Masterclass Topics

Strategic Risk Management for Leaders

The risk landscape is characterised by increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Traditional backward-looking practices have not helped firms think strategically about the risks they face.

How should Private Wealth practitioners respond to these developments? Who are the firm’s key stakeholders and what are their expectations of the Board and senior management?

Why are the behavioural aspects of risk management increasingly attracting the attention of regulators and politicians?

What are the benefits of articulating the risk appetite of the firm?

Should the firm be exploring both risk AND opportunity as a way of increasing Board engagement?

This interactive masterclass will explore these and other issues in greater depth as well as the benefits to the firm of a robust risk management framework.

This session is delivered by Simon Griffiths of Risk Connect. Simon is a highly experienced risk management professional who originally comes from an accountancy background within a variety of financial services organisations.

Solutions oriented, Simon conveys expertise in the technical and the practical aspects of risk management and compliance. Simon holds ICA Diplomas in Compliance and in Financial Crime Prevention and has associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and is a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.


Family Business Advising

This interactive Masterclass explores how one business family survived to the 4th generation of family ownership and how decisions taken in each generation affected the successors.

Advisers who seek to provide a superior service to family businesses need to combine their technical specialism with new ideas from the family enterprise body of knowledge; such as 

  • Understanding the client as a complex system of interacting and competing self-interests.
  • How to articulate the choices facing a family at crucial times.
  • Why conflict in a family business is natural, rather than unusual.

The Masterclass will help advisers to push the boundaries of their respective professions and create innovative strategies for family business clients.

This session is delivered by Ken McCracken of KPMG. Ken is Head of Family Business Consulting at KPMG LLP and was previously the joint founding partner of Withers Consulting Group, an international consulting firm focusing on governance architecture and transitions. Ken has specialised in working with family businesses since 1995.

In his consulting work, Ken has particular expertise in family enterprise continuity planning and governance issues for family offices and family businesses. His clients range from first generation entrepreneurial businesses to diverse multi-generational family offices.

Ken is a corporate lawyer with several years’ experience of serving as the chief executive of a law firm. He is regularly invited to speak and write on issues affecting enterprising families and to provide strategic advice and training for other advisers and groupings such as professional associations, educators and trade bodies. He is also actively involved in improving the overall awareness of the economic and social contribution made by enterprising families.

Ken is a past recipient of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Achievement.


Strategic philanthropy

There has been a significant rise in philanthropy in the past 10 years that has co-incised with a growth in wealth around the world. Philanthropy is driven by people’s values, passions, interests or concerns. It plays a critical role in fuelling countless civil society organisations throughout the world that enrich and improve people’s lives. It can also provide a deep sense of purpose and happiness to philanthropists and their families.

This Masterclass moves beyond the technical and administrative aspects of philanthropy with a view to helping you to assist your clients in designing their own philanthropy strategy.

This masterclass specifically covers:

  • An introduction to philanthropy and strategic philanthropy
  • Key global trends
  • How and when to raise the subject of philanthropy
  • Philanthropy: where it is both relevant and rigorous                                                
  • How to develop a philanthropy strategy
  • Best practices in grantmaking
  • Family philanthropy and engaging the next generation

This session is delivered by Maya Prabu of Coutts & Co. Maya is Managing Director and Head of Wealth Advisory Services at Coutts & Co, London. In addition to her management role, as a practitioner, she advises families on philanthropy, family governance, wealth and business succession planning, and next generation development through: one-to-one advice and family meeting facilitation, providing education opportunities for family businesses and developing thought leadership on philanthropy, wealth succession and for family business owners.

Maya has co-written and teaches a course on philanthropy for private client advisers for the Family Firm Institute in Boston. She is a member of STEP’s Business Families and Philanthropy Advisors Special Interest Groups.


Cross-Border Succession

This masterclass looks at the devolution of assets of testators holding property in multiple jurisdictions. Participants will be walked through the different approaches taken by common law and civil law countries. There will be an examination of both the main legal issues, such as applicable law, choice of law, forced heirship rules, succession agreements, usufruct rights and recognition of trusts as well as the main tax issues. Participants will gain an enhanced understanding of the relevance of domicile and habitual residence to cross-border succession. 

The subject will be brought to life via a number of case studies, dealing with the interaction between different legal systems and the characterisation of foreign institutions.

This session is delivered by Michaell Wells-Greco of Charles Russell Speechlys.

