STEPPING UP - ISSUE 11 (29 APRIL 2011)

COMMITTEE NEWS:President’s Message

Dear Fellow STEP Members,

1. Branch Activities in Q1
 

The following is a summary of talks held so far this year. As you can see, all events continue to attract good attendance by both STEP members and non-members. Do let us know if there is a particular subject or topic area that you would like us to try to source a speaker, or please introduce to us any speakers that you think may be of interest to our almost 440-strong Singapore membership.

2. Report: April Council Meeting
 

As a result of being recently elected to STEP Worldwide Council by the Singapore Management Committee, I would like to update you on the agenda and proceedings from the Council meetings I attended in London on 14-15 April.

It was an enormously important Council meeting, due to a new governance structure of Board and Council being bedded down. It was timely to talk about relationships: how these two arms of governance / consultation / representation will work together and particularly what the roles of Board members and council members are. Most importantly it was critical to focus on relationships with the wider membership and how effective communication and clarity of roles and responsibilities throughout STEP can ensure that we best serve the membership at large and build cohesion throughout the Society.

The STEP Worldwide Board has just completed its ‘blue skies’ planning. An enormous amount of progress was made over two days to analyse the Board’s interest and initial views on governance and communication, on risk, on key issues for the Board in taking up its role, on strategic issues throughout the Society and how the business plan for STEP thus goes forward.

The major items for the agenda included reports on branch development, education and public policy; the STEP brand; special interest groups; membership satisfaction survey; taxpayer’s charter; 2011/12 operational plan; finance report and budget. Read excerpts from David Harvey’s CEO report to Council HERE.

3. STEP/STA Gala Dinner Update
  For those of you who have yet to confirm your individual or table booking, please note that we have todate sold 10 tables, with 3 major gold sponsorships, and aim to have a full house by late May/early June.

Angelo Venardos
President, STEP (Singapore Chapter)

 

INDUSTRY NEWS:

The Seychelles Jurisdiction Update

The main pillars of the economy of the Seychelles are mainly Tourism, Fisheries& Agriculture and Manufacturing & Construction industries. The Government’s efforts to diversify the economic base have paved the way for a fast developing international financial sector.

The sale of financial and business products is now being regarded as the third pillar of the economy. The status of Seychelles as an independent financial centre is continuously growing with the expansion of its sophisticated, modern & flexible structures and amendments made to its legislation so as to comply with international standards as set by the OECD, FATF and IMF. The country has even recently signed 8 Tax Information Exchange Agreements, 7 of which are with the Nordic Alliance.

In recent years, we have seen the enactment of a Mutual Fund & Hedge Fund Act offering great … [READ MORE]

Contributed by Neil Puresh – Managing Director, Intercontinental Trust (Seychelles) Limited

“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.

Name
: Hugh Ellerton
Organisation : EFG Trust Company (Singapore) Limited
Designation & Role in Organisation : Senior Director and Head of Business Development
Years in Trust Industry : I joined STEP in 1991, but started in the offshore trust industry over 30 years ago

Getting to know Hugh Ellerton

The book I am currently reading is ... “The way we live now” by Anthony Trollope

The person who has been my biggest influence is ... My father and my wife.

What I like most about my job is ... Every day is different, every client is different.

My golden rule is ... 2 rules – First rule: “Don’t lose money”, Second rule: “Don’t forget the First Rule”.

The business expression I loathe most is ... on investment: “It is different this time...”

Name
: Mark Forsythe
Organisation : First Advisory Trust (Singapore) Limited
Designation & Role in Organisation : Director and Resident Manager
Years in Trust Industry : I have been involved in the trust industry for eight years. I started with First Advisory Group (FIRST) in Liechtenstein in 2003 and when FIRST acquired a local trust company last year, I was given the opportunity of coming to Singapore to help ensure a smooth acquisition process and to assist with developing new business opportunities.

Getting to know Mark Forsythe

The book I am currently reading is ... I am currently reading “Swiss Watching” by Diccon Bowes. It is a study on the Swiss, their customs, their peculiarities and the nation as a whole, as seen by an Englishman living in Switzerland. Having spent seven years living there myself and having a Swiss wife, it is particularly relevant! Next on my reading list is the autobiography of Lee Kuan Yew.

