New Program Initially Offered to Funeral Homes & Cemeteries in Alabama & Arizona
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 17, 2018 – Argent Trust Company (Argent) and Funeral Services, Inc. (FSI) have jointly developed a master trust program that offers funeral directors and cemetery owners a turnkey solution for their preneed and perpetual care trusts.
Through this program, owners and operators benefit from the resources and expertise of both a trustee and deathcare administrator within one agreement. The program will initially be available in Alabama and Arizona, in addition to other states in the future, and brings together more than two centuries of combined industry experience.
Each firm that participates in one of the master trusts will have its preneed and perpetual care funds custodied and invested by Argent, which manages more than $250 million in preneed, perpetual care, merchandises, services and pre-construction assets.
Having served as a trustee in more than 25 states, with a wide spectrum of clients from single operators to national consolidators, Argent offers deep experience with state regulatory agencies. For the regional bank with more than 88 years of financial expertise, Argent’s role in this new program marks its continued expansion and commitment to the industry.
“Argent has made a significant investment in the funeral and cemetery trust business with our recently completed acquisition of Independence Trust at the end of 2017. And as we continue to position our firm as a national provider of funeral and cemetery trust business, the team at FSI was a natural fit for us. I’ve known Bill for years and am really excited to work with him again as we both continue to grow our respective businesses throughout the country,” said Mark Milton, senior vice president of Argent Institutional Services.
To properly manage the trusts, process transactions and ensure they remain secure and in compliance, Argent is utilizing recordkeeping services designed by FSI to meet the needs of funeral homes and cemeteries exclusively. A leader in the industry, FSI offers total administration of sales programs for preneed and perpetual care trusts.
“At FSI, a company created by funeral directors and cemeterians, our sole focus is serving the deathcare industry,” said Bill Williams, president and CEO of FSI. “Combined with Argent, our respective experiences create a trust solution that achieves greater efficiency, security and financial strength for funeral homes and cemeteries.”
FSI’s trust services streamline funeral homes’ and cemeteries’ business operations. Industry professionals are supplied with regulatorily compliant contracts that they may upload directly into FSI’s online recordkeeping system once completed, where all of the data is accessible 24/7. The platform also ensures all trust deposits are calculated and processed within 24 hours. In addition, FSI follows the highest industry standards for compliance and remains aware of ever-changing and complex regulations.
“Once a sale is made by a funeral home or cemetery, FSI takes care of the rest,” said Bill. “Collaborating with a reputable and experienced firm like Argent further enhances our ability to ensure that industry professionals can focus solely on what’s most important: growing their businesses.”
About Funeral Services, Inc.
Funeral Services, Inc. (FSI) specializes in the total administration of deathcare sales programs for preneed and perpetual care trusts. With more than 100 years of combined industry experience, FSI provides funeral homes, cemeteries, associations and financial institutions confidence that their sales programs and trusts are operating at maximum efficiency through unmatched security, convenience, speed, compliance and cutting-edge technology. FSI actively serves hundreds of client firms in more than 20 states. For more information on FSI, please visit www.FSITrust.com.
About Argent Trust Company
Argent Trust Company (Argent) is a division of Argent Financial Group, a leading independent fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $17 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, institutions and businesses with a broad range of wealth management services including trust administration and related services, investment management, family office services, retirement plan and charitable organization administration, mineral (oil and gas) management, and financial, retirement and estate planning. Argent, domiciled in Ruston, Louisiana, was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930. For more information, visit www.argentcares.com.