The reciprocal benefits of a custodial partnership: A case study

May 12, 2020

Learn how we implemented new strategic processes for a firm looking to grow their customer base in an ever-changing marketplace – and how our other clients benefited in return.


One of the most important qualities of a good custodian is the ability to support business expansion and evolving needs. Here’s how one multifaceted firm went about finding a partner to do just that.


Identifying the situation

An independent investment management firm engaged U.S. Bank to service its mutual fund family. At the time, the firm self-custodied its separately managed account business in-house, but to keep up with a growing client base and accommodate changes in the marketplace, they determined it was time to partner with a third-party custodian.

The firm’s decision-makers knew they’d need a custodian that could not only service their existing private client business, but also handle volume growth and anticipate increased product servicing needs. The best provider would be one with streamlined communications and efficient processes. 


Developing a mutually beneficial partnership

The firm selected U.S. Bank to serve as its custodian and we successfully and efficiently converted 5,000 accounts with more than $7 billion in assets.

The story doesn’t end there – not only did we help this client, they helped us grow and mature in return. Taking the time to fully understand and accommodate their business needs pushed us to refine our processes and strategies – to our benefit and the benefit of our other clients. This is what defines a quality partnership: both parties bring out the best in each other and drive each other forward.


Enhancing capabilities 

Here are some of the ways partnering with this client prompted us to enhance our customer service model:

  • Account opening and asset conversion efficiencies: Since onboarding our client, we’ve expanded our account opening team to six full time employees, allowing us to reduce turnaround time from five days to 48 hours or less. We also created an asset transfer team, reducing conversion time from 20 days to 12. These efficiencies benefit not only our client but also their customers.
  • Cash processing enhancements: Since converting to U.S. Bank, the firm has grown to more than 11,000 accounts with $20 billion in assets and approximately 3 million transactions a year. In response to this high volume, we added a team dedicated to processing all adviser transactions. The firm’s advisers simply enter activities on a templated spreadsheet, which is automatically uploaded from their system to ours every 30 minutes. Our cash processing team then completes the transactions and sends the advisers a confirmation.
  • Non-purpose loan growth: With the introduction of our National Private Banking Group in 2010, our client turned over the servicing of their 30 non-purpose loans to the hands of our experts. Since then, the number of those loans has grown to more than 200. Additionally, enhancements currently in development will significantly shorten the loan process, offering even more opportunity for growth. 
  • Streamlined communications: As our relationship grew, we inherently developed multiple points of contact across our Wealth Management and Investment Services business line. To simplify communication, we implemented a single point of contact, so our client has one dedicated relationship manager to call with any questions or concerns. The relationship manager works with other teams within the bank to efficiently provide answers and solutions. 
  • Proactive strategy development: As a strategic partner, our senior management team holds periodic meetings with our client to review the solutions we currently provide, the status of the relationship and any opportunities within the bank that could help the client grow. The client’s dedicated relationship manager then oversees any service changes as needed. This open dialog helps us continue to grow with our client to meet their evolving needs.

Our relationship with this client started with servicing a few mutual funds and was nurtured over the years into a partnership has benefited both parties in numerous way. By continuing to prioritize communication and flexibility, we’re excited to see how this relationship will continue to develop long into the future.


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