The best South Dakota trust company is not who you expect. 

It's not Citi or Guggenheim, and they're not “too big to fail” after an independent trust company beats them in the ranking of best client trustee service in South Dakota.

At Wealth Advisors Trust Company, we're proud to be ranked #1 in trustee client service per a recent poll that pitted us against finance giants. 

Money-center banks and blue-ribbon wealth management complexes are out of favor as investment advisors and family offices seek partners in the trust haven state of South Dakota. Advisors want partners they can count on to keep their clients’ interests in mind. And Wealth Advisors Trust Company is the homegrown South Dakota trust company that leads by example.


According to a recent poll of readers of trade publication The Trust Advisor, Wealth Advisors Trust Company ranked #1 in client service. That's because advisors feel more comfortable working with Wealth Advisors Trust Company than any of the 13 other South Dakota-chartered options provided.

With an aggregate score of 82.4%, Wealth Advisors Trust Company has nearly twice as many Trust Advisor readers who feel favorable about the company than Guggenheim Trust (an affiliate of global investment bank Guggenheim Partners) or Citicorp SD (an operating unit of Citigroup Inc.). 

“It’s extremely rewarding to hear that despite some of the biggest marketing budgets on the planet arrayed against us, advisors still know our reputation and seek us out,” says Christopher Holtby, a director at Wealth Advisors Trust. “Those who know South Dakota as a leading destination for trust accounts are evidently aware that not all vendors here are created equal.”

Money from all over America has migrated to South Dakota to take advantage of the state’s top-tier trust code and tax environment, beckoning dozens of wealth management firms and banks based elsewhere to follow.

However, unlike rivals coming in from other states, Wealth Advisors Trust Company was chartered right in Pierre and still headquarters all of its operations within South Dakota’s borders.

The company has also cultivated a culture of independence (creating the SmartIRA™) and service (lowest trust officer to the beneficiary ratio in the industry) that contrasts strongly against the monolithic and profit-driven models that many of its cross-border competitors pursue.

With no in-house wealth management unit and no products to cross-sell into trust accounts, Wealth Advisors Trust Company is content to administer personal trusts, letting advisors go on managing the underlying assets for long-term clients. This alignment of interests creates better outcomes for trust grantors, beneficiaries, their advisors, and — if the poll results are any guide — the trust officers themselves.

“Advisors know that when they prosper, we thrive,” Holtby says. “I’d like to see Citi make that kind of statement. But then again, Citi evidently isn’t the first name advisors think of when they think about firms in South Dakota they’d like to partner with.”

About Wealth Advisors Trust Company

Wealth Advisors Trust Company was established to break down the traditional rigid trust company barriers and free advisors and trust beneficiaries, offering all the services of a traditional trust company without the intrinsic conflicts of interest that many other providers face.

This revolutionizes the advisor and client relationship. Unlike trust companies affiliated with wealth management complexes or clearing firms, our trust services are efficient, non-interruptive and easy to use.

We are custodian-neutral and do not manage investment assets. Because each of our trusts is structured with your client-specific goals in mind, our administration services can be tailored to ensure that those goals have the highest probability of success.


Press Contact:

Wealth Advisors Trust
Christopher Holtby
+1 605.224.4100