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Financial Professionals: How to Choose an IRA Custodian

Financial Professionals How to Choose an IRA Custodian

We know that when choosing a self-directed 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.

Presence

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 $2 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

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

Experience

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.

Technology

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.

E-Signatures

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 custodian 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.