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STEP Singapore Virtual Symposium 2020 “Staying Global. Focusing Local.” (4 Nov 2020 (Wed) & 5 Nov 2020 (Thu) 9.00am – 12.30pm)
From Wednesday 04 November 2020 -  09:00
To Thursday 05 November 2020 - 12:30

About this Virtual Symposium

In 2020, we look back at Singapore's success as a leading trust jurisdiction for succession planning, establishing itself as the one of the preferred choices for high net wealth individuals to establish their trust structures.

Singapore has to now consolidate its success by managing and addressing the day-to-day challenges of administering structures established in Singapore. 

This virtual symposium held over 2 half days will explore and dive into the issues confronting practitioners as they seek to balance client needs with the compliance, risk, regulatory and fiduciary requirements.

The 1st morning session will examine common issues facing Singapore trustees.  The 2nd morning session will consider the compliance and risk concerns encountered by Singapore Trustees.

DAY 1 (4 November 2020) Programme

9.00 - 9.05am

Welcome by Chair of Symposium Organising Committee
Mr. Derek Too – Committee Member, STEP Singapore Branch; Director, UBS AG


9.05 - 9.10am

Opening Address by (STEP Singapore) Branch Chairman
Ms. Sim Bock Eng - Chair, STEP Singapore Branch; Partner and Head - Specialist & Private Client Disputes Practice, WongPartnership LLP


9.10 - 9.55am

Session 1 - Missing in Action, where art thou Settlor?
Despite the advent of social media, messaging applications, email and smart devices, a settlor can be uncontactable. What can and should a trustee do to discharge its fiduciary obligations in this situation?In this session, the speakers will engage in a dialogue on:

  1. What might the fiduciary duties be owed to the MIA settlor?
  2. What are the duties that Trustee need to perform in connection / conjunction with settlor that his MIA is an issue?
  3. Thereof, are there actions that Trustee can take to overcome such inconvenience?
  4. Would provisions in the trust deed help to over the situations?
  5. Can beneficiaries have a role?


  • Mr. Sean Coughlan – Managing Director, Trident Trust Company (Singapore) Pte. Limited
  • Mr. Edmund Leow SC – Senior Partner, Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speakers moderated by Ms. Sim Bock Eng.


9.55 – 10.40am

Session 2 - Client directors: sinner or saint?
You have a client acting as director of a holding company of a trust administered in Singapore. It's the client! How should trustees manage the desire of the clients to manage companies under trust structures? The speaker will discuss the following issues:

  1. Does the Trustee holding an underlying company need to be its director?
  2. Does it mitigate or lower the risk of the trustee for managing the trust without responsibilities at the underlying company?
  3. In delegating the role of a director to the settlor/beneficiaries, does it reduce the requirement of the trustee to monitor? What process can be put in place so as to prevent fraud at the underlying company level? Is there a better way to structure this, to give the desired level of client control, yet keeping the trustee's risk manageable?
  4. Do we have concerns on transaction monitoring at the underlying company level?
  5. Are exoneration and indemnity clauses effective?
  6. Would the situation be more ideal if the director is an “independent director”?


  • Ms. Nicola Roberts - Partner, HARNEYS

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speaker moderated by Ms. Goh Seow Chee - Managing Director, Aequitas Advisory Pte Ltd.

10.40 - 10.50am



10.50 - 11.35am

Session 3: Called to account - Accounting Standards, how do they apply to a trust?
Trustees have a fiduciary obligation to account for the trust assets, conversely beneficiaries have the right to request trustees account. What level of accounting standard must the trustees perform to discharge their reporting obligations?
Issues to be covered by the speakers include :

  1. Is there a difference between trust accounting and company accounting?
  2. Whose standard do we adhere to? IFRS or FRS?
  3. In a typical portfolio holding trusts, highlight the matters to note in preparing the accounts of where it relates to the trustee holding the bank account directly vs trustee holding bank account via an underlying company .
  4. Does the type of underlying company make a difference i.e. offshore vs Singapore company?


  • Ms. Venetia Lau – Partner, Financial Services, Ernst & Young LLP

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speaker moderated by Ms. Goh Seow Chee.


11.35 - 12.20pm

Session 4: Administering a Trust following the incapacity of the Settlor
How should trustees manage a trust where the settlor is incapacitated?
In this session, the speaker will deal with questions such as:

  1. Whether the letter of wishes sufficient guidance to trustee in handling the incapacity situation? For instance, guidance on payments to beneficiaries.
  2. If the settlor has drawn up lasting power of attorney, would the donee interact with the Trustee? If so under what circumstances?
  3. On a practical level if we want a seamless operation between LPAs and the trust, what could we have done at drafting stage or subsequently.
  4. If the settlor recovers from his incapacity, can he question the decisions made during the period of his incapacity?


  • Ms. Kee Lay Lian - Partner, Rajah & Tann LLP

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speaker moderated by Ms. Sim Bock Eng.

