STEPPING UP - ISSUE 35 (26 August 2016)
Chairperson's Message

Dear Members,

It is amazing how fast time goes by. It has already been one year since our committee was appointed. I thank you all for your support for accepting our appointment for another year.
As mentioned during the recent AGM, we had a good run during the 2015-2016 period of office. We managed to host 6 seminars focussed on pressing issues such as the AEOI and CRS, to updates on the regulations and requirements of the Lasting Power of Attorney and handling of vulnerable persons. We managed to work jointly with the Special Needs Trust Company to raise funds for families who require trust assistance as well as jointly hosted the STEP Asia Conference in Singapore. The success of the conference resulted in a significant improvement in the Branch’s financial standing.
What lies ahead then?
We are planning to conduct another round of updates on CRS as soon as the approved guidelines has been issued by the authority. The technical committee of the branch has submitted its feedback to the Ministry of Finance on the public consultation paper on CRS on 29 July 2016. There are also other updates that we are planning to share with members, especially issues relating to corporate risks and offences due to aggressive structures, implications from Brexit etc. Do keep your eyes and ears open for our coming events.

 Thank you.

  Linda Wong
 Chairperson, STEP Singapore Branch

“Up Close & Personal” – Interview with Ms. Jill Carpenter
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.
Jill Carpenter
Designation & Role in Organisation:

Jill Carpenter - Head of Private Clients, TMF Singapore

In this role, I am involved in business development, trust administration and ongoing relationship management.

Years in Trust Industry:

More than 15 years, across the Americas and in Singapore.

Getting to know Jill Carpenter

The book(s) I am currently reading is:

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. About 12 times per day to my two year old! But, for me, I’ve started “All the light we cannot see” by Anthony Doerr, a novel that won the 2015 Pulitzer prize for fiction. Notable time also spent on the OECD AEOI Handbook for some work I am doing for TMF’s CRS Global Knowledge Centre.

The person(s) who has been my biggest influence is:

My husband, Alexandre.  He is my biggest supporter, a great Dad and he always has an open ear.

Within the industry, I’ve had some amazing guidance from some incredible women including Bernice Kutney (TEP Canada), Barbara Patterson (TEP Bermuda) and Annette Sui (TEP Singapore).

What I like most about my job/experiences in the trust industry is:

All the interesting people I get to meet, both clients and advisors, from around the globe. Working in this industry is fascinating.  Having wealth can create freedom, but the corresponding complications, both financial and personal can be overwhelming for our clients.  The ability to help provide solutions to these problems is so rewarding.

My golden rule is:

The path is not straight. I took me a while to accept this, as I’m typically quite type A in personality, but I accept it without question nowadays. It’s especially  true in the trust industry and in parenthood. I catch myself muttering this mantra quite often!

The expression I loathe the most is:

“Epic ”- nothing can ever be epic again. The word is totally overused.

Upcoming Event(s):
With or without Brexit, will UK remains the private client practice and divorce capital of the world? (30 August 2016, 12.00pm-2.00pm), Intellioffices, Level 3, 146 Robinson Road

A boom in the trust business may potentially lead to a boom in trust litigation driven by :

  • Diversity of beneficiaries – I.e. not father and son but cousins and second cousins
  • Poorly advised structures not fit for purpose
  • Greater global wealth
  • More 'defensive' trustees v more litigious beneficiaries
  • Overlooked conflicts of interest
  • Increasing complexity of global fiscal regimes

Family woes arising from divorces and post Brexit, would UK remain the divorce capital of the world :

  • Needs based regime rather than formulaic and therefore potentially more beneficial to 'poorer' spouse
  • Where are we on pre-nup and post nups?
  • No fault regime, no community of property regime
  • Jurisdictional issues in establishing England and Wales as principal jurisdiction
  • Practical example of extreme sharing case demonstrating the factors the court will take into account
Register early to secure your place online or send registration form to (65) 31287781 (no 6 prefix) or via e-mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , by 26 August 2016!
The British High Commission in Singapore cordially invites you to register your interest to a week of events themed around anti-corruption, tax and money laundering from 19-23 September 2016

The week of events will bring together specialists from the UK and across East Asia with a focus on Law Enforcement, Anti Money Laundering and Tax Specialists from the Government sector, along with Financial Industry Anti Money Laundering and Compliance Professionals.

The inaugural event will involve workshop sessions and presentations by distinguished speakers at various venues across Singapore. You will have the option to register your interest at those events that are most relevant to your role and jurisdiction.

Please RSVP to register your interest to the sessions that you would most like to attend by clicking HERE. For more information click HERE.

