Overview

David leads the delivery of investment, planning, fiduciary, administrative, and family office services to a select group of clients with a special interest in family foundations and family philanthropy.

Previously, David practiced as a tax accountant for seven years at regional firms that managed the tax, audit, and general accounting needs of wealthy families and their closely held businesses. He then formed his own tax advisory firm to offer strategic advice and family office services before joining Sentinel Trust.

David is also an instructor in Rice University’s financial planning program and teaches income tax strategy to students sitting for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam.

Professional Background:

  • Managing Member, Smith & Zahn CPAs, PLLC, Houston, TX (2013–2014) – Managed a local public accounting firm to serve the tax and accounting needs of high-net-worth individuals and closely held businesses.
  • Tax Accountant, Carolyn Allen CPA, PC, Houston, TX (2010–2013)
  • Staff, Maddox, Thomson, & Associates, PC, Houston, TX (2009–2010)
  • Staff, Weinstein Spira & Company, PC, Houston, TX (2007–2010)

Professional Organizations:

  • Houston Estate and Financial Forum, Board Member
  • Houston Business and Estate Planning Counsel, Member
  • Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, Member

Education

University of Houston, BBA, cum laude (2007)

Certifications

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certification (2015)

Certified Public Accountant (2009)

IN THE COMMUNITY

Community Involvement:

  • Rice University CFP® Certification Education Program, Instructor
  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Commercial Exhibits Committeeman
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Advisory Board Member
  • Casa de Esperanza Young Professionals, Former Member
  • Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) Houston, Former Board Chairman
  • Knights of Columbus, Member
  • Holocaust Museum of Houston, Audit Committee Member
TALKS

Talks:

  • “Accounting for Fiduciary Entities,” Texas Banking Association’s Graduate Trust School, July 2020 and July 2021
  • “Personal Trust Administration from A to Z,” Midland College Foundation & Midland Memorial Foundation Estate Planning Seminar, October 2021
INSIGHTS

WATCH: Year-End Charitable Giving – December 2021

In this month’s video update, Sentinel Trust Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Officer David L. Zahn, CPA, CFP® and Senior Investment Officer Katherine M. Rose, MBA, CFA discuss frequently asked questions regarding year-end charitable giving and the ways in which clients can optimize their year-end donations.

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WATCH: All About Family Foundations – October 2021

Senior Investment Officer Katherine M. Rose, MBA, CFA is joined by Senior Relationship Officer David L. Zahn, CPA, CFP® in discussing private family foundations in this month’s video update.

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On Watch – September 2021

The latest edition of On Watch is now available for download. This issue features articles about creating a lasting family foundation, an overview of the advantages and challenges of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), and using 529 Plans to get a jump-start on education savings. Contributors to this issue are David L. Zahn, CPA, CFP®;…

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Sentinel Trust Announces Senior Officer Promotions

HOUSTON, Dec 20, 2018 — Sentinel Trust Company, LBA, one of the nation’s leading boutique wealth management firms and multi-family offices, is pleased to announce senior officer promotions: Dennis A. Montz, MBA, CFA, CAIA is promoted to Managing Director, Director of Private Investments. Helen Qu, MBA, CFA, CPA, CAIA is promoted to Senior Vice President,…

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