Soundness above all

What are the hallmarks of a strong financial services company? Regulatory governance is one component. So too is a firm's reputation, particularly in an era when financial malfeasance is abundant. Having the experience and expertise to properly process transactions connotes security and soundness. Bonding and insurance provide an additional layer of safety for clients, protecting them from errors, omissions and possible misappropriation of funds. Multilayered process controls ensure accuracy and compliance. Finally, a strong financial services company has its clients' best interests at heart and will often guide them on how to make wise choices when protecting their funds.

Regulatory oversight raises the bar on soundness

Protecting clients' funds and assets held in their self-directed accounts should be paramount for any financial services organization. The Exeter Group of Companies places protecting its clients' investments above all else.

We strongly endorse regulatory oversight by a government agency to ensure safe, sound, and secure financial practices. We elected to undergo a rigorous multi-year regulatory review and approval process to obtain a trust company charter and become a regulated entity, this to better protect our clients' funds, investments, and self-directed accounts

Exeter Trust Company of Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a non-depository trust company licensed, regulated, and audited by the Wyoming Division of Banking. Accordingly, it is held to a much higher standard than non-regulated financial services firms.

Exeter 1031 Exchange Services, LLC is one of the few 1031 Exchange Qualified Intermediaries subject to regulatory oversight, which makes it one of the safest and most secure Qualified Intermediaries in the industry. We deposit, hold, and safeguard our clients' 1031 Exchange funds in separate, segregated Qualified Trust Accounts through Exeter Trust Company.

(See our article entitled Qualified Intermediaries Are Not Created Equal)

Bonding, insurance, and equity capital create a safety net

The Exeter Group of Companies, including Exeter 1031 Exchange Services, LLC, Exeter Trust Company, and Exeter Asset Services Corporation, maintain $5.0 million in fidelity bond coverage, $5.0 million in errors & omissions insurance, a general blanket financial institution bond and more than $4.0 million in regulatory required equity capital to protect clients' funds, assets and self-directed accounts.

Qualified Trust Accounts protect 1031 Exchange funds

We always hold and safeguard our clients' 1031 Exchange funds in separate, segregated, Qualified Trust Accounts with Exeter Trust Company. Separate, Segregated Qualified Trust Accounts or Qualified Escrow Accounts clearly classify 1031 Exchange funds as client trust funds and not corporate funds, protecting clients from losses in the unlikely event of a bankruptcy filing.

Process controls and risk management practices for stewardship of funds

We have established multi-layered processes that incorporate controls, validations, daily reconciliations, audits, and reviews to ensure we deliver on our promises and meet our obligations and responsibilities. Nothing escapes oversight in any transaction.

We use a sophisticated trust accounting system that allows us to accurately track, monitor, and account for our clients' funds, investments, and self-directed accounts in real time. We reconcile our entire funds position down to the penny every day. And we have implemented stringent internal controls, checks and balances to ensure the safety of our clients' funds.

Four Exeter team members, acting together, and with the client's written authorization, are required to request, authorize, process, and complete any transfer or disbursement of clients' funds, including verbal call backs to verify every wire transfer instruction. We have adopted these internal controls to specifically protect our clients.

Transparency in how we operate

More than a transaction processor, our clients turn to us, along with their legal, tax and financial advisors, for guidance on best practices in structuring and administering their investments held in self-directed accounts. We support and encourage our clients to perform their due diligence on our business and practices and qualify us for our technical depth, experience, and expertise.

In turn, we routinely leverage our expertise to provide consultative services to our clients and their professional advisors.

Guided by an experienced management team

Our leaders are pillars of the industries they serve and have more than a century of collective experience. Chief Executive Officer William L. "Bill" Exeter is celebrating his 38th year in the industry and enjoys a long history and solid reputation among his peers. He is frequently called on to lead seminars and panel discussions on a wide range of financial subjects.

Advising clients on taking steps to protect their funds and investments

Protecting funds and assets held in their self-directed accounts requires our clients to be vigilant. We encourage them to change their computer hardware, software, email, and peripheral equipment passwords every 30, 60 or 90 days, When available, we encourage them to enable two factor authentication on financial accounts. We also advise that they install security software to prevent system or data breaches, and to verbally confirm all wire transfer instructions prior to sending any funds.

We offer this counsel as a component of our safety and soundness initiative.

Diligence affords protection

We don't believe that safety and soundness is a function of size; rather, it is the rigor with which clients' funds, investments and self-directed accounts are administered and guided by internal controls. Understanding the importance of regulatory oversight, equity capitalization, bonding, insurance, experience, expertise, internal controls and processes, and quality control measures expands your appreciation for a strong financial services company. Apply what you know when you call on a company to execute your transaction.