An attorney by trade, Ken has been with First American Trust for the past 20 years, where he specializes in advising high-net-worth individuals and families on estate planning matters and crafting customized plans in the areas of investment management and wealth advisory/trust planning.
Ken is part of the team that collaborates with families to help preserve, protect and grow their wealth with an emphasis on family, business and philanthropic priorities. He started his career as a business and real estate litigation associate attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP in Newport Beach, California. He subsequently served as legal counsel and as real estate asset manager for Koll Management Services, a subsidiary of the Koll Company.
Ken graduated Phi Beta Kappa/Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from UCLA and earned his Juris Doctorate from UCLA's School of Law. In 1989, he was admitted to the California State Bar, where he remains a member in good standing. Ken is involved as a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the American Bar Association; The Elder Law as well as the Trust and Estates Sections of the Orange County Bar Association; The Orange County Estate Planning Council; The UCLA Planned Giving Forum; the Oceanic Friends of the of the Wrigley Institute / USC Marine Research Facility on Catalina Island and the Noble Vikings of Orange County.
Ken is a twice past Chairman of the Orange County Bar Association’s Trusts and Estates Section and is a current member of its Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of Orange County; the Endowment Committee for the Surfrider Foundation; the Endowment Council for Chapman University; and the Board of Directors of the Ocean Institute where he sits on its Development Committee for the Ocean Institute and also heads up its Professional Advisory Council, comprised of 160 local estate planning attorneys and fiduciary CPAs dedicated to supporting the organization’s mission of ocean research, education and conservation.
Mr. Petersen has also served as a civilian volunteer for the Orange County Sheriff Department’s Professional Services Reserve Division – Search and Rescue Unit. In his free time, he enjoys surfing and stand-up paddling with his wife and three boys as well as walking Greta, his beloved Great Dane, around the Dana Point Harbor.