Michael advises individuals, banks and other organisations on cross-border private client and international family law matters. He is able to approach both common law and civil law issues from a practical perspective, Michael advises on all aspects of complex international succession planning and wealth structuring, with a particular focus on advising on bilateral investment and tax treaty structuring, governance and asset protection aspects. In the field of family law, Michael deals with a wide range of cross-border family work including divorce, financial claims, cohabitation issues, surrogacy and private law children disputes.

His work usually has an international perspective, often involving tax and trust implications, substantial assets or income. Michael is an Assistant Professor in private international law and international family law at Maastricht University and is a consultant lawyer to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Michael is an active member of Resolution’s International Committee. Michael’s book, The status of children arising from inter-country surrogacy arrangements, has been published by Eleven International (2015). He is also a co-author of Horspool, Humphreys and Wells-Greco’s textbook, European Union Law (10th edition, 2018).


International Exchange of Tax Information

This masterclass sheds light on how to interpret information exchange provisions, focusing on the scope of CRS and FATCA and the categorisation of entities and reporting requirements under both.  It also looks at TIEAs and how to make and respond (or refuse to respond) to a request.

This technical subject is brought to life with a number of case studies and exercises.

The session is led by Harriet Brown of Old Square Tax Chambers. Harriet is recommended as a leading junior tax barrister in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 (Private client: personal tax).

She is the author of The Jersey Law of Trusts and a co-author of The Interaction of EU Treaty Freedoms and the UK Tax Code. Qualified to practice in England and Wales and Jersey, Harriet appears in courts and tax tribunals regularly. She advises in relation to direct and indirect taxes, frequently in the context of individuals and trusts. Additionally, she has particular expertise in international matters such as double tax treaties, TIEAs, FATCA/CRS disclosure facilities and conflict of laws issues arising in a tax context. 

Harriet lectures extensively on tax matters and Jersey law.


Digital Assets

Working and playing with connected technology is now commonplace but users are generally unaware of the operations involved, of the digital signals that are manipulated by logical processes acting on millions of microprocessors that are part of the computing devices that they are using. These are relatively new phenomena and they are yet to find their proper place in the law. Specific and limited legislation governing some of the relevant principles has been passed in certain jurisdiction but none in others. Other than that, we must look to existing legal and equitable principles to discover the rights and obligations that arise out of the digital activities of computing and other devices.

The private client professional is particularly affected. What digital property rights and interests are to be administered by the personal representatives of a deceased person? What decisions should an agent take in relation to the digital property and affairs of a person whose capacity is diminished? What advice can be given about estate planning to reduce the particular issues that arise with digital assets after death or incapacity? This masterclass will identify and describe the new skills that the private client professional will need to acquire in order to be able to cope with identifying, planning and administering digital assets in the 21st century.

This session is led by Leigh Sagar of New Square Chambers. Leigh Sagar is a barrister of England and Wales whose practice includes trusts and estates; commercial advice and litigation; the administration of digital information, created and used by deceased persons and persons who lack capacity in relation to their property and affairs and related litigation; and the administration and taxation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and tokens and related litigation.

He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and the Society for Computers and Law (SCL). Leigh is the current Chair of the STEP Digital Assets Special Interest Group.

Leigh is an editor of chapters in Williams Mortimer & Sunnucks, including probate claims and administration actions, procedures towards obtaining grants and the administration of digital information. He is contributor to the England and Wales section of the STEP Directory and Yearbook. He has recently written a book on The Digital Estate, published in March 2018.


Compliance for Trustees

There is a demand being placed on private wealth advisors, their clients, directors and other fiduciaries for greater transparency in markets, products and services. This is heightened by the rise globally in the volume and complexity of regulations, supervision and enforcement by regulators.

This masterclass look at the assessment of risk by trustees through the adoption of an effective compliance function, how risk and the compliance function can be aligned with business strategy and identification of specific features of criminal activity where trustees need to be alert to avoid criminal and civil sanctions. By looking at these topics this masterclass addresses how trustees can approach the current challenges in alignment with their role and duties as trustee. An emphasis is placed on the need for trustees to adopt an effective compliance function to identify, assess and mitigate risks to protect their business and their beneficiaries.

This session is led by Peter Hodson of Hodson and Company Ltd. Peter is a qualified solicitor in Hong Kong and in England and Wales. He is also an accredited mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (“CEDR”) in London and with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. He also holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors in London.

He moved to Guernsey in 1998 with Bank of Bermuda as Head of Private Clients, Europe, and since 2002 he has held a personal fiduciary license from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, acting as co-trustee, trust protector, enforcer and a director of private and listed companies. Whilst continuing to have a base in Guernsey, he is also a Consultant with Stephenson Harwood’s Private Wealth Group in Hong Kong.

