Monday, February 20, 2012


While you are busy in front of the tube watching anything and everything from the Grammys to the Oscars, I present you with the Asia Trust Industry Awards.

Asian Trustee Company of the Year 2011

While many of our companies get press from the rags and industry folk like STEP or bankers associations in their annual polls/awards, it is rare for a compatriot to get government recognition. For garnering attention and action from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the winner is: ATC Trustees (Singapore) Pte Ltd. ATC Singapore is the first Singapore trust company to be reprimanded for misconduct under the Trustees Act as far as I know.

Accepting the award on her behalf is Marcin Galas (formerly of Zetland Hong Kong) who replaced Caroline as MD of ATC Singapore.

Creative Thinking Award of the Year 2011

UBS. An agent??!! Responsible for all trust related....tasks that do not require trustee discretion??!??!? Why not a real trustee? Send a boy to do a man's job.

If I'm a client why would I want to deal with some fool that has to has no authority and has to run back to the principal for a decision? I pay top dollar and you send me a proxy? Let me see who's in charge please.

Looks like someone's cajones just got sliced off and served by WM P&S.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join UBS as a Wealth Planning Trust Relationship Manager.
UBS can offer you an environment geared towards performance, attractive career opportunities, and an open corporate culture that values and rewards the contribution of every individual.

Key tasks and responsibilities include:

This Role-Holder acts as an agent of the UBS trust companies to facilitate trust business and is responsible for all trust related aftersales tasks that do not require trustee discretion / presence.

Specifically, the Role-Holder will be building long term relationship with the settlors and beneficiaries, attending to any issues or requests arising from the trust structures, coordinating with trustees, internal functions and external parties on any technical or operational matters and keeping up-to-date with any regulatory changes that may affect the structures. The Role-Holder will be working with T&F Operations together in order to generate the best-in-class service for the clients.

In addition, the Role-Holder will be expected to help identify new business opportunities during client interactions or reviews such as injection of further assets into existing trust structures, product cross-selling and NNM acquisition for the bank. He / she will also be measured based on the number of trust reviews, trust revenue, NBV and client (internal and external) satisfaction.

Our ideal candidate should have the following requisites:

•Accounting/Business/Law related university bachelors (or higher) degree
•CPA/ CA/ LLB/Taxation Degree/ STEP are desirable
•Preferably 5+ years of relevant experience in a trust company or a bank
•Excellent attention to detail
•Strong analytical and problem solving skills, combined with a broad business perspective
•Highly organized, able to multi-task, work both independently and in a team setting
•Marketing and sales capabilities, excellent communication skills with ability to express things simply and directly while maintaining a focused and controlled discussion
•Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and preferably Chinese Word Processing
•Fluency in English and Cantonese is a must while Mandarin would be desirable

Private Bank for Year 2011

HSBC Private Bank Geneva. The French Supreme Court rules that data stolen from the bank cannot be used to prosecute potential tax evaders. Any guesses as to where the judges and politicians might be banking? Could you be safer anywhere else. Not in Asia.

Court Case of the Year 2011

Like those technical wards for camera or sound editing, here's the boring part of the ceremony. Hey not everything about trusts is glamorous. TMSF V Merrill Lynch Bank And Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd.. Case went to Privy council then back to the Cayman Grand Court. The punchline: people with unfettered powers of revocation should not go bankrupt. If you have a revocable Cayman trust, be worried.

Serious runner up: Why is this woman smiling? The answer: The HK courts still like the English rules. Not really the reason but just one of 1.2 BILLION reasons. Comity is not comforting even if you have a trust. Congratulations Florence. If DD v LKW [2008 HKCA 74] didn't scare the crap of those filing for divorce, this will. Time to pack up the bags and become a HK divorce lawyer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Much of the financial industry, namely banks, break down their clientele into segments, according to the level of wealth of the customer/target. The more money you have deposited with them, determines the level of attention and service you get. Retail customers get 30minute queues or the ATM. Affluent customers get a 15minute queue, a chair to sit down in and a coffee plus a RM instead of a teller. High Net worth customers get a private banker and latte in a meeting room.

Well segmentation is taking a turn for the worse. Her Majesty's finest are now devoting manpower to serve, more correctly audit and hunt, according to your wealth:

Eat the Rich

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

In case you missed it yesterday:

One must applaud Mr Ng and the MAS, as his speech was well prepared with just a right amount of sprinkling of relevant references to Cap-Gemini, the "Puppet Masters" Report, etc..

Of course, he reiterated the bomb that dropped last week by Mr Ng's boss Ravi Menon, that: Singapore plans to make criminal the laundering of proceeds from tax offences.

Will take 4 more months or so before there's even going to draft legislation.

Plenty of time, if you know what I mean

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What's in a Number?

A unusual piece of information from CS Trust in Hong Kong. Check out this job advertisement below and Role Summary item#3: review exactly 89 trusts in 1st year? Works out to be less than 2 per week!

