The Merger of Two Independent South Dakota Trust Companies: Revolutionizing the Trust Industry

Bridgeford Trust Company, LLC (Bridgeford Trust Company) and Delta Trust Company of South Dakota, Inc. (Delta Trust Company), both South Dakota chartered independent trust companies, are proud and excited to announce a merger, pending South Dakota Division of Banking approval.

Founded in 1992, as a private trust company, Delta Trust Company was established by the descendants of James Ford Bell, the founder of General Mills, to serve the various and complex trust and fiduciary needs of one of America’s largest and most prominent families. Under the leadership of Todd J. Bernhard, Delta Trust Company has evolved into a public trust company serving the needs of a select and limited number of very large families.  Delta Trust Company has also been actively involved in serving as a host for startup trust companies, earning a reputation in South Dakota and beyond, for providing excellent technical fiduciary expertise and outstanding client service to families and trust companies across the country and around the world. 

Founded in 2012, Bridgeford Trust Company provides trust and fiduciary services to domestic and international families across the country and around the world. Through deliberately selecting South Dakota over other top tier U.S. trust jurisdictions for its trust charter, Bridgeford Trust Company leverages that state’s cutting edge, modern trust laws and represents a new and emerging wealth management service paradigm built around true independence, collaboration, and world-class capabilities. Powered by its extremely responsive, nimble, and creative approach to education and client service, Bridgeford Trust Company has been recognized as one of South Dakota’s fastest growing trust companies.

David A. Warren, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Bridgeford Trust Company states…

“Delta Trust Company’s rich history, expertise, and national reputation for providing excellent client service is a perfect fit with Bridgeford Trust Company’s entrepreneurial, ‘can do’ spirit and creative and flexible approach to education and client service.”

Todd J. Bernhard, Delta Trust Company’s CEO, echoing this sentiment, adds…

“Our common passion for South Dakota’s industry leading modern trust laws, coupled with the very impressive strengths and talents that each company brings to the table, will result in an extremely powerful combined company positioned to be a leader in the trust industry not only in South Dakota but also across the country and around the world.”

Pending confirmation by the South Dakota Division of Banking, the newly merged company, Bridgeford Trust Company, will substantially increase total assets under administration as well as add additional trust professionals. All trust administration and corporate governance functions will be performed and executed through offices in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, while planning, business development, and marketing activity will be coordinated through Bridgeford Advisors, Inc., a legally distinct sister company of Bridgeford Trust Company, with locations in Pennsylvania, New York City, Miami, and Southern California. 

South Dakota has consistently been ranked as the top U.S. dynasty trust state, and its decanting statute has been ranked as the most progressive in the nation by Nevada Attorney, Steve Oshins. In addition, South Dakota has the strongest privacy provisions and one of the most powerful domestic asset protection statutes in the nation, as recently observed by Trusts & Estates Magazine. Consistently recognized as an innovator in the trust industry, South Dakota is also one of only three states with a Community Property Trust statute, a very powerful tax planning tool, and the only state in the nation with the Family Advisor role, referred to as a “trust protector light.” Click here to view a chart comparing the leading U.S. trust jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on these areas that clearly distinguish South Dakota as the superior U.S. trust jurisdiction.

For more information on this exciting merger, please watch the video below or contact us via our contact page.