Aquila Group of Funds congratulates portfolio manager James (“JT”) Thompson, who—following a long and distinguished career—retired, effective December 31, 2023. Mr. Thompson’s investment career spanned nearly 40 years, including the past 14 years with Aquila, during which time he held numerous esteemed positions. We thank JT for his valuable contributions throughout his tenure, and for his unwavering dedication to the interests of the Funds’ shareholders.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mr. Thompson temporarily left the Beehive State to attend California State University – Fullerton. His career, which was focused primarily on municipal debt, began in 1985 at Financial Market Securities in Orange, California, where he served as a municipal bond trader, as well as a financial and operations principal. He also created a dealer sales desk for municipal underwriting. In 1987, he joined Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles as a municipal bond trader and underwriter, and helped establish a municipal securities desk for Wedbush’s correspondent brokerage business. In 1991, Mr. Thompson returned to Salt Lake City and joined First Security Bank/Wells Fargo Brokerage Services as a Senior Vice President in the roles of a municipal bond trader, underwriter and member of the municipal credit committee.
It was in 2009 that Mr. Thompson began his tenure with Aquila, serving as the locally-based lead portfolio manager of Aquila Tax-Free Fund For Utah. He was also a member of the portfolio management teams for Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona (since 2017), Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky (since 2017) and Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon (since 2023). In addition, Mr. Thomson was a Vice President of Aquila Municipal Trust (since 2013), and a member of Aquila’s investment and credit committees.
Throughout his life, Mr. Thompson has been devoted to his family and community. Now living in Bountiful, Utah, he and his wife Cinde have four children—two sons, and two daughters—and are proud grandparents as well. Mr. Thompson is also devoted to his church, where he volunteers his time at the local food pantry, among other charitable activities. One of his major retirement plans is to dedicate even more time feeding and supporting those in need. An avid golfer, he also plans to spend time on the golf course, as well as further developing his fly fishing skills. He and Cinde will remain busy babysitting their young granddaughter, and traveling abroad to visit one of their sons, who currently resides in Finland.
At Aquila Group of Funds, the hallmark of our time-tested municipal bond fund strategy has been our local presence in the markets in which we invest. We believe that our disciplined investment approach and focus on teamwork have ensured a seamless transition in the portfolio management of the Funds.
Please join us as we express our sincere appreciation to Mr. Thompson for his valuable contributions and wish him well in his retirement.