The person who has been my biggest influence is ... Probably an obvious choice but I would have to say my parents. They instilled in me the values which make me who I am today.

What I like most about my job is ... It gives me a chance to meet a diverse range of people from different cultures and backgrounds.

My golden rule is ... never put off ’til tomorrow what can be done today.

The business expression I loathe most is ... “We regret to inform you...”!

 

UPDATES & DEVELOPMENTS:

Upcoming Events

Family Business Succession Planning (1 June 2011, 12-2pm, STI Auditorium – Capital Tower)

At this lunchtime seminar, our speaker will provide a practical overview of typical issues that arise on a transition of a family business across generations, primarily focusing on and considering the potential differences between a transfer between the founding 1st generation and the 2nd generation compared to a transfer between the 2nd and 3rd generations of the family.

Issues to be addressed will include:
1. Introduction to and definition of a “family business”
2. Important milestones in the life of a family business
3. The role of a Trust and Estate Practitioner
4. The Assessment Process
  a.
b.
Family Business
The Family
5. The Advisory Process
  a.
b.
c.
Transition readiness assessment – key factors
Transition – ownership and control options
Managed Ownership and Control Structure – objectives
6. Case study examples

Register early to secure your place by completing and faxing the registration form to (65) 31287781 (no 6 prefix) or via e-mail by 25 May 2011!

BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT! – STEP-STA Singapore Inaugural Charity Gala Dinner 2011

As part of its efforts to bring together the community of trust and estate planners in Singapore and the region, as well as to share with the less fortunate in Society, STEP (Singapore) and STA will be organising their first charity gala dinner on 29 June 2011.

Enjoy a sumptuous 8-course sit-down Chinese dinner prepared by leading chefs at the Fairmont Singapore. Mingle with old friends and renew acquaintances. Enjoy the music and dance the night away.

We have designated the recently set up Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) as our appointed charity beneficiary of the evening, with nett proceeds raised from the dinner being donated to SNTC in support of its trust scheme targeted at encouraging parents/caregivers to save and provide for the financial security of their special needs dependants.

Please DOWNLOAD AND COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION / BOOKING FORM to book your seat(s) / table(s) for the dinner, be a sponsor or make a direct donation to the designated charity.

For further enquiries, please contact the STEP (Singapore) Secretariat at (65) 31287781 (no 6 prefix) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Post-Event Updates

Piercing the Veil of the Company and Trust: An International Comparative Analysis (23 March 2011, 5-7.30pm, STI Auditorium – Capital Tower)

Tim Prudhoe, from UK law firm Kobre & Kim joined us for our monthly sessions last February 15th, at the STI Auditorium at Capital Tower. His presentation was well attended by trust managers based in Singapore and started off with our guest walking us through the legal concept of the company and how it has evolved over time in the western world and the two main currents of thought. He later moved towards the Trust jurisprudence on the matter including the main areas to focus.

Over the Q & A session Tim shared with us his knowledge on the subject at length, including his experiences as a practicing attorney in the BVI and Bermuda, as well as commenting on well known cases involving trust around the world. It was a well balanced discussion including comments on the wide offer of fiduciary solutions available to practitioners, such as Foundations.

Trust Structures Holding Business Assets Situated in Asia – Pitfalls and Possibilities (15 February 2011, 12-2pm, SGX Auditorium – SGX Centre)

Our February 2011 presentation was the highly anticipated subject of “Trust Structures holding business assets in Asia – pitfalls and possibilities”. The team of lecturers was made up of Dr. Britta Pfister and Richard Baldock both from Rothschild Trust. While Dr. Pfister is based in Singapore, Mr. Baldock was visiting us from his base in Zurich, Switzerland. A record attendance from across the trust industry spectrum was present at the SGX Auditorium to hear from the speakers on their experiences of real cases.

The first half of the lecture was presented by Dr. Britta who concentrated on the different stages undergone by the trust specialist leading up to the client solution. She then gave way to Richard, who dissected two very interesting trust structures involving assets located in Asia and America and the ramifications of second or third generation migration and other family dynamics. The interaction with the audience was quite active, with participation by way of questions, comments and shows of hands prompted by the speakers.

The lecture ended with a lively debate on the issue of foreign trusts and their recognition by Singapore courts. Overall participants experienced a great insight into the details of trust solutions with a definite Asian perspective.

Events Calendar

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