60 Second Interviews

  • Ivan Hooper

    Why did you join STEP?

    For the resources, educational and networking opportunities that being part of a professional body directly related to my industry would bring.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

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  • Clive Barwell

    Why did you join STEP?

    I was invited by John Riches and I saw it as a good way to recognise my qualifications in wills, trusts, etc.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    It is increasingly important in terms of being perceived as a professional in this important area of private-client advice.

    How does being part of a branch (Yorkshire) enhance your membership experience?

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  • Paraic Madigan

    Why did you join STEP?

    I joined, shortly after qualifying as a solicitor, to develop my career in private client, in which I was then specialising.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

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  • John Hart

    Why did you join STEP?

    I attended a STEP conference in LA, learned a bit about the organisation, and decided to join. Even though STEP was quite UK-centric in those days, I was attracted to the international perspectives provided by STEP. Over the years that internationalisation has gone ahead in leaps and bounds.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    It means a lot. STEP is a large but collegial organisation that provides both a domestic and multinational perspective on trust and estate practice.

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  • Natalie G Augustin

    Why did you join STEP?

    I joined at the time of St Lucia’s entry into the international financial services industry, and a forum for networking and continuing professional development was at the front of my mind and high on our jurisdiction’s agenda.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

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  • Jessica Morris

    Why did you join STEP?

    I wanted to sit the exams as they gave excellent cross-jurisdictional comparisons of fiduciary laws. I also believe that the support STEP gives to the industry through its extra training, magazine and news digests is invaluable.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    Being a member offers great networking opportunities. Also, as STEP is well respected throughout the world, having members in our employ helps further enhance the reputation of this company.

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  • Jacqueline Burckhardt Bertossa

    Why did you join STEP?

    I specialise in estate planning and studied advanced trust law at Cambridge University, where I first learnt about STEP. It was great to hear that Basel was getting its own branch.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    It is a perfect way to stay up to date and acquire knowledge, and it is a great national and international network.

    What are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment?

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  • Nigel Shaw

    Why did you join STEP?

    At the time there was no separate professional body for advisors in the trusts and estates field. It was quite an innovation and struck a chord with me then as it continues to do now.

    What does being a STEP and a Yorkshire branch member mean to you/your organisation?

    As a STEP member, you get the professional recognition as an ‘expert in your field’. As part of the Yorkshire branch, you are able to make a contribution and ensure STEP moves into a stronger position when you first joined.

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  • Alasdair McLaren

    Why did you join STEP?

    The trust industry was growing rapidly but there were no professional bodies that reflected and understood what it was that we, as practitioners, were doing. STEP filled that role and on an international platform.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    To me it is a great forum for learning (continuing professional development) and for staying aware of global developments. For my firm it is the professional qualification of choice and a means of ensuring the ‘industry voice’ is heard at government level.

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  • Keisha N Hyde Porchetta

    Congratulations on your new role as chair of STEP Barbados. How do you feel about your appointment?

    It is an honour to be appointed as the chair of STEP Barbados. I realise that the role comes with tremendous responsibility and I will do everything possible to ensure that I live up to the expectations of my fellow STEP colleagues.

    Which qualities and what experience do you think are vital for this role?

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  • Nigel Porteous

    Congratulations on your new role as chair of STEP Cayman. How do you feel about your appointment?

    I am delighted and flattered. This is a crucial time in the life of the branch when its membership (including student members) has reached more than 200. I look forward to the opportunity to drive the branch forward and continue this success story.

    Which qualities and what experience do you think are vital for this role?

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  • Carol Cummins

    Why did you join STEP?

    As an accountant, I had passed my Chartered Institute of Taxation exams in 1995 and STEP seemed like the natural next step – if you’ll excuse the pun.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    The majority of fee earners in our private client team are STEP members. Qualification is very much encouraged for new joiners to maintain the technical excellence and high quality of the team.

    What’s been the best STEP event you’ve attended and why?

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  • Gib Chapman

    Why did you join STEP?
    I believe the organisation is the collection of the most impressive and accomplished professionals in our industry.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?
    It means access to the latest updates and most thoughtful content on international estate-planning. Plus it’s great networking!

    What’s been the best STEP event you’ve attended and why?
    We have had several good events but the best was a basic overview by Avi Kestenbaum (my co-Chair of STEP Long Island) at a Long Island event.

