The Fiduciary Standard


When it comes to managing your wealth, your financial relationships should be built on a foundation of trust, integrity and transparency. You have a choice of many types of firms and advisors, not all of whom adhere to the same legal and regulatory standards. The standards impact what you, as a client, and your family, can expect from a firm and advisor.


At U.S. Trust, our trust and investment management relationship with you is supported by the strongest standard of integrity, trust and accountability: the fiduciary standard.1 Whether we are managing your portfolio, serving as trustee, or administering an estate, our focus is what best meets your objectives.

Your investments and the fiduciary standard.
The prudent investor standard2 for fiduciary investments forms the foundation for our consistent, disciplined investment process.

  • We apply our insight and experience to help you make the most of the things that are of the greatest importance to you.
  • Our focus is not simply investment returns, but management of your assets with your goals at the center of our thinking.
  • In fulfilling our commitment we may also focus on the factors that influence your goals, now and in the future, such as: family considerations, lifestyle needs, charitable aspirations, legacy desires — the many dimensions of life that intersect with your finances.
  • When we provide investment services to you, your investment manager works with you to design a formal investment policy statement. As a result, your portfolio is driven by your personal and financial objectives and the asset allocation that is specifically designed to meet them.
  • In adhering to the fiduciary standard, our commitment, first and foremost, is to serve your best interests and goals and place them ahead of our own.
  • In serving you, we may seek to access the vast capabilities of Bank of America, including calling upon our colleagues and affiliates to assist us. When we do so, we provide disclosure of related conflicts of interest so that you understand and agree that our actions serve your interests.


The standard of care to which U.S. Trust is held when acting as a trustee or as an executor of an estate – the trust fiduciary standard – is the highest of all.1 Among regulated financial institutions, only banks and trust companies are governed by this highest of fiduciary standards.

To help ensure that we meet our obligations, external oversight and internal processes are in place to assess compliance with our responsibilities to you.

  • As a national bank, government regulators examine our fiduciary activities regularly to assess compliance with our responsibilities.
  • Through a prescribed process, we review all fiduciary accounts to see that they are being administered in accordance with their investment policy statements and governing documents, laws and regulations.
  • When we serve as trustee, we monitor adherence to the terms of the trust document as well as the unique investment and wealth transfer objectives of the trust to help ensure that we are meeting our fiduciary obligations to you and the trust beneficiaries, both present and future.

1 Bank of America, N.A. and U.S. Trust Company of Delaware (collectively the "Bank") do not serve in a fiduciary capacity with respect to all products or services. Fiduciary standards or fiduciary duties do not apply, for example, when the Bank is offering or providing credit solutions, banking, custody or brokerage products/services or referrals to other affiliates of the Bank.

2 This may be modified based upon your unique objectives and directives.

This content is designed to provide general information about planning ideas and strategies and does not constitute legal advice, and is not intended to be all-inclusive. It is for discussion purposes only since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy.


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