President’s Message

Dear Fellow STEP Members,

STEP Singapore has just closed a hugely successful STEP Asia Conference 2011. This conference was a sellout with 400 delegates of which 62% were delegates from overseas. For those who could not make it to attend the conference, you can read the summary in this enewsletter. Besides learning and exchanging views, it was an excellent networking time for peers in the industry. The landscape in which we operate is challenging and ever changing but I certainly think it is an interesting time for us. STEP produced a report “Future of Asian Trust and Estates Report” giving an insights on where this industry is heading. You can find the report HERE. The Committee will continue to bring to you relevant and useful seminars, look out for our next networking event in first quarter of 2012.

Finally, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed year in 2012.

Goh Seow Chee
President, STEP (Singapore Chapter)

Trusts, Families & Business - An Asian Focus: A review of the STEP ASIA CONFERENCE 2011 in Singapore
(1 - 2 November 2011, Singapore)

Held on November 1st and 2nd at the Fairmont Hotel, the 2011 edition of our Society’s main Asian gathering was a resounding success, both in terms of the quantity and quality of the participants and speakers, over 450 attendants at hand.

Day 1 was chaired by Raymond Gwee, and while the conference was officially opened by Goh Seow Chee, Singapore’s STEP chairperson, delegates and speakers had a chance to meet the night before at the Fullerton Bay Hotel rooftop terrace enjoying privileged views of Singapore’s skyline and the Marina Bay, including the iconic Sands Hotel. Michael Young, STEP Worldwide Chairman, then addressed the delegates prior to the keynote address by Mr. Ng Nam Sin, Assistant Managing Director – Development Group of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) the Trust industry’s Regulator and Supervisor. Mr. Ng touched on [READ MORE]

Contributed by Alexis Medina - Morgan & Morgan Corporate Services Pte. Ltd.


Jurisdiction Update

Mental Capacity in Singapore This guide provides a brief overview of issues relating to mental capacity in Singapore. 

Contributed by Lee Chiwi - Rockwills Group

“Up Close & Personal” – Interview with STEP Members from Singapore Branch

This section offers members an opportunity to become better acquainted with STEP members affiliated with the Singapore branch. Any member interested in being interviewed should contact the STEP (Singapore) Secretariat.

In our latest issue, we are please to feature our top STEP Diploma Graduate of the year from Singapore, Ow Eng Hwee.

Ow Eng Hwee
Organisation: Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Designation & Role in Organisation: Product Solutions and Wealth Planner 
My role involves researching the tax and regulatory framework of various jurisdictions and planning how our solutions may be modified or structured to achieve the wealth and succession planning objectives of clients. In addition, I support our business development team in meeting up with clients who are interested in special solutions (ie. non-standard products or structures).
Years in Trust Industry: It has been an interesting 4 years since I entered the private wealth management industry with HSBC Trustee before moving on to my current role at Swiss Life. Prior to that, I started my career at the corporate tax department of Ernst & Young.

Getting to know Ow Eng Hwee

The book I am currently reading is ... an old favourite, "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller, after I recently learnt about the Peng Yu case in China where a judge ruled that "common sense" determined that the person (Peng Yu) who took an injured elderly lady to the hospital must have been the same person who caused her injury, and thus be liable for her medical expenses.

Coincidently, it is the 50th anniversary of the book's publication this year. It never ceases to amaze me each time I read this book how easy it is to draw parallels of the paradoxes and bureaucratic absurdities to the world that we see today (the Greek debt crisis and Peng Yu case comes to mind). There was only one catch, and that was Catch-22.

The person who has been my biggest influence is ... The question is complex and life is short! We are continually influenced in varying degrees by the people we interact with and our experiences at different stages of our psychological and professional development. These influences together shape us to become the person we are, and it is difficult to determine which had been the biggest influence. Having said this, I will say that my wife had been a significant influence, if not simply because she has been with me through many of the significant phases of my life.

What I like most about my job is ... the challenge in finding solutions taking into consideration the varying tax laws and regulatory environment in different jurisdictions. It is also interesting planning private placement life insurance strategies when I have spent so many years looking at things only from a trust perspective. Both solutions are different but yet similar in so many ways. I am privileged to have the opportunity to see things from both angles and now have a better understanding of when one solution or another may be more appropriate considering the client's needs and personal circumstances.

My golden rule is ... 2 rules actually, both quoting Oscar Wilde. "I have the simplest taste. I am always satisfied with the best."
"I can resist everything except temptation."

The business expression I hate most is ... the indiscriminate use of “Can we have this by today?”. Need I say more?

I want to be remembered as ... someone who truly cared for his clients and who made a difference, however small.

Recruitment Classifieds

Trust Manager position available 

The STEP Singapore website features a recruitment classifieds service for the trust industry.
Employers interested in placing job advertisements on our website may do so at only $400 per month. Details available HERE.

Upcoming Event
Wills Boot Camp 2012
(10 January 2012, 2-5pm, FTSE Room, Level 9, Capital Tower, 168 Robinson Road)

With the will, you get to understand the financial objectives of your clients better. It gives you the opportunity to draw up financial plans that match your client’s legacies and provisions for his family members. 

The ½ day Wills boot camp training focuses on the law and practical aspects of wills, the formalities, dealing with intestacy and the issues that are involved in administering an intestate’s estate. The speaker will highlight the advantages of having a will in place, custody and will making for the foreign-domiciled person. He will discuss aspects and techniques like the appointment and selection of executors and trustees, the “pour over will”, testamentary trusts, guardianship and various methods of distributions to beneficiaries. The speaker will also help you understand what is involved in probate and administration. Other topics include risk management in will making arising from issues of incapacity, undue influence and beneficiaries that are excluded from the estate.

Register early to secure your place by completing and faxing the registration form to (65) 31287781 (no 6 prefix) or via e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by 3 January 2012 !

Post-Event Updates
3rd STEP Singapore Graduation Ceremony
(18 October 2011, Maxwell Chambers)

The STEP 2011 Graduation Ceremony took place on 18th October 2011 chaired by Ms Goh Seow Chee, President of the STEP Committee (Singapore Branch). This year, thirty three students successfully completed the STEP Foundation Certificate & Diploma in International Trust Management, fourteen of which graduated with distinctions.

21 of the graduates joined us for the graduation ceremony and a talk on "Family Philanthropy In Asia: Characteristics, Trends And Challenges" after the ceremony.

Congratulations to our graduates!


Please click on the above picture to open photo gallery)

Contributed by Seema Bhayat - SG Trust (Asia) Ltd

Family Philanthropy In Asia: Characteristics, Trends And Challenges
(18 October 2011, Maxwell Chambers)

The growing interest in philanthropy planning among high net worth families in Asia has led to researches being conducted to facilitate better understanding of needs in Asia. The speaker covered the challenges that Asia faces in the field of philanthropy due to lack of information of recipients, statistics on needs in Asia and the difficulties in monitoring the progress of grant recipients. Families in Asia especially the second generation educated in the west are looking for sustainable charity and charity where they could have some form of measurement for success or progress. The talk generated some thoughts of where we would like to be in this space and the existing gaps.

Contributed by Goh Seow Chee - J.P. Morgan

Events Calendar

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