President's Message

Dear Members,

  1. STEP Singapore Graduation Ceremony on 2 November 2010

    STEP Singapore heartily congratulates its latest 21 graduands who will receive the STEP International Trust Management Diploma. Also, a further 181 student members are currently pursuing the Diploma and Foundation Certificate in Singapore. STEP worldwide today has over 14,500 members in 66 jurisdictions around the world.

    Our industry is one that thrives and depends on knowledge and skill, and STEP plays a very important role in educating its members. Whether through training, publications, seminars or professional certification, it is useful to remind ourselves of one of the key objects of STEP in regard to education. Object 4 states “To advance knowledge and learning in respect of trusts, estates and allied subjects; and encourage and promote the study of trusts and estate practice and to educate members of the public including practitioners.”

    On this point, David Harvey, CEO STEP Worldwide, was recently in Singapore, and together, we met with senior representatives of the Singapore Trustees Association (STA), the Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF) and the Wealth Management Institute (WMI) to explore common avenues of working together to provide trust programmes that include local content and greater relevancy to our members of the trust industry in Singapore.

  2. Raymond Gwee Receives the 2010 Distinguished FICP Award

    On behalf of the trust community in Singapore, STEP Singapore congratulates one of our members Raymond Gwee, Executive Director of Wealth Planning at UBS AG, for being conferred the 2010 Distinguished Financial Industry Certified Professionals (Distinguished FICP) award this year.

    The Distinguished FICP title is the highest certification mark for a financial practitioner in Singapore under the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) framework. Raymond, who is also President of the STA, accepted the award at the Annual IBF Distinguished Speakers' Series and Distinguished FICP Award Ceremony held on Monday, 18 October 2010 at the Marriott Hotel.

  3. Who Art Thou O Ye Anonymous Blogger?

    And finally, I have been asked by a number of members about this blog:

    If you haven’t seen it yet, then you’ll want to know that it’s written about you and our trust community, spiced up with some self-effacing humour and personal accounts of specific individuals.

    Here’s a sample by iconoclast, the pseudonym the blogger uses:

    • “Interesting hire at Société Générale. SocGen's WPFS (wealth planning and fiduciary services, or something in that order) division has hired XXX to be CEO of SG Trust (Asia). XXX is probably better known for his golf game these days than his tenure as head honcho at HSBC Trustee Singapore years ago.” Posted 30 Sep 2010.
    • “How Many People Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?” satirises a job ad. Posted 6 Oct 2010.
    • “I guess bank executives have nothing better to do these days than brag about their size. The banks seems to be caught in a "size matters" philosophy and everyone is sprouting how many people they plan to hire in the near if it means that the more people they say they can take on, means the better/stronger their business is.” Posted 6 Sep 2010.

Well, this isn’t exactly the Cambridge Five espionage (members were Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, John Cairncross and Anthony Blunt) or cracking the Da Vinci code stuff but it is nevertheless an anonymous blog and I speak on behalf of several practitioners who have shared with me that they are not completely comfortable with its anonymity and why the need for such “cloak and dagger” lack of transparency.

So, who do you think it is, of the five?

Angelo Venardos
President, STEP (Singapore Chapter)

Regulation, Confidentiality and Fair Competition

In a speech at the launch of a new book, “The World’s Leading Financial and Trust Centres”, David Harvey, Chief Executive of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), praised the “open for business” attitude that has underpinned the success of the Singapore economy. He noted that at a time when some governments elsewhere are in danger of forgetting that capitalism and free trade, not protectionism, have been the main motors behind massive rises in prosperity, “Singapore is an example to everyone of how trade, openness for business and determination can make prosperity” [READ MORE]

Contributed by David Harvey – CEO, STEP Worldwide

“Up Close & Personal” – Interview with a Member from Singapore Branch

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

In this issue, we feature Mr. Raymond Gwee, who has been conferred the 2010 Distinguished Financial Industry Certified Professionals (Distinguished FICP) award this year.

: Raymond Gwee
Organisation : UBS AG
Designation : Executive Director
Role in Organisation : CEO, UBS Trustees (Singapore) Ltd
Years in Trust Industry : 11 years

Getting to know Raymond Gwee

The books I am currently reading are ... The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil.

The person who has been my biggest influence is ... various people have influenced me in different areas.

What I like most about my job is ... The changing complexities in our Industry that challenge us for solutions. There's never a dull day.

My golden rule is ... Integrity is Everything.

The business expression I hate most is ... "having said that ..."

Jurisdiction Update - Belize

It is an exciting time for Belize. A Central American country with English law. A Caribbean state that is not an island. An ancient land with a young population. For over 4,000 years... [READ MORE]

Contributed by Rishi Alain Mungal – Morgan & Morgan Trust Corporation (Belize) Ltd

Book Launch of “The World’s Leading Financial & Trust Centres”

Hosted by the Singapore Trustee Association (STA), the book “The World’s Leading Financial & Trust Centres,” a compendium of legislative and business analysis of 46 jurisdictions, was successfully launched by Sweet & Maxwell on 6 October 2010 at the Reuters Auditorium in Singapore.

The event was attended by over 100 members of our financial, trust and professional community who heard speeches from Raymond Gwee, President of the STA and David Harvey, CEO of STEP Worldwide. Said Angelo Venardos, who is general editor of the publication, “It is indeed encouraging that we had a good turnout, and more importantly, we had both the STA and STEP working together for the common benefit of the industry.”

Contributed by Keon Chee – Assistant General Manager, Heritage Fiduciary Services Pte Ltd

Browse our PHOTO GALLERY to enjoy some of the photos taken at the Book Launch.

Upcoming Events
Legitimacy of Tax Planning (2 November 2010, 12-2pm, SGX Centre)

At this lunchtime presentation, our speaker Nick Jacob will cover the following:

  • What are we really talking about?
  • The moral high ground
  • The UK draft code of practice for banks
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Double tax treaties
  • General anti-avoidance rule (GAAR)
  • The OECD's approach
  • Illegal tax fraud/evasion/avoidance
  • Do these efforts damage "onshore" economies?

Participants are invited to join us to celebrate our 2nd STEP Singapore Graduation Ceremony 2010 after lunch and preceding the talk.

Register to secure your place by completing and faxing the registration form to 63299699 or via e-mail today!

Post-Event Updates
"Planning for Indian Clients or Clients looking to make Indian Investments" (14 October 2010, 12.00 - 2.00pm, FTSE Room)

This seminar was well attended by TEPs, Private Bankers and legal and tax advisors. The Speaker, Ms Sanjvee Shah is a Partner at Speechly Bircham's Private Client Division. She demonstrated her impressive knowledge and expertise in cross-border estate and trust planning issues for Indian clients, and her presentation was particularly useful to trust practitioners as she cited actual case studies involving cross-bottle structuring solutions for wealthy families.

Ms Shah provided the audience with an overview of the Indian tax system, and shared her views on the proposed overhaul of the Indian Tax Code. In line with the growth of the Indian economy and substantial increase in foreign investment into India, Ms Shah's presentation also covered the key aspects of investing into India, including the various structuring options for inward investments into India.

Ms Shah's presentation was extremely well-received by the audience who were impressed by her knowledge and experience.

Contributed by Lim Wan Peng – Senior Trust Advisor, Credit Suisse Trust Limited


Events Calendar

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