Having a separate entity custody, segregate, and safekeep your assets in your name is critically important. Why? Because an independent, qualified custodian provides an extra layer of protection for safeguarding your assets. In addition to reports provided by the asset manager or adviser, the custodian generates and distributes its own statements directly to you ensuring that you get accurate, independent, and verifiable information about your account. An independent, qualified custodian also provides these data online, usually in real-time. The custodian, not the asset manager or adviser, is responsible for verifying and reporting your disbursement authorizations from your investment account. Remember, Bernie Madoff’s clients did NOT have the necessary checks and balances afforded by an independent qualified custodian, therefore they were susceptible to the fraud Mr. Madoff committed. At PNW Asset Management, we use Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. as our qualified custodian and safekeeping agent. They are a publicly traded financial services holding company headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Schwab is a top tier provider of custodial, operational and trading services custodying hundreds of billions in assets for their clients and for advisers’ clients. We think Schwab is among the best, and they have been serving their clients with competency and professionalism for decades.
We encourage you to beware of any wealth manager – from large Wall Street firms to boutique shops – who, in addition to managing your assets, also custody and safekeep them. At PNW Asset Management, we believe separate and discrete manager/custodial functions inject prudent checks and balances and dramatically improves Asset Safety.