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Founded in 1989, PENSCO is celebrating 30 years

Throughout our history, PENSCO has helped clients take an active role in their retirement investments, providing them with the opportunity to diversify their portfolios and grow wealth, their way. With 30 years under our belts, we're proud to offer award-winning expertise to both individual and institutional investors.

Founding & Early Years | 1989-2009

PENSCO's story begins in 1974, when Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are introduced as part of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) legislation, enacted to regulate employee benefit plans. In 1989, Tom Anderson starts PENSCO when he sees an opportunity to help people invest in non-standard assets – like real estate, private equity, and other complex investments – with their IRAs.

PENSCO quickly emerges in the industry as a technology pioneer and becomes an active member of the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA), which works to advocate for and educate both consumers and professionals about the self-directed IRA industry. In 2010, after running the company for 21 years, Tom Anderson transitions the role of CEO to a new leader. While maintaining his role as Chairman of PENSCO, he becomes president of RITA - a role he continues to hold through 2019.

Expansion & Innovation | 2010-2015

PENSCO experiences rapid growth, growing from $5 billion to $10 billion in Assets Under Custody and serving up to 50,000 clients.

In 2012, San Francisco-based PENSCO acquires the self-directed IRA business of Lincoln Trust, a Denver-based alternative asset custodian, and becomes the largest independent custodian of alternative investments based on assets under custody in the United States. From the acquisition, PENSCO focuses on growing its operations in Denver and in 2015 launches the award-winning Alt-Nav fintech solution that streamlines the alternative asset investing process.

Acquisition & Continued Growth | 2016-Present

In 2016 PENSCO entered a new chapter when it was acquired by Opus Bank ("Opus") (NASDAQ:OPB), a regional bank headquartered in Irvine, California which provides commercial and retail banking products. Opus Bank board member, Curtis Glovier, took the helm as PENSCO’s Chairman & CEO.

In addition to serving retail clients, PENSCO expands its focus to institutions and financial advisors. The company becomes successor custodian to top-shelf firms and large broker-dealers, and creates an innovative API solution to provide custodial support to online investment platforms.

Currently led by Richard Immesberger, PENSCO continues to make it possible to invest in alternative assets within an IRA market that’s positioned for growth, committed to leading the industry in providing unmatched service and education to self-directed IRA investors.

PENSCO through the years

Take a spin through our interactive timeline to learn about PENSCO's history.

  1. PENSCO was founded on December 6, 1989.

  2. First alternative asset custodian to enable clients to view their transactions and asset holdings online.

  3. First alternative asset custodian on the Internet.

  4. Pioneered PENSCO's Power Professional Directory, a national reference database of professionals who know how to work with alternative asset investments: Registered Investment Advisors, CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals.

  5. First alternative custodian to offer online IRA application.

  6. First alternative custodian to provide automatic email notifications of each transaction.

  7. First alternative custodian to host a national symposium on self-directed alternative asset investing for CPAs, attorneys and financial advisors.

  8. PENSCO Trust acquires the self-directed IRA business of Lincoln Trust, a Denver alternative asset custodian, to become the nation’s largest independent custodian of alternative investments by assets at the time.

  9. PENSCO launches the award-winning Alt-Nav™ online investing platform.

  10. April 14, 2016: PENSCO is officially acquired by Opus Bank and continues to operate and serve clients as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

    PENSCO’s Alt-Nav platform is recognized for “Most Innovative Technology Solution” at 2016 HFM US Technology Awards.

  11. The company is chosen by many of the nation’s most well-known broker-dealers, such as Morgan Stanley and UBS, as successor custodian for their clients holding alternative assets in IRAs.

  12. PENSCO launches Custodian Connect, an API-driven solution providing investment platforms a fully integrated end-to-end and paperless process for providing their clients the option to invest via an IRA.

    PENSCO is recognized by for Alt-Nav™ online investing technology.

  13. PENSCO launches Fund Custody Services for Private Funds. With 30 years of alternative asset custody experience, PENSCO can now custody private funds and help Fund Managers or Registered Investment Advisors comply with the Custody Rule.