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), 2011-2014

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