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Wilmington Trust Investment Management Review

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Wilmington Trust Investment Management

Headquartered in the Delaware city it takes its name from, Wilmington Trust Investment Management (WTIM) oversees nearly $2 billion in assets. Most of these assets are in its discretionary wrap fee programs. The firm also has offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

WTIM employs 52 advisors, nine of whom are also broker-dealer representatives. This means that when selling securities, these brokers are not required to uphold the fiduciary standard of putting clients’ interests first. Instead, they are obligated only to make suitable recommendations. When wearing their advisor hat, though, they are required to act as fiduciaries.

Wilmington Trust Investment Management Background

WTIM was founded in 2005. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Wilmington Trust Corporation, which is owned by M&T Bank Corporation. (M&T, by the way, stands for Manufacturers and Traders.) The parent company is a publicly-traded bank holding company whose ticker symbol is MTB.  

Being part of a large bank, WTIM is affiliated with a number other financial services companies. They include: Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, Inc.; M&T Securities, Inc.; Manufacturers and Traders and Trust Company (M&T Bank); Wilmington Funds Management Corporation and Wilmington Trust Company.

Wilmington Trust Investment Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Less than five of WTIM’s individual clients have a high net worth. The rest, less affluent individual clients number 12,643, according to recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) data. The firm also works with private investment funds (whose investors are not included these numbers). 

WTIM sponsors and manages two wrap fee programs: Investment Advantage and Portfolio Architect. The minimum requirement for the former is $100,000. For the latter, the minimum is  $25,000 for its passive-oriented, core, choice, external-oriented, income-oriented and diversified fixed income strategies. The minimum for separately managed accounts (SMAs) is $100,000 or $500,000, depending on the investing strategy.

Services Offered by Wilmington Trust Investment Management

As just noted, WTIM offers investment management through two wrap programs. The Investment Advantage program is currently closed to new clients. The open Portfolio Architect program offers an array of investment strategies, ranging from conservative to aggressive.

WTIM also advises four private investment funds, collectively called the Rodney Square Private Funds. They each require a $250,000 minimum investment.

Wilmington Trust Investment Management Investing Philosophy

When evaluating securities, the firm may use fundamental, technical and quantitative forms of analysis. For the private funds, it may engage the services of third-party money managers. M&T Bank’s investment committee sets the overall strategy for asset allocations of WTIM’s wrap fee programs. As noted before, these programs offer strategies that run the gamut, from conservative to aggressive. Generally, assets are invested in exchange-traded products, mutual funds, individual securities, closed-end funds and/or model portfolios.

Fees Under Wilmington Trust Investment Management

Wrap fees are a percentage of assets under management (AUM). In the open Portfolio Architect program, they follow this tiered scheduled, according to the investing strategy (or if an SMA):

Annual Wrap Fees  for the Portfolio Architect Program
AUM Passive-Oriented Core, Choice, External-Oriented & Income-Oriented Diversified Fixed Income SMA
First $250,000 of assets 1.10% 1.40% 1.00% 1.40%
Next $250,000 0.90% 1.00% 0.75% 1.00%
Next $500,000 0.80% 0.80% 0.50% 0.80%
Assets in excess of $1 million 0.65% 0.65% 0.50% 0.65% 

Fees, including performance-based fees, for the Rodney Square Private Funds are provided in their offering documents.

What to Watch Out For

WTIM advisors do not offer financial planning. If you need help with estate planning or other non-securities-related advice, this firm may not be a good fit.  

Also, some advisors are also brokers. If you are working with an advisor who has dual roles, make sure you know which hat they are wearing when making a recommendation. Brokers have a lower “suitability” requirement while advisors must work in clients’ best interests.

Disclosures

In its most recent SEC filings, WTIM reported one disclosure. It involved a regulatory action brought by the SEC against the affiliated Wilmington Trust Company. The SEC alleged that the company had made false and misleading disclosures in stock offering materials concerning past-due loans in 2009. As a result, the company paid $16 million in disgorgement and $2,545, 896 in pre-judgment interest.

All information was accurate as of the writing of this article. 

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor 

  • Want an advisor whose only role is to provide money guidance that’s in your best interest? Then you need what’s called in the industry a fee-only advisor. To find one near you, use SmartAsset’s free matching tool. After answering questions about your financial needs and preferences, you’ll be matched with up to three advisors vetted by us.
  • Ask prospective advisors about their credentials. Surprisingly, you don’t need to have any training to be a financial advisor. So those who have certifications will have that much more preparation - and probably a speciality.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research