Midland Trust Is Now an Employee-Owned Company

We Are Midland

Midland Financial Corp., the Florida holding company for Midland IRA Inc. and Midland Trust Company, has become an employee-owned company effective December 2019. Midland sold a percentage of its ownership interest to a newly created Employee Stock Ownership Trust, allowing current and future employees to gain a beneficial ownership interest in the company. This was made possible with the help of Atlantic Management Company, Inc., Horizon Bank and Trust, and SES ESOP Strategies.

Effectively, the ESOP is a qualified retirement plan which, based on company performance, could generate significant retirement benefits for our 60+ Employee Owners.

Commenting on the announcement, Dave Owens, President, and CEO of Midland, said, “Becoming an employee-owned company was a major decision for me. Midland has been in business for over 26 years. In 2002, we expanded into the Custodial IRA Industry and we have been extremely successful. I am very proud of the business our employees helped to create, and I believe this is a great opportunity to plan for the future and give the next generation the opportunity to expand the business.”

In addition to the ESOP, we will be launching our biggest campaign ever in our new Midland Mission. Our new mission, simplified, is “People Make Midland.”

Employees here at Midland are excited to be a part of this change. Kelsey Dineen, a Sales Director who has been with Midland for over ten years, states, “With the ESOP in place, we all stand to benefit from the fruits of our labor. Each day is a chance to help grow the company. If I succeed, the entire Midland team also benefits. It’s incredibly motivating from both a financial and psychological perspective. Job security was always an important item for me. I didn’t want to worry about corporate buy-outs or consolidation. With an ESOP in place, Midland can offer more stability as the entire staff is pulling together to guarantee the future of the company.”

NCEO’s (National Center for Employee Ownership) statistics show “Companies that have high-involvement, idea-generating cultures, generate an incremental 6% to 11% added growth per year over what their prior performance relative to their industries would have predicted.”

For Midland’s customers, not much will change. Midland is still under the same management and our customers will deal with the existing team here at Midland. However, this should give both our customers and employees an even stronger sense of security in Midland’s future.

For questions concerning Midland Trust becoming an employee-owned company, contact us at (239) 333-1032 or visit www.midlandtrust.com. For more information on ESOPs, you can visit www.nceo.org and www.esopassociation.org.

Financial Professionals: What to Consider When You Choose IRA Custodians

Financial Professionals How to Choose an IRA Custodian

We know that when choosing a self directed IRA custodian, you are faced with many choices. We often get asked, why should we go with Midland? Whether you are new to accepting IRAs into your investment, or you have a previous experience with which to compare, here are a few items to consider when choosing a custodian.


You should consider the size and longevity of the company. Have they been around long enough to build expertise and best practices that will benefit you as the consumer? Have they been able to weather the ebbs and flows of the economy or are they new to the industry without much of a proven track record?  Are they so small that you are their only referral partner, or too big that you are just a number?

Midland Trust has the perfect balance in size, expertise, and personalization. We’ve been around for over two decades, administer over $3 billion in client assets, and have processed over 60,000 unique investment transactions. We are experienced across all asset classes from real estate to private placements.


Service is something every company sells when they have nothing else. From car dealers to cable television, “we have great service” is the emptiest sales proposition there is. Midland Trust offers great service and sets itself apart from the pack by being responsive, honest, and engaged with each and every client.

Small Service Teams Dedicated to Each Client

Unlike most custodians where you have to call a 1-800 number and it’s a stroke of luck if the person answering knows who you are, Midland provides each of our referral partners a dedicated team of 3, which includes a sales team member to help with client onboarding and two client services team members who are tasked with servicing your referrals. The people you speak with today are the people you will speak with tomorrow. No wasting time with a backstory. Our mission is efficiency. Need an update? You know who to call.

