Fort Worth’s Trust Management to merge with Reliance Trust

Betty Dillard

Fort Worth-based independent trust company Trust Management Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Reliance Financial Corp. of Atlanta, Ga., for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition and merger, which was announced in mid-February, is expected to close in late spring or early summer. Founded in 1954, family-owned and operated Trust Management is one of the largest providers of corporate trust services for church and nonprofit bond issues. TMI serves as the trustee, paying agent and registrar for the bond issue. The company also has provided services to thousands of individuals as custodian for their self-directed individual retirement accounts over the past 17 years. Under the agreement, RFC will acquire ownership of TMI, and consolidate the church and nonprofit corporate trust and IRA business of its subsidiary, Reliance Trust Co., with that of TMI.

The new combined businesses will retain the name TMI and be led by both Trust Management and Reliance Trust’s leadership teams. Robert Finley, president of TMI, will continue on as the president of the new company. Finley’s grandfather, A.B. Culbertson, founded the 60-year-old company, and Finley is only the third president of the firm. The company has eight employees. Robert Cook, an executive vice president who manages the church and nonprofit division at Reliance Trust, will become the chairman and chief executive officer of the new TMI. Cook said in a news release that separating the church business into a separate company will allow Reliance Trust to narrow its focus. “The creation of a new TMI demonstrates our commitment to this unique and important business. It augments Reliance Trust’s foundational business, adds experienced leadership, provides access to strong industry relationships and positions us to continue to grow,” Cook said.

Reliance Trust was founded in 1975 and has more than $122 billion in assets under management, according to its website. The company services about 5 percent of all 401(k) plans in the United States, with more than 24,000 retirement plan clients to date. Clients include individuals, corporations, institutions, banks, brokerage firms, financial advisers, insurance companies and plan sponsors nationwide. Trust Management has more than 45 years of experience serving as trustee for more than 2,200 church bond issues with obligations exceeding $1 billion, according to its website. “The consolidation with Reliance Trust will make us stronger and help us expand our operations,” Finley said in a phone interview. “We’ve known and respected the people at Reliance Trust for years. We share similar values that emphasize security, integrity and customer service. We’ll keep our employees here in Fort Worth, too, so it’s a win for everybody.”