Learn more about what we do...

Copyright © 2012 Remarkable Community Banks™. All rights reserved.

What we do

We help community banks generate more non-interest income from investment advisory services.

How? Stand Out.

The market for investment services is overcrowded, noisy and difficult to discern the good from the bad. The everyday investor is confused and sees “sameness” everywhere. With our recommendations, methods, and processes - a way of doing business - you can create a clean break from the competition so clients literally believe there’s no comparison between you and the other guy.

We’ll show you how to differentiate your bank in a clear and powerful way. While other bank and non-bank providers lay claim to the same superiority - “we exceed customer expectations” or “our people make the difference” - you’ll capture and keep business by what you DO - satisfying customers - and not by what you SAY.

Who we work for

Community banks with total bank assets less than $20 billion.

Our specialty

We’re at our best working with a bank that knows “business as usual” is never coming back and what’s been done in the past won’t be enough to stay successful.

Our best work involves:

• investment management
• mastering service
• pricing strategies

• marketing and branding
• mastering sales
• planning and goal setting

• fee-only vs. commission
• small account solutions
• M&A due diligence


















Our story

At the heart of Remarkable Community Banks is the belief that community banks can be the first place people turn for investment advice. We believe the everyday investor deserves a better alternative to broker-dealers, wire houses, and commissioned-based financial advisors.

Remarkable Community Banks was founded to be a resource for community banks that believe, as we do, that teams can be inspired to do more, much more if we set big goals, provide a roadmap, and lead. We exist to backstop leadership with the “how” of being remarkable among a sea of bank and non-bank providers of investment and wealth management services.

Remarkable Community Banks is the vision of David Cullen, a twenty-seven year banking veteran and entrepreneur.

About our Founder

The Banking Years

Dave Cullen began his trust and investment management career working at Marine BankDCullenPhoto, Erie, PA and then Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa, OK.

Returning to Erie, Dave rejoined Marine Bank and served as Senior Vice President and Deputy Trust Division Manager. After Marine Bank was sold to PNC Financial, Dave left to start his own trust bank, Heritage Trust Company. In 1992, Heritage Trust Company was the only privately-owned trust bank in Erie and one of only a few nationwide. After growing client assets to $325 million, Heritage was sold in 2001 to a local community bank, Northwest Savings Bank. While running Heritage Trust Company, Dave served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of Trust Organizations.

The Entrepreneurial Years

Dave Cullen’s business adventures have included ownership of six businesses. Dave founded and sold ParentBroadcast, Inc., one of the country’s first school-to-parent notification services. Dave also co-founded Finesse Crumb, LLC, a North American distributor of the Cape Town, South African-based Finesse Crumb food coating system.


Dave earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from John Carroll University and an MBA from Gannon University. Dave also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.


Dave has two grown children and two grandchildren and splits his time between Erie, PA (hometown) and
Charleston, SC.



















Why us?


Earn low-risk fee income clients gladly pay for

There is no better source of predictable, recurring fee income than what banks can earn providing investment advisory services. It’s relationship banking at its best, it can generate sustainable 20% - 30% margins, and can serve as a magnet for other bank services. We’ll show you the way.


Execute bank vision with confidence

Most bank leaders rise through the ranks with experience gained as lenders and retail bankers. Bank CEOs readily admit to not completely understanding the nuances and critical success factors offering fiduciary and non-fiduciary services. We are hired for our expertise and objective perspective, helping banks execute vision with confidence. We’ll show you the way.


Improve morale and inspire higher team performance

Your investment in hiring us is a direct investment in your team. You’ll be surprised how high your team will reach when shown a way of doing business that proudly sets your bank apart from competitors. Winning new business and delighting clients is very rewarding. We’ll show you the way.


Become self-sufficient

When you hire us, our job is to provide direction and a roadmap to success. With the right training and coaching, your staff can take over just about any task. If we’ve done our job well, the follow-up work will be completed by your staff without dependence on us. We’ll show you the way.


















