On Feb 10-12, I attended the ABA Wealth Management and Trust Conference in San Francisco, and thought I would share some observations and key points from some of the sessions I attended:
On the regulatory front it is always interesting to hear the latest and what may be forthcoming as a focal point. It was welcoming to hear that the regulators are realizing the ever burdensome and often confusing requirements of AML, KYC and CIP, so they may be looking to make it less onerous by better guidance and understanding. There may be extra scrutiny on proprietary products in the future. They should be evaluated in the same manner third party products are. (Since we don’t offer any, FSTC always thought this was an advantage for us, though we must still be diligent about what is offered by our partners.) I think most already know this but, due diligence and ongoing oversight on vendors and partners will generate more attention going forward. Distribution requests need authentication calls backs. (We already do this as a standard!) Continued emphasis on UBO’s (ultimate beneficial owners). Here’s an interesting one: possible rollback of some of the 2017 Money Market Mutual Fund rules for stable value funds. Not sure what but stay tuned. Cybersecurity will continue to grow in need, effort, focus and cost.
A good point I picked up on Special Assets is the need for Occupancy Agreements on any rental properties that may be in a trust. The agreement can be part of or in addition to the lease which covers things like not being able to use the property to rent on Airbnb and similar.
With regard to wealth transfer, if the first time your calling the family members to retain the business is after someone’s death, you’re too late. Must make the suggestion to meet, learn and explore early and often.
Taxes: AMT will apply to less people going forward, no more Roth IRA recharacterizations after 2018, and offshore blocker corps no longer work.
On performance: the key to change is getting over the resistance. You must change and evolve or become irrelevant, complacency kills. Ask yourself, what will put you out of business? Client expectations are perpetually progressive.
James Okamura- President FSTC
The posts expressed are views of FSTC and are not intended as advice or recommendations. For informational purposes only.