Peter has had 32 years’ experience in fiduciary services, advising high net worth individuals, family offices and financial institutions including senior executive roles with Standard Chartered Bank Trustees and MeesPierson, as well as Bank of Bermuda. He is also a long standing member of STEP and a senior tutor teaching the STEP Certificate and Diploma courses in International Trust Management. He is also a former adjunct professor at Hong Kong University in the Faculty of Law, tutoring LLB classes in Equity and Trust Law and wrote and taught an LLM Masters Postgraduate Degree course on Compliance Law in Practice: ‘The Combat Against Financial Crime’. He also taught the Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning Module on the PCLL programme for Hong Kong trainee solicitors for a number of years. He is also author of the Module on Compliance for Trustees for the STEP Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Private Wealth Advising.


Trust Disputes

Disputes involving trusts are on the increase.  The Trust Disputes Masterclass aims to provide the busy professional with a practical overview of commonly encountered themes and issues. This Masterclass focuses on avoiding litigation by anticipating and heading off problems before they arise and providing guidance to navigate most types of trust dispute, if and when the court room beckons.

This session is led by Toby Graham of Farrer & Co. Toby is a partner and Head of the specialist Contentious Trusts and Estates Group at Farrer & Co in London. He is a leading trusts litigator and is well-known in the field of trust and estate disputes. He has extensive experience of trust and estates disputes both in England and in offshore jurisdictions. This experience includes disputes relating to sham and other validity issues, breaches of trust, Hastings Bass and rectification applications, third party claims in relation to trust assets, and constructive trusts and tracing claims. Toby lectures extensively in the UK and abroad. He is described as “an absolute star, he is highly recommended throughout STEP” (Chambers & Partners) and, “an excellent communicator who develops a good rapport with his clients. He is particularly respected as a safe pair of hands in litigation relating to trusts” (Legal 500). Toby received a STEP private client 2007 "outstanding achievement" award. Toby is co-editor, with Tony Molloy QC, of Trusts and Trustees (Oxford University Press).

Farrer & Co is widely recognised as a leading private client firm providing a full range of services to its clients. This includes a team of specialists that handle contentious trusts and estate disputes. Members of the team have extensive experience in disputes before courts in England and Wales as well as leading offshore jurisdictions, such Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Switzerland, Cyprus, Singapore and British Virgin Islands. The larger high value disputes often involve more than one jurisdiction.

Family Offices in Asia

The concept of a modern Family Office existing to protect and serve the interests of a single family has been popular in Europe and the US for decades.  It has become a popular reference term in Asia only in recent years with the proliferation of Asian wealth.  Although the term is widely used, few outside the industry truly understand the concept.  This masterclass will address questions such as:

  • What really constitutes a “Family Office”? Why set one up and what factors should a family consider?  What is the overlap between a Family Office and a Family Business?
  • Is wealth the only factor to consider in choosing to establish a Family Office?  Is the family truly committed to the concept, including the sharing of controls, governance and investment decision processes that come with it?  What are the cost implications?
  • Are all family offices the same?  What makes one different from the next?  What typically makes Asian Family Offices different than those of the West and how does this affect how they are managed?
  • What determines whether a Family Office will succeed? Whether it is “successful”?  Why Private Banks simply cannot be “your Family Office”
  • What types of people do Family Offices hire?

This Masterclass will remove the ambiguity surrounding what truly constitutes a Family Office, explain the rationale for creating a Single-Family Office and the elements that are essential to ensure its proper structure and long-term success.

This session is delivered by David Chong who is the Founder & President of the Portcullis Group. He is also the Executive Chairman of Fusang Exchange, the first fully-licensed securities exchange in Asia focused on digital assets. 

Portcullis Investment Office Ltd holds Type 4 (Adviser on Securities) & Type 9 (Fund Management) licences issued by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong; and Portcullis Investment Office Pte Ltd holds a Capital Markets Services Licence for Accredited & Institutional Investors issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The Portcullis Group also owns Baxian Private & Investment Bank Ltd, which is regulated by the Labuan Financial Services Authority.

David is a qualified lawyer in the UK; Singapore; Malaya; Brunei; British Virgin Islands; NSW, Queensland & Victoria, Australia.

David is the former President of the Singapore Trustees Association. He served as the Founding President of STEP Singapore Branch; and was the Founding President of the Singapore Fund Administrators Association.