12.20 - 12.30pm

Closing Remarks by Chair of Symposium Organising Committee
Mr. Derek Too - Committee Member, STEP Singapore Branch; Director, UBS AG

DAY 2 (5 November 2020) Programme

9.00 – 9.05am

Welcome Remarks
Mr. Derek Too – Committee Member, STEP Singapore Branch; Director, UBS AG


9.05 – 9.50am

Session 5 - Beneficiary Litigation, agree to disagree
How should a trustee manage the situation where the beneficiaries disagree with its decisions? What course of action should trustees consider when a beneficiary decides to litigate?
This session will deal with the following issues:

  1. Outline the rights of beneficiaries with regards to entitlements, records
  2. When there is a disagreement to quantum of distributions, how much reliance can a trustee put on a letter of wishes?
  3. Anti-litigation clauses, how effective are they?
  4. Any other preventive measures?
  5. Consider alternative dispute resolution methods?
  6. Can a third-party step into the shoes of the beneficiaries in a bankruptcy situation of a beneficiary?


  • Ms. Joanna Caen - Managing Director, PraxisIFM Nerine (Hong Kong) Limited

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speaker moderated by Mr. Lionel Choi – Vice-Chair, STEP Singapore Branch; Managing Director, LGT Bank (Singapore) Ltd


9.50– 10.35am

Session 6: Initial public offering completed, what next?
The euphoria of the initial public offering (IPO) has settled and the Singapore company is now listed on the Main Board of the SGX. The founder himself now directly holds 45% of the voting shares of the said company. A professional trustee holds a separate 25% shareholding stake as the trustee of a family trust which the founder had established for his immediate family for estate planning purposes, and where the founder retains dominant investment control. What are some of the disclosure and takeover issues the trustee would have considered before taking on the business? Are there other ongoing disclosure and takeover matters the trustee needs to be aware of while the trust holds the said stake?
The speakers will cover:

  1. The trustee’s disclosure obligations under the Securities and Futures Act and related regulations relating to disclosure of interests in the company’s shares and other securities
  2. Will unilateral actions by the founder (client) in respect of his holdings outside of the family trust trigger trustee disclosure of interest obligations?
  3. Implications concerning disclosure of aggregated interests if the trustee or other entities within the corporate group to which the trustee belongs holds the company’s shares and other securities for other beneficiaries or clients or on a proprietary basis
  4. Does it make a difference between a bank-owned trust company vs an independent trust company?
  5. What are the implications under the Singapore Code on Take-Overs and Mergers that the trustee should be aware of?
  6. Will transfer of shares held in the trust to a beneficiary of the trust trigger a mandatory general offer, and in what circumstances?
  7. What happens when the founder passes on, and can an application be made to the Securities Industry Council to seek clarity in such specific scenarios?


  • Ms. Audrey Chng - Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions, Wong Partnership LLP
  • Mr. Kevin Ho - Partner and Deputy Head of the Corporate Governance & Compliance Practice, Wong Partnership LLP

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speakers moderated by Mr. Derek Too.

10.35 - 10.45am



10.50 - 11.30am

Session 7: Onboarding a new trust, new business or risk
What measures and considerations should a Trustee consider when onboarding a new trust? The speaker will discuss the following issues:
The speaker will discuss the following issues:

  1. Identifying the type of risk, risk with regards to settlor/family, with the type of assets.
  2. What risk does the source of wealth of the family play in the determination of risk? What is the depth of the documentary evidence?
  3. What do you do when you know the family is establishing a trust for a near term change of tax residency?
  4. What risk is an acceptable level?


  • Mr. Conrad Lim - Deputy CEO, LGT Bank (Singapore) Ltd
  • Ms. Linda Wong TEP - Managing Director, Kensington Trust Singapore Limited

This session will conclude with a Q&A Session with the speaker moderated by Mr. Derek Too.


11.30 - 12.20pm

Session 8: Panel Discussion - A day in the life of your everyday Trustee
Urgent distributions, anti-money laundering, compliance… what are the day-to-day issues that trustees consider? What keeps them awake at night?
Our panel will engage in a lively discussion on the following:

  1. Distribution on urgent basis
  2. Withdrawal of a significant (>50%) part of the trust fund
  3. Settlor/beneficiary in the press for fraud and adverse news
  4. Settlor reported to be linked to governments
  5. What is worst, not knowing your settlor or your beneficiaries?
  6. Direct communication between trustees and settlor/beneficiaries – how regular should this be? Is communication via intermediaries (e.g. bank RM) practical or effective?
  7. What else keeps the trustees awake?


  • Mr. Ng Teck Wee Keith - Executive Director, Trust Management, Vistra Trust (Singapore) Pte. Limited
  • Mr. Ashley Ong - Chief Executive Officer, Lion Trust (Singapore) Limited
  • Ms. Annette Sui - Managing Director, Head of Trust, BOS Trustee Limited


  • Mr. Lionel Choi – Vice-Chair, STEP Singapore Branch; Managing Director, LGT Bank (Singapore) Ltd

12.20 - 12.30pm

Closing Remarks
Mr. Lionel Choi – Vice-Chair, STEP Singapore Branch; Managing Director, LGT Bank (Singapore) Ltd

Download Brochure HERE

Registration  Fees


Membership Type

EARLY BIRD RATE (register & pay by 30 Sept 2020)


Members of STEP 



Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) Singapore, CFA Singapore, CPA Australia, CPA Singapore/ISCA, 

International Fiscal Association (IFA), Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA),

Singapore Trustees Association (STA), Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA) Singapore Chartered Tax Professionals (SCTP)






STEP CPD SCHEME: 3 Hours 20 Minutes (each day)

Continuing Professional Development

  • Practice Area: Private Client 
  • Training Level: General
  • Public CPD Points: 6


Location :Via Zoom
Contact :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Registrations are now closed

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