We have the knowledge about trusts and trustees responsibilities, not just the investment capability running trust portfolios
We look after a variety of trusts for individuals, professional trustees and charities, providing advice to many of them, and managing the investments for all of them on our discretionary basis.
A new element to our service is the setting up of LEI’s (Legal Entity Identifier), which we have done for all the trusts we currently look after in-house. Often trustees are unaware they have a responsibility to set these LEI’s up. We can extend this service to other trusts we currently do not look after. Get in touch if you need any advice.
Background on trusts
Whilst the Treasury may be of the view that trusts exist for no reason other than to avoid tax, that is a mistaken view. Trusts serve many different purposes, but chief amongst them is to protect the assets contained within them, or to make sure that the wishes of the person setting up the trust continue to take effect, perhaps long after that person has died.
The multitude of reasons for a trust mean that notwithstanding the sometimes unattractive tax treatment, trusts nevertheless get created. This will usually be the function of a solicitor who will advise on the powers to be given to trustees, the directions that can reasonably be contained within a trust, and deal with the various legal aspects regarding its management.
However, the trustees then face an additional, and prospectively heavy, responsibility – that of investing the assets in it, having regard for the aims and ambitions of the trust, the likely time horizons, and the risk factors that may or may not be acceptable. Whilst this will generally be set out in a trust strategy statement, implementing a policy and maintaining it, perhaps over an extended period of years, requires a detailed understanding both of the nature of the trust and the laws governing it, the tax treatment of it and selecting appropriate investments. In due time, this may mean changing the investments, hopefully realising a profit for the benefit of the trust and its beneficiaries.
Whereas the creation of the trust clearly falls within the ambit of solicitors, the management of the investments contained within it is a regulated activity and must be carried out by a firm and person who meets the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority. For this reason most solicitors will refer trustees of a new trust to an appropriately qualified person, such as ourselves.
A good many referrals come in our direction largely because in addition to being regulated for investment activity, we also have staff with qualifications and experience in the management of trusts and estates, who therefore can take account of the nuances of each trust and hence hopefully manage the trust assets to better effect.