STEPPING UP - ISSUE 21 (29 July 2013)
Chairman's Message

Dear Members, 

I will first and foremost like to thank the members who attended the AGM on the 26 June. 

For the benefit of the members who were unable to join us at the AGM, the new Branch committee members, nominated and voted into office are:

Vice Chairman: Lee Chiwi
Secretary: Linda Wong
Treasurer: Alexis Medina
Committee members: Mark Smallwood, S Sharma and Chee Fang Theng

James Atiken, the previous Vice-Chairman, was called upon by his organization to return to his beloved country New Zealand. As such, he put forth his resignation from his position as Vice-Chairman of STEP Singapore Branch. James has been a great resource for the Committee and contributed in many ways towards Branch activities. On behalf of the committee, I will like to thank James for his contribution and dedication.

I will also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chee Fang Theng on board as a new committee member. Fang Theng is no stranger to many of us. She has had prior involvement with the Branch activities. You can read about her profile in the current edition of our newsletter.

The Branch committee will like to invite members to share your feedback and ideas with us. Through your feedback and ideas, we can then bring activities which are relevant and interesting to you. 

As part of our initiative in engaging and involving more members, we are happy to share two new initiatives. The first is an editorial board. This is led by Alexis Medina and supported by STEP branch members, Derek Too and Wendy Wong. 

We are also starting our Branch’s “Business Families Special Interest Group” (Business Families SIG). The purpose of the Business Families SIG is to facilitate the means for  a group of like-minded people to get together to discuss issues relating to advising clients on succession of family businesses. Oftentime, it is not just about the family’s trust structure but other ancillary issues as well, such as family harmony and other soft issues as they relate to the family. We are at the stage of designing the mechanism of the Business Families SIG. Look out for our news about this in this space.

You will already have received a STEP 2021 Member Consultation survey. Every member has a stake in STEP. With a rapidly changing environment, STEP needs to evaluate what STEP means for each member and how we leverage on our global network of branches. For a meaningful evaluation, STEP needs data and opinions from members. Therefore, I would appeal to you to send me your thoughts on how you feel STEP can complement your professional development and play a role in your practice. Please do take a few minutes of your time to complete the survey. If you have time, please join us on 1 August at 2 pm for a member consultation session.

In addition, the MAS has reached out to STEP and asked if we would like to submit our views on recent public consultation paper on amendments to the income Tax Act to incorporate changes to our Exchange of Information regime. The deadline to submit our response is 31 July and please do send your comments to the Secretariat.

The Branch’s highlight for 2013 is the annual STEP Asia Conference taking place in Singapore on 12 to 14 November. In anticipation for larger group of participates, the venue for this year’s conference is at the Marina Bay Sands. The conference has a regional focus covering onshore issues for families, trends in succession planning and case laws analysis of Hong Kong and Singapore. 

As always, we look forward to your participation and support of STEP events. 

Goh Seow Chee
Chairman, STEP Singapore Branch

Update to Members - Council Meeting in London on 19 April 2013
Please find appended below the report by Angelo Venardos, representative for South East Asia on STEP Worldwide Council, who attended the Council Meeting in London April 2013 on behalf of the Singapore branch.

[View Report]

Contributed by Angelo Venardos, Council Member Representative for South East Asia, STEP Worldwide

Jurisdiction Update - Jersey Property Unit Trust

Careful structuring of investments and family wealth is important. Whether you’re just starting to look for wealth vehicles or are a sophisticated investor, the right place with the right benefits - and the right returns - is essential. 

Situated in the English Channel, Jersey’s economy is largely driven by international financial services. That means the tiny island knows what a good investment looks like.

So what are the possibilities for Asian investors and high net worth individuals?

[Read More]

Contributed by Mirek Gruna - TMF Group Jersey

“Up Close & Personal” – Interview with Ms. Chee Fang Theng

Chee Fang Theng
Organisation: Pan Asia Wikborg Rein LLC
Designation & Role in Organisation: Director
Years in Trust Industry: 16+

Getting to know Fang Theng

The book I am currently reading is ... ‘What do you care what other people think?’ By Richard Feynman.  This book even got me interested in physics.

The person(s) who have been my biggest influence is ... My father, because he leads by example: for his hard work (he’s still working even now), loyalty and dedication (he’s been with the same company for over 43 years), and his love and care of the family (he’s never been too busy to find time for us, he just makes it up by doing everything and sleeping less).

What I like most about my job/experiences in the trust industry is ... The interesting and challenging situations, real and hypothetical, that come up; and also the possibility of helping people resolve their problems with planning.  There is such diversity and variety in what I do that I never get bored.

My golden rule is ... Always do my best, whatever it is.

The business expression I hate most is ... Stop, that’s impossible.

Upcoming Events
Foreign Trusts: Problems and Solutions for Trustees and US Beneficiaries (1 August 2013, 12-2pm,  Level 10, M Hotel Singapore)
Non-US Trusts (often referred to from the US practitioner’s viewpoint as “Foreign Trusts”) provide a number of tax benefits when the non-US settlor is living.  But once the settlor dies these trusts can wreak havoc with income tax planning when US beneficiaries are involved.  We will discuss planning techniques for foreign grantor trusts to avoid future problems with accumulated income and solutions for non-grantor trusts that have accumulated income.  We will also discuss US filing requirements that apply to foreign trusts and their US beneficiaries. 

Register to secure your place by completing and faxing the registration form to (65) 31287781 (no 6 prefix) or via e-mail today!
STEP Asia Conference 2013 (13-14 November 2013, Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore)
The annual STEP Asia Conference returns this year in Singapore after another sell out event in Hong Kong in 2012, and features over forty top speakers who will discuss the latest trends and developments in wealth management. This conference has established itself as a must-attend event in the diaries of practitioners around the world, and is your opportunity to both hear from and network with some of the leading lights in the industry. 

[Read More]
Post-Event Updates
Evaluating the Current MAS Initiative on Designation of Tax Crimes as Money Laundering Predicate Offences in Singapore (26 June 2013, SGX Auditorium)
The Pre-AGM seminar on the implications of the latest MAS tax crimes initiative that was held on 26 June 2013 was very well attended, with around 140 delegates, comprising of legal practitioners, wealth and financial planners from the trust industry.


The speaker of the seminar, Mr. S. Sharma went into details of how the laws were derived and its intended coverage together with implications that comes with the initiatives. Many delegates found the presentation very informative and useful, especially when the new laws will take effect from 1 July 2013.

Contributed by Linda Wong - Kensington Trust Group

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