60-second interview with Randall Krebs

Randall Krebs , 18/9/2018

Randall Krebs TEP is director of Harbour International Trust Company Ltd, Bermuda.

How and why did you get involved with STEP?

I originally joined STEP in 2002 for educational reasons. At the time the Canadian government had proposed extensive amendments to its income tax system. Michael Cadesky TEP and the Canadian Branch were very active in organising conferences and monthly talks to educate the industry on the reforms and their impact.

What benefits has it brought you personally, or in your business?

As all members know, STEP is an excellent platform for education and networking.

When I moved to Bermuda in 2005, I found the private client industry in an international financial centre to be far more international than in most onshore jurisdictions, and I still deal with different jurisdictions on a daily basis. STEP’s international footprint makes it an incredible resource to develop a global network and to gain exposure to international conferences and educational opportunities.

I am also involved in Bermuda legislative reform and the development of public policy. The STEP Public Policy team has great insight into international developments and this has been very helpful.

You were recently given a Founder’s Award. What does this mean to you?

It is a great honour to be included among such an influential group of practitioners.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

STEP is the world’s professional association for the trust and private client industry. It sets the standards, provides the education and engages in lobbying efforts for its members.

What would you say to other members who are thinking of getting more involved with STEP?

Just do it.

What do you most like about your job?

Each day brings new and exciting challenges, and that’s very stimulating.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

The people – my colleagues, professional advisors, and of course the families we work with.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

It is a very rewarding career, with truly international opportunities.

Which sectors are likely to see the strongest future growth, do you think?

I think the philanthropic sector is going to experience significant growth. We are on the cusp of an enormous transfer of wealth. The current generation is likely to make significant charitable contributions. The next generation is more socially conscious with its investments and lifestyle.

What about jurisdictions?

That’s a difficult question. One of the main reasons to use trusts and similar entities is to deal with uncertainty and instability. That’s exactly what we’re facing now, and it does create opportunities for what we do.

Those jurisdictions that can adapt and adjust to the new reality will flourish. Those that cannot will suffer.

What trends do you see in the global private wealth sector at the moment?

The global private wealth sector is facing increased costs and contracting business opportunities as it responds to various initiatives by the OECD, the EU, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), etc. This is prompting consolidation and merger and acquisition activity.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

The main challenges are the increased costs and administrative burdens place on the industry by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC), Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) registers, and on and on and …

To deal with this, in Bermuda the industry has become more engaged with the government and regulators to attempt to introduce sensible practical measures, and to minimise the cost and disruption to business.

Randall Krebs TEP is director of Harbour International Trust Company Ltd, Bermuda. He is a past chair of STEP Bermuda, and currently serves on the committee. He also serves on the STEP Directory Editorial Board, the Caribbean and Latin America Regional Committee and the Caribbean Public Policy Sub-Committee.