Corporations, municipalities and other organizations rely on corporate trust and agency services to ensure smooth operations and mitigate potential risks across a wide range of situations.

One of the best ways to understand the range of corporate trust and agency services is through a set of examples. Here are six scenarios. Each highlights a business or governmental situation and how a trustee or agent facilitates progress—and helps avoid problems.

Bond issuance and servicing

Scenario: A manufacturing company issues corporate bonds to raise capital for expansion. A corporate trustee manages interest payments, tracks bondholder records, and ensures compliance with bond covenants.

Preventing problems:

  • Monitors bond covenants to ensure compliance
  • Tracks bondholder records accurately to avoid errors in interest payments
  • Provides timely and accurate reporting to the issuer

Structured finance administration

Scenario: A financial institution securitizes a portfolio of auto loans into asset-backed securities (ABS). The trustee oversees cash flow management, investor reporting, and compliance with the financing documents.

Preventing problems:

  • Ensures payments to investors are accurate and on time
  • Provides investor reporting that helps minimize investor inquiries and potential disputes
  • Ensures compliance with the financing documents

Escrow services

Scenario: Two companies engage in a complex merger and acquisition deal. The escrow agent holds and disburses funds in accordance with the deal agreement. Its work helps facilitate the transaction and protect the parties’ interests.

Preventing problems:

  • Ensures funds are held and disbursed properly—helping avoid disputes and breaches of contract
  • Provides transparency in record-keeping to ensure accuracy and accountability
  • Addresses any disputes about the escrowed funds impartially and efficiently

Bankruptcy and restructuring trustee

Scenario: A struggling company files for bankruptcy and undergoes a restructuring process. The trustee for the company’s bonds represents the interests of the bondholders, participates in the restructuring process, and helps the company emerge from bankruptcy.

Preventing problems:

  • Manages and distributes assets in a fair and transparent manner
  • Seeks to reduce the risk of legal, tax and regulatory penalties
  • Provides regular reporting and updates to creditors and other stakeholders

M&A litigation holdback

Scenario: A company acquires another company in an M&A transaction with a portion of the purchase price held in escrow as a litigation holdback to cover potential legal claims. The escrow agent holds funds and disburses them based on the resolution of any litigation claims.

Preventing problems:

  • Disburses litigation holdback funds according to agreed-upon terms, helping to minimize the potential for disputes
  • Keeps accurate records of all transactions related to the litigation holdback
  • Addresses any disputes impartially and efficiently, which can prevent delays and legal complications

Debt restructuring and default management

Scenario: A municipal borrower (hospital, senior living center, educational facility, etc.) faces financial challenges and seeks to restructure its outstanding debt. The trustee works with the borrower and its other creditors to negotiate and implement forbearance or a debt restructuring plan and manage payments.

Preventing problems:

  • Helps establish and implement a restructuring plan that’s fair and feasible
  • Manages payments and distributions
  • Promotes transparency through ongoing monitoring and reporting


These six use-case scenarios help clarify how corporate trust and agency services help promote positive outcomes across a wide range of corporate and municipal situations. In these and many other contexts, trustees and agents can help mitigate potential risks, facilitate communication, and ensure legal and regulatory compliance while safeguarding clients’ interests.

UMB is a nationally recognized and ranked provider of bond trustee and agency services to the corporate and municipal marketplaces. Learn how UMB can support your organization’s trust and escrow needs, or contact us to be connected with a corporate trust team member.