Trustees can be ‘professional’ trustees, such as accountancy and law firms who provide this service to clients or ‘lay’ trustees who are individuals acting as trustee to their own family trust or to a charitable or community trust. The compliance issues regarding investment of funds held in trust and the obligations of trustee’s mean that becoming a trustee is a significant commitment and one not to be taken lightly. 

In this case study we have combined elements from many clients over many years to highlight common challenges our trustee clients encounter.

Meet Jacob

Jacob is a professional trustee running his own business. He looks after an enormous number of trusts. He refers clients to G3 and has done so for around 3 years. He originally sought us out when he required assistance for a trust with an existing share portfolio. He was referred to us by an accountant we had worked with.

Jacob is a very busy man and will only deal with trust clients.

He is time poor and only likes to receive as much information as is required to make appropriate decisions.

He gives best of breed advice.

He understands his fiduciary obligations well.

He is growing his business.

Reputation and professional recognition is everything to Jacob.

  • New Zealander
  • 48 years old
  • Married with 2 grown up children
  • Has been running this practice for 6 years
  • Growth focused
  • To be seen as NZ’s expert in this area
  • To maintain his spotless reputation
  • Only deal with trusted business partners
  • Achieve the highest standards of advice
  • Minimal input in investment decisions
  • Advisers must meet international fiduciary standards
  • Professional and trusted relationships with referral partners
  • No damage to reputation
  • Happy clients
  • Transparency around fees and costs
  • Well researched solutions

Professional trustees often:

  • Do not wish to incur any reputational damage caused by association with untrustworthy advisers
  • Are not necessarily investment professionals – they may be good at providing trusteeship services, however, if they are not qualified Financial Advisers, they are not able to give advice on the trust’s investments (trustees should then appoint a Financial Adviser with the right skills to support their trustee role)
  • Have to administer the trust and its investments and keep appropriate records
  • Should understand the duty, role and responsibility of being a trustee

Lay trustees for family trusts, community and charitable trusts 

  • Do not necessarily know what is expected of them when administering a trust or dealing with investments
  • Are often volunteers and are not aware of what a trustee role entails
  • Do not always have the knowledge, experience, qualifications or skills to be able to understand and comply with the responsibilities and duties of being a trustee
  • They are passionate about doing the right thing however, may not know how and are sometimes worried they will make an inappropriate decision
  • Often need professional guidance, advice and support
  • Some are figures of the community and although they want to do the right thing, are worried about their personal and business reputations
  • Some feel overwhelmed when working alongside professional trustees – they want to understand more, but do not necessarily know where to go and who to trust to learn more

How can we assist?

  • We understand that governance is important and having processes and systems in place to support, monitor and record the decisions trustees make will ensure trust assets and investments are reviewed regularly
  • We understand the fiduciary standard of care required from trustees. The Law Commission review of trusts currently being undertaken will clarify the roles and responsibilities of trustees in relation to using investment professionals to advise on assets held within family trusts, charitable and community trusts
  • Jane & Charlene are Accredited Investment Fiduciaries (AIF) and adhere to the highest international standards of fiduciary care when dealing with clients’ investments.  We understand the 7 Global Fiduciary Precepts and advise on investment solutions which are transparent around trading and fees, well diversified globally and across industry sectors and are cost effective
  • We provide support on putting together Investment Policy Statements (IPS) for trusts and ensure these are taken into account when considering the goals and objectives of the trust
  • We are able to advise on the investment solutions that best meet the outcomes needed as defined within the IPS and provide ongoing monitoring, advice and reviews of the investments to ensure continued adherence to the trust’s objectives and international fiduciary standards of reporting and care
  • We are qualified to provide the trustees with unbiased investment advice
  • We are not aligned to any providers so provide impartial advice in the best interest of the trustees and the trust objectives

Our Process


Our Services

All of our services can be provided separately as required. However we find in most situations our clients require their own particular combination. We follow the process pictured above to ensure we provide each client with exactly the service to suit circumstance and budget.

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