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  • Jonathan Chubb

    Why did you join STEP?

    I was persuaded by the content of a circular letter.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    It’s a great way for private client practitioners to mix with other professionals and to develop expertise.

    What’s been the best STEP event you’ve attended and why?

    A STEP Wales troubleshooting forum in 2010 with lots of interesting ideas being exchanged.

    What are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment?

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  • Mary Ambrose

    Why did you join STEP?

    Although still in its infancy at that point, STEP was seen as the guarantee of quality and integrity for private client advisors.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    It’s an invaluable forum for exchanging ideas about best practice and a useful way of keeping in touch with what other practitioners are experiencing.

    What’s been the best STEP event you’ve attended and why?

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  • Assad Abdullatiff

    Why did you join STEP?

    As a law student, I already had a keen interest in trusts and estates and it was not surprising that after qualifying as a lawyer, I would decide to embark on a career in the fiduciary services sector. I found out about STEP through the local branch in Mauritius and I was immediately interested to learn more. After talking to a few existing members and going to the STEP website, it was clear this was an association that I wanted to be part of. The rest is history…

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

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  • Henry Frydenson MBE

    Why did you join STEP?

    I felt very strongly that the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners would be the right association for practitioners in the non-contentious private client field. The way in which STEP has developed since 1995 has confirmed my view in that regard.

    What does being a STEP member mean to you/your organisation?

    It allows me to interact with similarly minded practitioners who understand the specialist field of non-contentious private client practice.

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  • Bill Ahern

    Why did you join STEP?

    I joined because it was new and there was a buzz created by it.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    STEP is my most important professional organisation. It’s my tribe!

    What was the last STEP event you attended and how was it?

    It was a talk I gave last month to STEP students about my work-related experiences over the years. I think they found it hard to believe that I was once young!

    What are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment?

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  • Robin MacKnight

    Why did you join STEP?

    I wanted to be part of an organisation primarily focused on personal tax and estate planning, rather than corporate/business planning. The international aspect was also appealing.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    Discovering like-minded professionals to share opinions and refer work.

    What was the last STEP event you attended and how was it?

    It was the 14th STEP Canada national conference in June, which was a great success. I was a speaker on the professionalism panel.

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  • Ian Macdonald

    Why did you join STEP?

    Because it provided a forum that was not otherwise available for meeting, comparing notes with and learning from others in the trust and estate area.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    STEP still does for us what it did 20 years ago, but there is now so much more we gain from it: mainly the extensive education programme and the opportunity to be part of an organisation that monitors and influences official policy in Scotland, the UK and around the world. We have a voice.

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  • Jennie Pratt

    Why did you join STEP?

    There was an obvious overlap and synergy in the work being done by different professionals for private clients yet before STEP we were fragmented. There was a real need for a forum in which we could communicate and work together.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    Having ten STEP members in the firm nails our colours to the mast – we are serious about high quality specialist private client service.

    What was the last STEP event you attended and how was it?

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  • Grace Chow

    Why did you join STEP?

    I was interested in the multidisciplinary and international aspects of STEP.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    I have enjoyed making contacts all around the world and the ability to get assistance on international matters.

    What was the last STEP event you attended and how was it?

    It was the STEP Canada Annual conference in June, which was well run with lots of interesting topics

    What are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment?

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  • Peter Pexton

    Why did you join STEP?

    It was an opportunity to join a multidisciplinary group of trust enthusiasts.

    What was the last STEP event you attended and how was it?

    I spoke about the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility at a STEP Zurich lunchtime meeting. It was very well organised.

    What are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment?

    Increasing complexity: fiscal, regulatory and legislative.

    How will you deal with these challenges?

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  • Julia Abrey

    Why did you join STEP?

    It was relatively early days for STEP but a number of others at Withers were members. Listening to them talk about the organisation and how useful they found it, both to get education and for networking, very much tempted me to join.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

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  • John Rimmer

    Why did you join STEP?

    It is the leading organisation for trust and probate practitioners, and any serious practitioner cannot really afford to be outside its sphere of information-sharing and influence.

    What does being a member mean to you/your organisation?

    Being a member has enabled me to share thoughts with some of the top thought leaders in our world of trust and estates. If a colleague at my firm is a member, it gives me and professionals dealing with us confidence in the quality and integrity of the person concerned.

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