A confirmation email will be sent to you if your RSVP is successful by 12 September 2016.

For any enquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Post Event Updates
Post Event Update: CRS - Opportunities and Challenges for Family Office and Family Funds In Asia (30 March 2016,  12.00pm-2.00pm), Intellioffices, Level 11, 146 Robinson Road 
“CRS – Opportunities and Challenges for Family Office and Family Funds” was a full-house hot topical session chaired and moderated by Ms Goh Seow Chee, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank (Singapore). Mr Richard Grasby, Partner, Maples and Calder Hong Kong, shared the experiences of Cayman Islands as an early adopter, whilst Mr Desmond Teo, Partner, Financial Services Tax, International Tax Services, Ernst & Young Singapore provided insights into Singapore’s position on the implementation and impact of CRS. The distinguished panel comprising of a leading banker, lawyer and accountant combined to provide powerful perspectives on possible lessons to be gleaned by Singapore from the Cayman Islands as an early adopter. The session also focused on the competitive and complementary advantages for private family fund arrangements in the two comparative jurisdictions in relation to private fund tax and regulatory regimes, as well as the impact and implementation of CRS reporting. The event was extremely attended with 94 delegates and spawned many interesting thoughts and questions.
Contributed by: Ms Chee Fang Theng - Director, Pan Asia Law LLC
Post Event Update: Structuring in a Global Context - Singapore and Dubai  (25 May 2016,  12:00pm-2:00pm),  Intellioffices, Level 11, 146 Robinson Road
When setting up a family investment vehicle or a family office, how important is it to choose a suitable jurisdiction?  STEP Singapore organised a talk on 25 May 2016 where two lawyers, one from Singapore and the other from Dubai, gave their respective perspectives.

The talk covered the key factors to consider when choosing a jurisdiction, such as:

  1. Regulations and its recognition in the world
  2. Tax Incentives and treaties
  3. Ease of operations
  4. Protection of Data and Confidentiality

Mr. Dennis Tan from RHT Law Taylor Wessing gave an update of the incentives available in Singapore and some structuring considerations. Whilst Singapore is currently ranked quite high on the chart as a preferred jurisdiction, he caution that the structuring and its operations must be done correctly.

Mr. Yann Mrazek from M Advocates of Law, Dubai gave a detailed presentation of what was available in Dubai. He acknowledges that Singapore ranks higher than Dubai in most of the key factors, but assures that Dubai is able to offer solutions that will suit certain requirements better than Singapore.

The event was well attended, where 41 delegates were registered.

