NU Online News Service, Jan. 10, 12:39 p.m. – The Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, is expanding the reach of its trust company operation and setting up a new trust services office in California.

Phoenix finished converting Phoenix Charter Oak Trust, a trust bank subsidiary with a Connecticut charter, to a national charter, Jan. 9, and renamed the subsidiary Phoenix National Trust Company.

The national charter gives Phoenix National Trust the ability to sell trust services throughout the United States. Before, the trust company faced restrictions on its ability to operate outside New England.

Phoenix National Trust products include irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, living trusts and special needs trusts. The trust company can also provide custody, estate settlement, fiduciary tax and investment management services, Phoenix says.

Phoenix is setting up a trust company office in Pasadena, Calif., to work with the existing trust company office in Hartford.

Charles Olson, president of the trust company, says financial advisors may prefer to work with a national trust company, rather than continuing to refer clients to local trust companies, because some local trust companies are now competing with advisors.

“Phoenix National Trust will work with advisors as a true partner, not a competitor,” Olson says in a statement accompanying the trust company announcement.