Not only does CS Trust have no profitability worries (given their pricing or lack thereof) but it seems they don't need to worry about productivity either. Hope it's not too late to apply!

Trust and Estate Advisory - Director - Private Banking - Hong Kong


1. Working closely CST trust administration centers and conduct annual reviews for all existing trust clients as well as any new clients booked by TE&A.

2. Working closely with TE&A in Location Hong Kong in all matters relating to existing trust clients.

3. To conduct 89 trust reviews for the first year, prioritized in accordance with Invoiced Turnover, Value of CS Bankable Assets, and Value of 3rd Party Bankable Assets. Another 10 client reviews to be selected by TRM and RM together.

4. Ensure that the existing structure of each trust complies with the latest CST Directives and to follow up on any outstanding matters.

5. Identify potential risks in existing structure of each trust and work closely with CST LCD and Solution Structuring to mitigate those risks.

6. Identify potential business opportunities from the existing book of business, e.g. new trust business, NNA potential, etc.


•Bachelor's degree in Finance or related field required. Advanced degree in Finance, Law, or industry education desired.

•A minimum of 5 years of Trust and / or Estate Advisory and Management experience.

•Strong knowledge and proven technical proficiency in the Investment, Legal, and Tax issues relative to Trust and / or Estate Management and Administration.

•Proven strong communication skills are required, such to interact effectively with current and potential clients and / or their attorneys.


As one of the world's leading financial services group, Credit Suisse provides its clients with investment banking, private banking and asset management services worldwide. Founded in 1856, Credit Suisse has a long tradition of meeting the complex financial needs of a wide range of clients, offering advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally. The Credit Suisse Group is active in over 50 countries and employs approximately 40,000 people. Further information can be found at

Cultural diversity is essential to our success. As such, we employ people from more than 100 countries. Credit Suisse empowers employees to work openly and respectfully with each other and with clients, ultimately striving to deliver superior results while offering initiatives and programs to assist employees achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Right place, perfect opportunity


Credit Suisse is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions on the basis of any protected category.

To the extent permitted or required by applicable law, a candidate who is offered employment will be subject to a criminal record check and other background checks before the appointment is confirmed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Anyone attend the FO seminars 5 years ago? Anyone know what a FO was 10 years ago?
Well with the tidal surge in Asian wealth comes the upswell in Asian wealth management. And since the private banks have transformed themselves into product pushers, the void in service has been taken up by the Family Offices or FO's. And in the mish mash of every player from banks to brokerage houses saying they offer family office services, it's a crap shoot out there.

What does this have to do with us trustees? Well like it or not, FO's will play a part, perhaps an instrumental part, in driving where the money will be parked. They will influence whether a family (usually a UHNW family) uses a trust. They will help select advisors and trustees. How much to put in the trust. And where the trustees should invest with the money the family has put into the trust. In other words, they will be either your best friend or worst enemy.

You better warm up to the idea or get left behind. Richard Straus, Asia-Pacific head of global family office and institutions at Citigroup's private-banking unit said Richard Straus, Asia-Pacific head of global family office and institutions at Citigroup's private-banking unit said within the next seven to ten years, it is very likely that the number of family office will increase to 1,500, triple the present number. The reason for this is the growing number of millionaires in the region. []

Our renaisaance man: Eli Lenyoun is a board member of the Society of Family Offices, largely a Singapore based resource centre: I direct you to the list of service providers: [looks like a "pay to stay" advertising arrangement] but there 35 regional trust companies on that list. [Take a look at the so-called "Wealth Structuring Solutions companies. I remember a time when they were called insurance brokers]

STEP Asia Conference 2011

SOLD OUT. Not surprising given that Singapore is still hot as far as offshore centers go (and it doeasn't hurt that the government subsidizes local participants so big players like the big banks can send 10 people for less than it would cost to send 2).

Looks to be an another mess since the venue was cramped before when it wasn't sold out.

Living in the Past

As trustees, we are not only haunted by the things we do today, but also the things we and our predecessors did in the past. Now without details, this case may be a non-starter, but the summons', writs and general headaches of defending a suit is quite disruptive for any business, unless you're the litigators:

S 650/2011 (SUM 4502/2011)
NATURE: FOR INTERIM INJUNCTION's%20S%2457-million%20estate

A interesting case of cross-border heirship planning spanning Indonesia, Singapore and Jersey that started in 2003 by Peter Finch when he was at BNP. Ol' Peter (he of Singtrust and Singapore Trustees Association fame) alledgely smoothed talked a lady into creating a Jersey trust that to house the partiarch's money and apparently screwed the son of his "rightful" inheritance at the same time. Hence, he's suing BNP Paribas.

Welcome Mr Kenyon. Thank goodness he should be no stranger to lawsuits coming from the trust litigation capital, Jersey.