Institutional Services

A private family business, a non-profit ministry, a public company with regulation-driven responsibilities – they have more in common than might first be assumed. All face challenges of governance, growth, and stewardship of people, capital, and opportunities.

At Ronald Blue Trust, we work with family businesses and non-profit institutions of all sizes and ownership structure. Our services and expertise have expanded to meet the constantly evolving challenges of business and the business environment, whether it involves intra-family succession planning or a family exiting the business . . . a necessary change to corporate structure . . . the need for additional capital . . . or new government-mandated requirements for retirement plans.

If you have a privately-held business, our experts look forward to talking with you about how we can serve you with our Business Consulting Services. If you are in leadership for a for-profit business or non-profit institution, such as a church or ministry, your needs are different – and we know that. We’ve designed our Institutional Investment, Retirement Plan Consulting, and Employee Financial Planning Advisory Services to serve our institutional clients at a high level of fiduciary care.

The privately-held business: a special member of the family.

A family-owned business is not only a special member of the family, it’s a special asset on the family balance sheet. In fact, it may be one of the most complex assets, requiring stewardship of people, capital, growth opportunities, the family name, and the family legacy. It requires continuous investment by the stakeholders and a compelling vision for the future. But sometimes vision alone is not enough.

Through our experience advising numerous business owners on issues ranging from succession planning to mergers and acquisitions, Ronald Blue Trust's Business Consulting Services team can be a trusted advisor for your business, helping you anticipate and plan for major changes and offering strategic advice. What’s more, our advice is objective because we focus on what’s in your best interest rather than focusing on closing the deal, like most transaction-oriented intermediaries.

The Business Consulting Services team at Ronald Blue Trust consists of former investment banking advisors, giving you the confidence of knowing that we understand the process and can guide you through the complex stages of strategy. Read more about Brian Shepler, President and EVP of Client Services, Jeffrey Wernick, Sr. Business Consulting Services Specialist, and Clint Park, Business Consulting Services Specialist.

Our core services include:

  • Succession planning – We address several areas when a business transition is being considered: governance and leadership systems, ownership structure, life and family impact, family communications.
  • Mergers & acquisitions – We look at all aspects of a potential merger or acquisition and can sit on either side of the table with you, providing buy- or sell-side advisement and an analysis of third party offers and private company investment.
  • Corporate services – We can serve as your business advisor for strategic growth planning, generational wealth transfer, corporate and capital structure, and management compensation advice.
  • Charitable planning – We help you evaluate several options with the goal of gaining the most out of every dollar that is given away, through business stewardship, give-and-hold strategies, real estate gifting, and mergers and acquisitions.

Real Life Results

Objectivity, experience, a specialized team – for a special member of the family.


Partners for Fiduciary Responsibility.

Many of our institutional clients are interested in bringing a biblically-based perspective to their organization’s assets. Ronald Blue Trust's Institutional Investment Management Services provide businesses, churches, and ministries that have assets on their balance sheet professional management with a biblical foundation. We help manage assets for foundations, endowments, pension plans, charitable trusts, and general corporate assets.

Specialists from our Investment Strategy Group come alongside internal committees responsible for these assets helping them identify liabilities and risks, create an Investment Policy Statement (IPS), provide reporting and communications and, most importantly, manage the assets with a high probability of meeting the IPS’s goals. We take very seriously our role to help committees best accomplish their fiduciary responsibility. For institutions looking for fiduciary and administrative services, Ronald Blue Trust can help with both of these as well.

Our partners come alongside of you to help with fiduciary care and compliance.

Corporations and institutions that offer retirement plans to their employees have a special responsibility to ensure fiduciary care and compliance with federally-mandated regulations. Ronald Blue Trust's Retirement Plan Consulting offering assists clients with the fiduciary responsibility for retirement plans in which participants direct their investments, plans that are complex and require plan fiduciaries to act as prudent experts under ERISA. 

Fiduciaries are held to a high standard of care with respect to planā€related decisions on investments offered, service providers, plan administration, and general ERISA compliance issues. Most prudent plan sponsors hire a plan consultant to assist them in adhering to ERISA’s rigorous standards and to meet their objective of offering best practices 401(k) or 403(b) plans to their employees. Because of our relationships with external retirement plan specialists, we are able to introduce our retirement plan clients to these experienced specialists, who help clients with their fiduciary responsibilities for these plans.

The role of the retirement plan consulting specialist includes Investment Policy Statement (IPS) construction, “open architecture” provider selection, investment monitoring and selection, and plan reporting, among other things.

Ronald Blue Trust advisors continue to work with the client and the specialist to ensure that clients are being served well. Our role is to set up and attend meetings, review and assist the client in understanding the materials and services of specialists, and provide information to the client to help decision-makers evaluate the proposed advisory services.

In addition to our typical Retirement Plan Consulting Services, we have specific offerings available for faith-based sponsors, including faith-based investments and financial planning educational materials and websites. We also make available custom designed model portfolios for clients reflecting our Principles-Based Investing philosophy.

Strong financial futures can lead to happier employees.

Because it’s crucial for individuals to make informed choices to reach goals for their future, employees often benefit from professional guidance on their retirement plan investment choices and how those choices integrate with other decisions. For our business and institutional clients, Ronald Blue Trust offers optional Employee Financial Planning Advisory Services, which are designed to help participants answer two questions:

  • Are you appropriately allocating your assets and liabilities across all of your investments (not just your retirement account) and investing in an appropriate sequence?
  • Are you on or off-track (saving too much or too little) as you work towards saving for the future?

We focus on educating participants regarding key biblical principles of financial stewardship. After participants evaluate their financial situation, we deliver personalized recommendations and action steps that participants can apply to their own situation. We also educate them on a framework for the management of their personal financial resources as they move into the future. In addition, participants have the option to engage us for additional personal financial planning at a discount from our normal retail rates.

We believe this service increases your ability to retain key staff and can help solidify your value proposition to employees by providing a solution that is directly aimed at strengthening their overall financial situation on a personal basis, leading to happier, more productive employees.