How to Find Advisor-Friendly Trust Companies

October 19, 2023


Choosing an advisor-friendly trust company can make all the difference in providing clients with peace of mind, legal protection, and personalized planning. This free guide identifies the best trust companies to meet these needs.

Look for an Independent Corporate Trustee

Unlike the bank trust departments that historically competed for assets, a new wave of independent corporate trustees has built a business model agile enough to work with advisors rather than against them. These "advisor-friendly" companies understand financial advisors' culture and strategic considerations, offering ideas and solutions that create sticky assets.

Look for a company that can offer a simple, cost-effective process and support your marketing initiatives without diminishing your role as the client's trusted adviser. Then, focus on more subjective factors like collaboration, adaptability, and technology to find the right partner for your clients' trust administration needs.

Find a Trust Company with a Shared Mission

While plenty of good trust companies operate on a boutique scale or specialize in particular types of assets, many of these firms are more interested in leveraging their brand to attract business from advisors. Look for a firm that prioritizes collaboration and can adapt to the ever-evolving financial landscape.

The best advisor friendly trust companies have no interest in funneling assets into their in-house investment divisions or capturing commissions on managed accounts. Instead, they rely on a seamless collaboration to fulfill clients' goals.

Focus on Adaptability

A good advisor-friendly trust company understands that fostering collaboration helps its clients. By working together, they create tailored strategies that meet each client's unique needs, offering peace of mind to clients who know their financial goals are being supported.

The most adaptive companies quickly detect change and adjust their systems, processes, and products. They're also good at collaborating across organizational silos and empowering front-line employees to drive decision-making. Adaptable companies often use kanban and kaizen methodologies. They create fluid structures that enable their teams to rapidly make changes with minimal barriers and scale.

Look for a Trust Company with a Shared Value System

While objective criteria are essential, subjective factors differentiate between an average and a great partnership. Focusing on industry adaptability, collaboration, and technology can help you select a trusted company that aligns with your values and goals, fostering a lasting relationship.

As fiduciary duty and the tax code shift, finding a partner prioritizes client success and empowers financial advisors is important. These companies offer unbundled trustee administration solutions and separate investment management from their trust services, eliminating conflicts of interest.

Look for a Trust Company with a Shared Culture

Unlike most of the industry's commodity players, these advisor-friendly trust companies do not view managing their clients' trust assets as an end-in-itself proposition. They don't funnel the trust funds into their proprietary investment products, and they don't try to squeeze more fees out of the client.

They also understand Millennials and younger generations, as evidenced by how they support directed trusts. They know that making trust distributions is logistical, not a high-value service, and they embrace an IFTTT model (if this, then that).

When selecting a trust company, consider objective factors like philosophy, values, adaptability, and collaboration, as well as subjective ones such as the culture and willingness to support directed and delegated trusts. These criteria can help you find your clients' most advisor-friendly trust company.

Look for a Trust Company with a Shared Technology System

When choosing a trust company partner, consider how they collaborate with advisors. They should be able to adapt to changing landscapes and provide innovative solutions for clients. They should also prioritize collaboration with advisors and value their input.

A true partner will also offer marketing support to help you grow your business. This can be through networking opportunities, branding materials, or educational resources.

Look for a Trust Company with a Shared Client Experience

While objective criteria are essential, subjective factors often differentiate between a good and great-trust company partnership. Learn about the 'what' and 'why' of these intangible characteristics to help you identify the right trust company for your clients.

Unlike banks and asset management firms that use directed trusts to obfuscate cash flows, advisor-friendly trust companies focus on enhancing their services and delivering a client-centric experience for you and your clients.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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