Date posted: 26/02/2020 5 min read

So you’re a trustee... Do you really want to be?

Working with a specialist trustee services firm can reduce compliance risks for CAs. Brought to you by Perpetual Guardian.

The times of chartered accountants having trust work on the side and responding as and when prompted by the co-trustees or beneficiaries are gone.

A new legislative environment in New Zealand, coupled with the specialist nature of fiduciary services, poses a challenge to those CAs who do trustee work for clients as a non-core or adjunct service, or who intend to serve as a trustee alongside their core accounting work.

The risks of taking on this work, or continuing to provide trustee services on the side, may be substantial in light of the new Trusts Act 2019 and Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation. In addition, there are increasing Common Reporting Standard regulations and potentially reduced professional indemnity coverage should something not go to plan.

As a CA, no-one knows your clients, your qualified area of expertise and your region better than you. As the largest trustee services company in New Zealand, we at Perpetual Guardian want to work with you, not against you. We have best-practice solutions we can apply to help you mitigate risk while preserving your long-term business interests.

We are aware that this is a very different way of thinking in the trustee services industry. However, we firmly believe it’s necessary for the industry to be able to provide New Zealanders with the necessary services to meet all their estate planning and trustee requirements.

As a professional, independent and non-conflicted trustee service provider we are well placed to provide this service to both new and established clients, enhancing your existing client relationships and the overall client experience.

Here are the options for your trust book and how we can help:

1. You can evaluate the risk and maintain the status quo.

2. You can maintain your trusteeships and upskill with added investment to ensure best practice and compliance standards – manage risks and assess the interests of settlors vs beneficiaries.

3. You can retain your trusteeships while working with us as an impartial specialist to ensure compliance and reduced risk with specific trusts on a case-by-case basis.

4. You can partner with us and use our knowledge and experience as a trust specialist to provide these services independently and alongside your firm.

In options 3 and 4, many firms with a substantial trust book may find that on a thorough review, it is appropriate to conduct an orderly wind-up of some trusts, re-settlements or variations. This can be done safely and impartially either within the firm or with Perpetual Guardian as your specialist partner.

This is the future for professional trustee providers. With the evolution of the environment, collaboration between trustee services companies and accountants who have conducted trustee work as a non-core service are increasingly common and are now a standard component of our service.

“Collaboration between trustee services companies and accountants is increasingly common.”
John McFetridge, Perpetual Guardian:

John McFetridgePicture: John McFetridge.

If you are concerned about your liability as a trustee and would like to discuss your trustee circumstances along with some genuine options for collaboration, please feel free to contact Perpetual Guardian.

Find out more:

For more information on Perpetual Guardian trustee services and collaboration, contact Henry Stokes, General Counsel, on (09) 909 5179 or Henry.Stokes@pgtrust.co.nz, or John McFetridge, Private Client Services, on (09) 927 9401 or John.McFetridge@pgtrust.co.nz