October 2011

Ask a Trust Officer


The trust industry


Dear Trust Officer:


The trust industry seems to have a pretty low profile; I donít read much about it, even in the business press or on the Internet.How big is it?Is the trust industry successful? Are trusts just for the ultra-wealthy?óCurious Observer


Dear Curious:


Thanks for asking!You are correct; we in the trust industry donít get into the public spotlight much.We prefer to remain behind the scenes, protecting the financial privacy of our clients.


In the aggregate, the trust industry is responsible for an estimated $92.4 trillion in assets in fiduciary accounts.The majority of these assets are in custody accounts, with the balance in personal trusts, investment management agencies and employee benefit accounts.Trust industry revenues are projected to grow 8% this year, despite the many problems in the economy and financial markets.Our revenue growth has three sources: our efforts are producing more growth and income for existing clients; existing satisfied clients are giving us additional assets to manage; and we are, as an industry, acquiring new clients every day. As the baby boomers enter retirement, these trends are expected to continue.


Thatís because trusts are not just for the ultra-wealthy.Our services do tend to be labor-intensive, but modern technologies have allowed us to deliver our services on a cost-effective basis to a greater range of affluent families.


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(October 2011)

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