How do I know my assets are safe?
The State of Tennessee, in granting the charter to Meridian Trust & Investment Company, made the initial determination that Meridian Trust & Investment Company is a sound organization adequately staffed and capitalized to perform trust services. Your assets will be held (or custodied) either directly at the mutual fund company or with a brokerage firm such as Charles Schwab or Fidelity. We are subject to routine on-site examinations by bank regulators, and we maintain substantial insurance coverage to protect client funds against errors and omissions or wrongdoing.
How does Meridian differ from stockbrokers and bank trust departments?
The primary difference between Meridian and other financial providers is our unique corporate status as an independent, locally controlled Trust Company. We are free from the influences of an owner that may have proprietary products to sell and/or might be insensitive to the needs of our clients. This allows us to make our investment decisions solely for your benefit or the best interests of the trust beneficiaries. Meridian avoids all conflicts of interests when charging fees and we fully disclose all fees in a simple and understandable manner.
How often are the assets in my portfolio reviewed?
In addition to quarterly review by our investment managers, your account is continually monitored and adjustments made when appropriate.
How often will you meet with me?
We will meet as often as you like. We recommend meeting at least once or twice per year, but we have many clients who wish to meet as often as quarterly.
How do you track my investment performance?
We calculate performance for all accounts and individual investments from the day an account is established. If desired, performance reporting can be consolidated for clients with multiple accounts. Meridian uses a portfolio accounting system called Axys created by Advent Software. Axys is considered to be the industry standard for managing investment accounts and tracking performance and tax information.
Does Meridian outsource my account information to third parties?
No. It is imperative to us that we have control and oversight of the quality of the services we provide. Although it would be less costly to outsource some of the services we provide, it is our belief that you will be happier with our services if we provide them in-house rather than outsourcing to a third party.
How easy is it to open an account? Can I transfer assets without incurring taxes?
Whether you are moving funds from a bank trust department, broker or financial adviser, transferring assets is simple. Meridian prepares all paperwork for your signature and determines whether assets will be transferred “in kind” or sold. If the account is taxable, securities may be transferred, not sold, to avoid unnecessary capital gains. Ultimately, the objective of setting up a new account is to achieve each client’s investment objective, and to utilize Meridian’s investment management services. We expect to accomplish the transition from securities owned prior to your move to Meridian to those favored by our investment staff, carefully addressing issues such as capital gains and other considerations unique to you.
Will you work with my accountant in tax preparation?
Meridian has sophisticated reporting capabilities that will make your accountant’s work easier at tax time. We track the cost basis of your assets as well as income and expenses. We will provide this information to you or your accountant, according to your preference.
How often will I receive statements?
You will receive a statement from Meridian quarterly. You may view your account online at any time through the Account Access tab. You don’t have to wait for a statement; we are always available to discuss your investments.
Who has access to me personal financial information if I have an account with Meridian?
We restrict access to your personal and account information to those employees who need to know that information to provide services to you. We maintain strict physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information.
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