Trusts STEP Caribbean conference tackles global issues

The largest conference in the Caribbean dedicated to trusts and estate planning is going to take place in Cayman from 14 to 16 May at the Ritz Carlton and focus on the new economic realities affecting the trusts business.

This years’ theme of the STEP Caribbean conference ‘Going Global – Boldly Breaking Barriers’ is a reflection of the mood of the region, organisers said, referring to the European debt crisis and the economic situation in the US, which mean the “rules of engagement in the trust world have changed”.

Together with general economic activity the trusts business is also shifting its focus on other parts of the world, a trend the conference is going to examine with a host of break-out sessions discussing wealth structuring in Asia, Africa and Russia.

Steven Crosby of PWC, New York is going to take an in-depth look at where the wealthy reside, based on research commissioned by a group of international private banks to help them determine how to best serve international clients and where they will need to be in the future in order to remain competitive and profitable. Ingrid Pierce from Walkers, in turn, will look at the ways of attracting onshore business offshore, given the economic benefits that offshore centres provide but also taking into account the critics of offshore jurisdictions and the ongoing international debate. Pierce will address the question how offshore jurisdictions can continue to thrive and attract more business while demonstrating the benefits and value they bring to the onshore world. The conference will kick off on Sunday with evening speaker Donna Brazile, one of the most interesting women in US politics today. Brazile, a life-long democrat, has been a political strategist, the 2000 campaign manager for Al Gore, Harvard fellow, political commentator for CNN, columnist for O Magazine, author and former vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Her remarks promise to be a close and personal view of the current political situation in the US. Monday’s conference programme will lead with The George Town Lecture and feature Tim Ridley, the former chairman of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Wealth structuring for international private clients is undergoing fundamental change and Ridley will examine how IFC governments and the increasing compliance burden are affecting these changes and who will succeed in this increasingly challenging environment.

For more information and to register, visit the conference site at