Contributed by : Ms Linda Wong -  Managing Director, Kensington Trust Singapore Limited
Post Event Update: The "Climate Change" in the 2nd STEP Global Congress (30 June 2016 - 1 July 2016),  NH Grand Hotes Krasnapolsky,  Amsterdam 
The second STEP Global Congress was held in NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam from 30 June 2016 to 1 July 2016.  More than 300 delegates and over 40 distinguished speakers from over 47 countries comprised mainly of the trust and estate practitioners attended this be-annual event.
The first day of the global congress started with the panel discussing on whether trust is still a viable arrangement given that the taxman, the regulators and the banks dislike them, and most clients are still confused over them and to certain estent, civilians are suspicious of them.  The water gets murkier when other panel sessions examines the collision of succession law and the tax law on how inheritance laws of one place often confer property rights which are taxed differently in another.  The day ended with a panel examining an interesting but important topic on the definition of “the other half” where the traditional definition of spouse is challenged given the recognition of same-sex marriage or registration of same-sex partners in different jurisdictions.  The discussion threw up challenges for trustees in the administration of trusts where such issues will surface now and very much so in future.
The second day congress had an overarching theme of transparency, following the implementation of US FATCA and the newly OECD implemented tax information exchange regime commonly called the CRS. The day started with an unsurprising panel that included a representative from OECD on the readiness of countries that signed up for the automatic tax information exchange. Many questions were directed from to floor to the representative from the OECD. The rest of the panel discussions on the second day revolved around the theme of transparency where it examined the managing of risks by practitioners, over reporting of information, service providers being tax agents etc. The highlight of the second day was a talk by the author of The Laundrymen, Mr Jeffrey Robinson, who amused the audience with examples which underlined the seriousness and importance of fraud that we face today.
The general takeaway from the two day conference was that this is a new era for the environment in the wealth management space which will be get more challenging over time. OECD member countries are calling for even greater transparency such as the registration for trusts and disclosure of beneficial owners to the public. This does cause great concern among the practitioners and perhaps can form the backbone of the new theme for the 3rd congress.
Contributed by : Mr Ashley Ong - Executive Director,  Lion Trust Singapore Limited
Post Event Update: Pre-AGM Talk: Family Office Governance - The Purpose, Opportunities and Challenges (30 June 2016,  3:00pm-4:45pm), Intellioffices, Level 11, 146 Robinson Road  
The “family office” has become such a fashionable term in the private wealth management space. So catchy it is that when it comes to really defining what it means, particularly in the context of the single family office, firms of many stripes would invariably – rightly or wrongly – volunteer themselves to qualify.
It was apt and a privilege, therefore, that, for our pre-AGM panel discussion on the topic of family office governance, we had two veteran practitioners with first-hand experience of running established single family offices to share their insights: Mr Bernard Fung had run the London-based single family office and investment vehicle of Lord Sainsbury of Turville prior to returning to Singapore to join Credit Suisse as its incumbent Head of Family Office Services and Philanthropy Advisory Asia Pacific, while Ms Chew-Mee Kirtland is Managing Director of Mornington Services Pte Ltd, a Singapore-incorporated dedicated family office for members of a wealthy Asian family, which she also founded in 1999.
Good governance starts with a recognition of the key issues underpinning the successful operation of a single family office, of which Mr Fung identified the need for adequate and appropriate staffing, clarity of the relationship between the family’s businesses and the assets managed by the family office, and transparency of decision-making processes. While many Asian families are somewhat behind the curve when it comes to laying down the ground rules with regard to each of these three fundamental issues, Ms Kirtland believes financial education for the key stakeholders in the family businesses and the persons of big influence in the family relationships is important. She emphasised the value of investing resources to imbue financial discipline among family members and family office employees, enabling them to think strategically on all matters financial, from investments to administration; and build self-confidence in, and accountability for, decisions made.
Ms Kirtland highlighted the need for governance specifically in the investment process of the family office, an area in which she takes special interest. After identifying investment objectives and setting overall fund management strategies, there needs to exist proper controls, from the engagement of the right professionals to manage, to identifying and managing risks. How investment professionals are remunerated and incentivised in the process also needs to be transparent and certain. A proper governance framework ensures that decision-making at every level is properly focused.
In the end, both speakers emphasised that a family office is every bit the ‘people business’ that, say, private banking, in its truest form, is meant to be. It is about investing time, effort and other resources at the earliest possible time in education and the management of attitudes, expectations and interpersonal relationships and dynamics, between family and professionals. Only then can one develop a sensible, clear process for making sound decisions, which is what governance is all about.
Contributed by: Mr Lionel Choi- Executive Director,  LGT Bank (Singapore) Ltd
Post Event Update: Success through Professional Development : Asian Launch of STEP Employer Partnership Programme (19 July 2016,  4:00pm-7:30pm), Shenton Room, Basement, M Hotel Singapore  
“Success through Professional Development: The Asian Launch of STEP Employer Partnership Programme” was a packed programme kicked off by Ms Linda Wong, Chair, STEP (Singapore Branch). Jenni Hutchinson, Head of Employer Partnership, STEP, gave an overview of the Employer Partnership Programme, followed by Nigel Race, Director, Professional Development, STEP, who provided current updates on the developments in STEP qualifications and CPD requirements. Kenneth Tan, Director & Adjunct Faculty, Singapore Management University presented on how to invest in talent: keys to engaging our Millenials. Next, Trevor Kelham, Chairman, Trust & Fiduciary Group Learning Committee, Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) Ltd shared his real life experiences and ideals behind the model of the Standard Chartered Trust Group in capturing the learning experience. The final speaker, Professor Leslie Chew, Dean, School of Law, SIM University, shared the public sector experience in Singapore as to how talent is developed and leaders are made. This fast and furious programme closed with Mr Edward Buckland, Worldwide Chair of STEP presenting Jardine Lloyd Thompson PCS Pte Ltd (Singapore) with its certificate during the Accreditation Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Employers, before the evening’s networking cocktail reception.
Contributed by: Ms Chee Fang Theng - Director, Pan Asia Law LLC
STEP Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Private Wealth Advising
The first residential weekend is scheduled to commence on the 30th September at the University of Oxford, with Masterclasses covering the following topics:
  • Strategic Risk Management for Leaders
  • Family Business Advising
  • Trust Disputes
  • Philanthropy & Charities
This Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Private Wealth Advising has also been approved as part of a new MSc qualification delivered by the University of Law, via online distance learning: the MSc in Private Wealth Management. Once candidates successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma, they will gain 90 M-Level credits that will count towards the MSc course.
Alternatively, please contact Victoria Hand, Senior Project Executive, CLT International Ltd at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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