Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, five asterisks = highest):
- Ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve ****
- Instructional documentation and help system ***
- Carries out the goal of the product as advertised ****
- Overall usefulness ****
TrustPortal (from Northern Trust Correspondent Services) is designed to serve trust departments, wealth management providers, planned giving offices and family offices. It combines accounting, reporting and investment management into an integrated web-based platform. TrustPortal also provides comprehensive wealth management tools for banks and other wealth advisors and is not tied to the size or type of organization. As a web-based facility, it provides paperless storage of data and reports.
TrustPortal automates fee processing and cash management, including scheduling receipts and disbursements, and includes single- and multi-ledger cash accounting. It also performs client relationship management functions. TrustPortal includes task management, import of data from third parties and automation of trades and sweeps. This facility integrates trading and portfolio management with back office operations and administration. Compliance rules can be set and automatically monitored. The user may develop the ability to trade through TrustPortal for self-directed clients.
TrustPortal maintains a forum for clients to exchange information and questions. It also includes a repository for client documents and a feature that will browse document storage on local PCs. Standard court reporting is included in the package.
What’s It All About?
TrustPortal is accessed through your web browser. The opening screen reflects report names, rebalance alerts and cash alerts for all clients. Individual client information is accessed by account number or looked up from the opening screen. An account screen appears with tabs to navigate all features of the client account including Scheduled Deposits, Scheduled Disbursements, Scheduled Transfers, Loan Management, Interfaces, Amortization, Invest, Tax, Accounting, Relations, Fee Administration, Consolidations and Memo Ticklers. The individual account screen can be customized per user and minor account types can be customized. The operational screens include:
- the Tax screen, which includes the selection of tax forms, identification of the tax servicer, selling instructions, return types, display of year-to-date gains, and display of loss carry forwards.
- the Accounting screen, which displays the aggregate principal, shares, book value, and tax cost of the portfolio and its market value. It also analyzes commissionable income, commissions and fees.
- the Relations screen, which shows all relationships among contacts.
- interfaces, which allows TrustPortal to interface with defined programs, including the import of data (for example, Bloomberg), export of tax return data (for example, FastTax) and import of pricing data (for example, EstateVal). Import/export interfaces can be constructed with other providers.
You may create and select portfolio investment models for each client and do top-down modeling of portfolio allocation. A screen displays the relationship between the portfolio and the model in both tabular and graphic comparisons. A Portfolio Summary may be generated, which includes a static market value bar chart, a line graph of total portfolio value over time, and a current tabulation of the portfolio composition. You may also view holdings, transactions, tax lots and pending trades.
A trade blotter is available that schedules by ticker, CUSIP, authorization, broker, client identification and compliance. TrustPortal allows you to execute trade orders and select from brokers using the Thomson/Reuters execution engine.
Detailed internal reporting capabilities allow you to do account reviews to evaluate compliance with investment objectives. An investment review screen assists you in keeping track of the initiation and completion of reviews of investment performance.
TrustPortal creates preformatted client reports (including account groupings with multiple accounts) that display portfolio summaries, investment holdings, transactions and more. Customized reporting is also available in tabular format. The reports are available online to your clients or authorized third parties, and may be downloaded in Word, Excel or Text formats.
Reports may be consolidated for one family and clients may be given access to historical as well as current account information. User access to accounts may be tailored to certain accounts or certain information.
Some 165 types of internal reports are available at all levels of review and are maintained online without paper. An All Reports screen lists the title and description of all reports generated for a client.
TrustPortal provides for local printing of reports and a quick printout of web data. You may also print labels for account contacts.
TrustPortal allows you to assign who does what and who has access to what, including extending access to third parties. You can assign who signs off on execution of trades and rebalancing of portfolios. Compliance rules can be created based on client instructions.
The publisher states that data security is provided through SAVVIS, NTT Verio, Cervalis or a combination of all services. Each have data centers throughout the United States that provide redundant data back-ups, use state-of-the-art authentication and encryption, and have their facilities built with structurally sound and secure techniques. The clients that access stored data must have internet access, their password and the multi-digit code from their SecurID key fob. Each licensee can build an added layer of security with strong password authentication.
What About Help and Support?
A user manual describing detailed functions and procedures is delivered electronically and filed at the licensee's network level. Users can then access and review the manual. A context-related help function is available within the application—the user may query a word or enter a question to view all related information.
Where Do You Get This Software?
TrustPortal pricing is based on whether the program is web hosted or hosted on your own server, and the number of users and size of the department. There is a fixed three- or five-year contract fee. There is no charge per account. The website for TrustPortalincludes a brochure with graphical representations of the product.
This service is available from:
Northern Trust Correspondent Services
An Email form is available on the website
TrustPortal offers a great depth of portfolio management and reporting with a clear interface and well-defined operational procedures in a web-based facility. It generates a wealth of both internal and client reports that are easily accessible to the institution and the client.
Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Review by Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.
Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at [email protected].