Cetera Financial Institutions is ratcheting up the services it provides to the banks and credit unions it serves as broker-dealer.

In an exclusive interview with Bank Investment Consultant, Steve Dunlap, Cetera Financial Group's executive vice president of wealth management, disclosed that the firm will offer advisors expanded trust services as well as support with multi-generational family planning, thanks to a new strategic partnership with regional financial services firm BOK Financial Corp.

Under the arrangement, BOK Financial Corp. will provide trust administration services and work directly with financial advisors whose clients need those services. The firm has more than 130 trust administrative officers and is chartered in all 50 states, enabling them to help advisors nationwide, according to Dunlap.

"Generational demographic issues are driving interest in trust," he said, referring to the aging population. "We felt that we needed a much more robust answer and better support and education resources." 

Up until now, Cetera provided affiliated banks and credit unions with trust services on an accommodation basis.

One of the advantages for advisors in working with BOK is that they will remain "front and center" in the client service relationship, Dunlap said. "BOK will sit behind the scenes and do all the trust administration and accounting and make sure they meet all their legal requirements," he said.

The expanded trust capabilities will be particularly helpful to small community banks and credit unions that either don't have trust departments or have limited trust capabilities. Dunlap estimates that roughly one-third of Cetera-affiliated banks and credit unions don't have trust powers.

Cetera Financial Group, the umbrella group comprising Cetera Financial Institutions and eight other firms, plans to make an official announcement tomorrow. The trust services will also be available to Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks and Cetera Financial Specialists.

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