Directed Corporate Trustees – An Option for Trust Beneficiaries

As pensions have largely been eliminated within the private sector, generational wealth accumulation continues to be a phenomenon impacting more and more families.  Whether it be an accumulation of retirement assets, a business sale, or family generational wealth, a large amount of assets has been passed from one generation to the next.  Over the next twenty years, a projected $90 TRILLION ($90,000,000,000,000!!) of assets will move within generations.

Historically, Corporate Trustees have been largely associated with ultra-high net worth, young children, and special needs situations.  However, as wealth transfers have become more significant to a greater number of families, Corporate Trustees have become more popular again.

Directed Trusteeship, where the Corporate Trustee separates the Fiduciary role from other professionals – Investment Advisors, CPAs, Real Estate Professionals, etc. – is a model that has gained in popularity over the past one or two decades.  With a bifurcated relationship, no longer is a beneficiary required to work with a Bank/Trust company that requires the beneficiary to utilize the organization in all aspects of the Fiduciary roles.  It is believed that this bifurcation allows beneficiaries to utilize best-in-class roles for each service, rather than a bundle model.  It also helps provide greater checks and balances to each service provider.

Above is an introductory conversation with Michelle Diamond, an early partner with Cumberland Trust located in Nashville, TN.  In this video, we discuss the Directed Trust model and the popularity of a more flexible option for beneficiaries.  We would encourage anyone who is considering wealth transfers, generational planning, or asset oversight for the next generation to watch this video.

As always, we are here to be a resource to our clients regarding all aspects of their financial lives.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us regarding Trustees, estate planning, or any questions about generational wealth.


About Ballast

We help you optimize the way you accumulate, spend, and give your money. As your life evolves, so do our recommendations. We are here to guide you with expert financial advice that encompasses all aspects of your life. With a foundation rooted in a thorough understanding of your desires, goals, and preferences, we provide you with the leadership, proactivity, and stewardship you need to optimize your financial future. We take pride in bringing solutions to challenging situations and providing comfort in the unknown.


Andy Reynolds, CFP®, CEPA®, MBA PARTNER, COO

Born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, Andy grew up in a family who believed in two fundamentals: give to others and be the best version of yourself. He and his wife, Laura, have since gone on to instill those values in their children, Harper, Emma Kate, Caroline, and Mack. Whether it is family, clients, or colleagues, Andy’s greatest sense of achievement is in helping others reach their goals and desires. Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Centre College and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kentucky. He then earned his CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner) a few years later. As a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®), Andy helps business owners plan for their future by advising on their business growth/exit strategies, personal financial planning, and personal life planning outside of their business. The intentional pursuit of improvement in all three of these areas has helped business owners live a more fruitful and fulfilled life. Giving back to the community is one of Andy’s passions. He has served in several volunteer roles, including the: University of Kentucky’s MBA Advisory Council Committee, Board Chair and Investment Committee Chair of the Blue Grass Community Foundation, Life Plan of Kentucky Board, President of the Bluegrass Estate Planning Council, and OperaLex Board.


Michelle Diamond at Cumberland Trust Specialty: Business Development, Executive Management

Location: Nashville

Michelle Diamond is Chief Development Officer. She joined the Cumberland Trust team in 2001, at the firm’s founding. At Cumberland’s start, Michelle, a Trust Officer, helped to establish the open architecture platform that focuses on helping families and forming partnerships with advisors. Early on, she developed the Special Needs Trust group, serving the needs of client family members with disabilities. As Cumberland Trust grew, Michelle developed the blueprint for expansion into regional markets and she worked to open our nine regional offices. Currently, Michelle manages the business development team, who work in Cumberland Trust’s headquarters and in each of its regional offices. She is responsible for overseeing the development team and its new trust opportunities. Prior to joining Cumberland Trust, she was a Trust Officer at First Tennessee providing account and administration support to families in the areas of personal trust, employee benefits, and investment management. Michelle holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. She was awarded the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor Designation (CTFA) and is a graduate of Cannon Trust School, through Cannon Financial Institute. Michelle is a regular speaker for industry-related events nationwide, and she has been published in The Tennessean.


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Ballast, Inc. is a registered investment adviser with the SEC. Registration with the SEC does not indicate that the adviser has achieved a particular level of skill or ability, nor is it an endorsement by the SEC. All investment strategies have the potential for profit and loss. Ballast, Inc. is not engaged in the practice of law or accounting. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

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