“In terms of their interactions with the sponsor, that’s where Midland really differentiates itself” – Private Equity Investment Sponsor

“At (Midland competitor), they won’t assign an account to one person. You call into the 1-800 number and you might get someone knowledgeable, you might get someone brand new.” – Real Estate Syndication Sponsor

“Part of the reason I recommend Midland is because I’m a customer and I know the quality of their service, their responsiveness and how they manage the process” – Private Equity Fund, Plan Sponsor

“Partnering with Midland has been very helpful for us because it’s a very secure place for our investors to keep their money. In the process that we have with Midland, we can get the deal done within just a couple of days, so it’s been very helpful and gives our clients another sense of security.” – Managing Partner, Private Lending Company

Appreciation of the Relationship

We understand that without your referral, this client may never have become a client of ours. While many companies take the referral and run, we want to include you in the process by providing updates and timelines. Our approach is, if we are easy to work with, you will be much more inclined to refer.

“We used a Midland competitor for about 2 years. They were so frustrating to work with as they wouldn’t even speak with me. I liked to help handhold a client through the process which I was unable to do. Midland includes me in the process and does most of the hand holding for me.” – Investor Relations, Real Estate Syndication

Fair Market Valuations

If you’ve worked with a custodian in the past, you know that the fair market value (FMV) process can be cumbersome. We often hear it’s the worst part about allowing IRAs into various investment funds. Midland takes a proactive stance in an effort to make this process easy and efficient for the client and the investment sponsor. We do this by working during the year to obtain applicable regular valuation correspondence such as monthly, quarterly, and/or annual statements.

Midland makes the FMV process easy by allowing investment partners to provide FMV updates for all investor clients on one form. If you had 20 investors with Midland, you can settle the fair market values for all 20 in a few minutes. With other custodians, you might have to complete 20 separate forms that would be sent to you by 20 different investors.

“I’m working on moving all of our accounts to Midland solely because of the fair market value process. I send them one spreadsheet which takes care of all of the investors I have with them. Having clients at other places, I know how difficult and confusing this process can be for the investor.” – CFO, Real Estate Fund


Most of our client-facing teams hold their Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP) designation from the American Bankers Association. This designation is only held by a few hundred individuals across the country, many of who call Midland home.

In addition, we experience little turnover which only amplifies the power of our small service teams. Currently, our average tenure of our sales team is 7 years of experience, and our client services team has an average tenure of 5 years.


Most custodians operate like it’s 1980 where paper forms, mail, and faxes are far too regular. Midland fully embraces the latest technology advancements in an effort to become more efficient, and to make the process simple and easy for investors to understand.


Most of our investment directions, applications, and even transfers, are able to be submitted via our third-party e-signature software. We know our forms well and we help clients in the form-filling process before sending the electronic versions to be e-signed.

“The investment process is easier because Midland does nearly all of the work for us via Docusign. It’s great because our investors are very busy people and they can invest quickly without getting lost in forms.” – Investor Relations, Hedge Fund

OnePath Account Opening

Our latest technology advancement marries our online application and your subscription agreement (or stock purchase agreement) into one custom link. Any new investor can go to your custom link and complete Midland’s application, investment direction, and your subscription all in one sitting. The best part is that many of the line items on these are similar so the technology prefills as it goes. A new investor can complete all of their Midland required paperwork, electronically, in under 15 minutes. Talk about fast!

Choose Midland

We know there is a lot that goes into your consideration of a self-directed company for your investments. Choose Midland Trust and you can be sure that you receive the best presence, service, and technology to make the investment process easy for you and your investors. For questions or more information, contact Midland Trust today. Call us at (239) 333-1032 or visit our website at www.midlandtrust.com.

Alternative Investment Custody Solutions With Non-Retirement Money

Alternative Investment Custody Solutions With Non-Retirement Money

Since 2002, Midland Trust Company has been a leader in alternative investments within IRA accounts. Our goal has been to make investing in alternative investments with IRA funds simple and easy to accomplish. However, we want investing in alternative investments to be easy for anyone with any type of account. Did you know that you can now leverage the expertise and efficiency of Midland to facilitate alternative investment custody solutions with non-retirement money?

An Alternative Investment Custody Solution For Any Account

Yes, that’s right. You can now establish an individual, joint, or trust account with Midland to invest in alternative investments, such as real estate, hedge funds, venture capital, start-up companies, private equity, and much more.