Preferred vendors

One of our core beliefs is community banks should outsource as much of the non-client facing activities as possible to gain competitive advantages. What we call “smart partnering” will be one your key differentiators allowing you to stand out from other providers.

Because we are unbiased and vendor-neutral, we make recommendations solely in the best interest of your bank. We save you the expense, time, and stress of vetting vendor partners.

Here are a few reasons we suggest community banks participate in our “smart partnering” program:

allow for more “face-time” with customers, the primary driver of growth

improve profit margins be reducing fixed costs and becoming more efficient

maintain leading edge capabilities, the easiest path to innovation

strengthen internal controls and compliance management

improve employee morale and productivity when armed with “best” practices and products

Partial list of preferred vendors*

AccuTech Systems Corporation

Trust Accounting Software

Aspire Financial Services

Retirement Plan Recordkeeping & Communications Services

Austin Associates

Consultants & Specialized Investment Banking

BAM Advisor Services

Outsouced Investment Management Provider (TAMP)

Dimensional Fund Advisors

Investment Management

eMoney Advisor

Wealth-Planning Tools


Trust Accounting Software

MartinGroup Identity + Design

Brand Identity & Strategic Design Services

Morningstar Investment Services

Investment Management Outsourcing Solution (TAMP)

Oakbrook Solutions

Consulting Services and Software Solutions

OBS Financial Services

Outsourced Investment management Provider (TAMP)

Schwab Advisor Services

Custodian, Trust Accounting & Investment Outsourcing

Vanguard Financial Advisor Services

Investment Management

*The designation and presentation of preferred vendors in no way indicates their endorsement, support or approval of the contents of this site, or the policies and positions of Remarkable Community Banks. We are not responsible for products or services offered through third-party vendors.





















Frequently Asked Questions

How do you work with community banks to help them grow?

We created a practice management platform a way of doing business that serves as the basis for our recommendations. Each bank has its own unique challenges and opportunities, so we “start where you are” and together choose a path that makes sense for you.


Do you only work with banks having an established trust or investment advisory business?

No. We also advise community banks just entering the business.


What makes you different from other bank advisors and consultants?

(1) We’re less consultant and more business owner with “street smarter” focus of an entrepreneur.

(2) We’ve started a bank trust company, so we know first-hand what works and what doesn't.

(3) We’re not afraid to say, “We don’t know — let’s figure it out” because the best projects are collaborative.


How do you charge for your services?

We base our fees on a per-project basis. After estimating the dollar value you’ll receive by implementing our recommendations, you choose from three project options we propose as possible starting points. Each option has a single quoted fee, so you’ll know all costs upfront.


I’m intrigued. What’s my next step?

The wealth management industry is in the midst of change and client satisfaction has approached historic lows. If you believe as we do that your bank can take advantage of these changes and become the provider of choice in your market, then contact us to learn how.





















Contact Us


We always start with a phone consultation. We’re as interested as you are to discover if we’re a good fit.
Let’s talk!

David M. Cullen, CFA
President + Lead Advisor

Telephone: (800) 452-8963
Email: david@remarkablebanks.com

community banks

To best serve you, we need to get to know you. Conversely, you should get to know us so you feel comfortable knowing we can help. Do you have a project you would like to discuss? Let’s talk.

preferred vendors

Do you believe community banks have an extraordinary opportunity to stand out and grow fee income from investment services? Does your product or service stand out? Let’s talk.

speaking engagements

David Cullen knows how to ignite and inspire an audience. How? David has the battle-hardened experience of running a trust bank from scratch. With five other start-ups under his belt, David imparts an entrepreneurial, can-do message that speaks to the heart of the real challenges facing banks. Let’s talk.


We are always looking for fellow linchpins and innovative thinkers. Can you contribute to our success by helping community banks stand out and prosper in the wealth and investment advisory business? Let’s talk.




why us?


Our story


Preferred vendors


contact us...


frequently asked questions