrick Varney 

Branch Manager/Financial Advisor 
Bank of Colorado Investment Services 
1041 Main St. Windsor, CO 80550 

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Bank of Colorado and Bank of Colorado Investment Services are not registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value.