Let’s suppose that you have accumulated a nice savings account and enjoy investing in private commercial real estate projects.  To do so, the real estate investment company is going to ask that you physically sign a complex and lengthy document and cut a check for the investment.  Then what? Where do you track the performance of the investment? How do you check the history of your dividend payments? Where do all of your documents get stored if you need quick access to them? Oh, and why did you need to pen-sign a lengthy document in the first place? By making that real estate investment through a Midland Custodial Account, you gain the ability to electronically complete your investment documents with the assistance of a transaction specialist and monitor the performance and ongoing payments from that investment over time. 

Why would I use Midland for my alternative investment custody solutions?

  • Assurance. We process hundreds of alternative investment transactions every day and are knowledgeable about the logistics involved. We relieve you of document headaches and guide you through the process.
  • Simplicity. In dealing with thousands of alternative investment transactions month over month, we have built tools to help the client review and sign documents as well as monitor transactions online. Our technology makes the investment process smooth and simple.
  • Consolidation.  Using Midland allows you to consolidate the investable cash flowing in and out of your alternative investment portfolio. We provide proper records of each transaction and perform reporting of each holding in the portfolio. You don’t need to guess or track down records or statements from multiple parties. 

Alternative investments offer an avenue to greater diversification, potentially higher returns, as well as the comfort of investing in something more familiar. However, the process of investing in alternatives and the ongoing administration can be cumbersome. Allow Midland Trust Company to simplify the alternative investment process and administration for both IRAs and non-IRA money. 

To learn more about these types of accounts, visit www.midlandtrust.com, call (239) 333-1032, or open an account today.

Options for Taking An RMD When Your Account is Illiquid

Options for Taking an RMD When Your Account Is Illiquid

2020 brings changes to the Required Minimum Distribution rules, such as anyone under 70.5 may now wait until they turn 72 to begin taking mandatory withdrawals from their pre-tax retirement plans. One thing that has not changed is the 50% penalty for not taking a timely RMD. As an IRA custodian that specializes in holding alternative investments, many of our clients hold illiquid assets. If you are a client that needs to take an RMD, but find yourself with insufficient cash in your account you still have options.

Plan Ahead

First, if you are new to self-directing your IRA, consider leaving sufficient cash reserves in your account when making an investment. Many alternative investments have related expenses that should be paid out of the undirected cash in your account, in addition to the administrative fees associated with managing your account.

If this is not an option then this next suggestion may be useful. Do you have another pre-tax retirement plan with cash or assets which can be easily liquidated? You are not required to draw your RMDs from each account that you hold; instead, you can take your entire RMD from another existing account that you hold.

Find An Alternate Route

If you do not have another plan to withdraw from then you may want to consider taking a non-cash, or In-Kind, distribution. For example, if your Midland account holds Real Estate, you can distribute a part of, or the entire title to, the property.

Here is a detailed example of this scenario:

Bob is required to withdraw $10,000 as an RMD. He holds real property in his IRA that is worth $50,000.00. Bob provides Midland with a certified appraisal to authenticate the property value and has a Quit Claim Deed prepared which will effectively change the title from sole ownership to tenants in common. The Quit Claim Deed will re-register 20% to Bob as an individual while the IRA retains 80% ownership of the property. Midland will report to the IRS on a 1099-R that Bob took a distribution in the amount of $10,000. Bob’s RMD will be satisfied.

Sell An Asset

Another option to consider is selling an asset. The proceeds from the sale will return to the IRA, tax-deferred, and only the amount withdrawn will become taxable.

Take the 50% Penalty

Finally, as a last option, an account holder may choose to not take the distribution. If an account holder opts out of taking an RMD the penalty is 50% of the amount not taken. Here is an example:

Susan is required to withdraw $3,000.00 as an RMD. The asset she is holding will be very costly to re-register, so she decides not to take an RMD. Susan will have to pay $1,500 to the IRS when she files her taxes for not taking her RMD. The asset will remain untouched in the IRA.

It’s Up To You

Ultimately, the way that assets are distributed is up to you. These are just a few examples of ways to distribute cash and assets from your account, but as always, you should consult with your CPA or tax advisor about your specific situation.

Midland offers an RMD Calculator to make this process easy for our clients. For questions or more information regarding RMDs, please contact Midland Trust at (239) 333-1032 or visit www.MidlandTrust.com.