Private Client 2016: Trust and Advisory Services Analysis

In this section, we have identified over 140 of the leading trustees, private bankers, accountants and investment managers that service the private client industry worldwide. 

Top outfits include Butterfield Trust with 12 listings covering Geneva, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Rawlinson & Hunter is also widely recognised with 11 listings covering its offices in London, Geneva, Zurich, Cayman Islands, BVI, Jersey and Guernsey.

Other leading firms identified in this section for their strong presence in our research include Rothschild Trust, Summit Trust International, Vistra and Elian.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Paul Hodgson Butterfield Trust, St Peter Port
Paul Stibbard Rothschild Trust, London
David Kilshaw Ernst & Young, London
Daniel Martineau Summit Trust International, Geneva
Simon Jennings Rawlinson & Hunter, London

Butterfield Trust leads our research this year with an outstanding 12 listings. In St Peter Port, managing director Paul Hodgson draws praise from a plethora of sources worldwide. According to sources, he is a “star” recognised for his “phenomenal technical skill”. Alison Parry is praised for her acute understanding of the offshore fiduciary market and has a history of providing an exceedingly high level of service. Head of the firm’s group trust department in Guernsey Robert Moore is extremely capable handling multi-jurisdictional trust companies across a number of offshore jurisdictions. Senior adviser Brian Acton is a seasoned veteran with a wealth of experience in the offshore markets. Acton is praised by sources for his “excellent client service”. John Morris heads the Guernsey offering’s wealth structuring department and is celebrated for his “excellent experience” in the international private client industry. Lindsay Ozanne impresses respondents with her diligent and committed service. She has built up significant expertise advising East Asian clients during her 25 years working in the area.

In Geneva, Jim Parker is a longstanding fixture in the Swiss market who garners praise for his tremendous understanding of the international private client industry. Parker primarily works with wealthy international clients and their advisers on the establishment and administration of fiduciary solutions. His colleague in the firm’s Geneva office is the “hard-working” Phil Lenz who is noted for his ability to deliver sterling service to clients. In Bermuda, Martin Pollock is praised for his deep understanding of international fiduciary services and structures available on the offshore market. James Stooke is a highly experienced practitioner who “excels in understanding and pre-empting client needs”. Nassau-based Timothy Colclough is praised for his “strong understanding of both local and international trust structures” and his “top-notch service”. In Grand Cayman, Brian Balleine is a veteran on the international scene and is known for providing “shrewd guidance” to international private clients and their advisers on issues relating to complex wealth planning structures.

Rawlinson & Hunter come in at a close second with 10 nominees mentioned this year. Simon Jennings is a tax specialist who focuses his practice on tax planning and wealth structuring for international private clients and families. He is held in extremely high regard in the market for his “wonderful expertise”. Frances Jennings is well known in the UK market for providing comprehensive and careful UK tax-related trust advice to high-net-worth individuals and their advisers. In the firm’s Grand Cayman office, Alan Milgate is “the star in the Caymans” running an extremely effective trusts and estate-planning practice. In Geneva, Andrew McCallum is a “consummate professional” specialising in the accounting, auditing and administration of trust structures, acting as trustee for a number of family trusts.

Six professionals are singled out at Rothschild Trust. The “pre-eminent” Paul Stibbard is recommended for the exceptional quality of his work regarding trusts and wealth management. Stibbard is “quite simply a leading light in the London private client market”. Andrew Penney heads the wealth planning department at the London offering and is commended for his “user-friendly client approach”. UK wealth management CEO Helen Watson is recognised for her speciality in alternative investments and counts a number of high-net-worth individuals amongst her clients. In Singapore, Britta Pfister heads the firm’s wealth planning department in the Asia-Pacific and is identified as a top-drawer trust and tax expert by peers.

Summit International is home to five outstanding nominees. Three individuals are recommended from the firm’s Geneva office. The “outstanding” Daniel Martineau is Switzerland’s premier practitioner in the research this year, with clients commending his “unmatched insight into, and comprehension of, Swiss trust structures”. Clare Usher-Wilson is an “absolute star” who stands out for her considerable expertise advising family offices on the administration and management of large, complex structures. Stella Mitchell-Voisin receives widespread praise from her peers in the legal market, with one source describing her trust and company management capabilities as “simply fantastic”. In London, firm general counsel Robin Lee-Smith supervises the firm’s English trust offering and is a well-known name in the market providing legal advice to group trustees, including assistance with complex technical issues. Managing director Marcus Parker in the Cayman Islands is well versed in international private client work, having previously spent 20 years of his career as lawyer. He has significant experience acting as a trustee and trusted adviser and is recognised for his “responsive and client-friendly approach”.

At Vistra, five inclusions are warranted. In St Helier, Howard Gaskell “impresses for his ability to juggle many things at once” and is known as being “fantastic at resolving difficult situations”. Gaskell is highly experienced at handling all aspects of trusts and company administration for international high net worth individuals. Steven Rowland is a key player in the Jersey market who provides clients with expertise over 17 years of experience in all aspects of the offshore financial services industry. According to sources, “Rowland is open, reactive and commercial” and is “always willing to go the extra mile for clients”.

Elian garners five inclusions in our listings. Group head of the firm’s private wealth department Philip Le Cornu is a trust specialist with considerable experience providing clients with advice on the administration of private wealth structures. A former barrister and Jersey advocate, Le Cornu is praised for the combination of legal and fiduciary trust knowledge that he offers to clients. Ian Rumens specialises in the establishment of offshore structures for private clients and is praised for his “outstanding client service”.

Ernst & Young’s David Kilshaw is a “huge name” in the market and is recognised for bringing vast private client expertise to the table, thanks to his 30 years of activity in the field. He is well known as an expert witness for issues relating to non-domiciled individuals.

At BDO in London, Helen Jones is considered “a diligent and vigilant tax specialist” and is known for her proficiency advising private clients on capital gains and inheritance tax planning.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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