60-second interview with Rod Genders 2018

Rod Genders, 2/10/2018

Rod Genders TEP is Director of Genders and Partners in Adelaide, Australia.

How and why did you get involved with STEP?

I was a founding member of the South Australian branch in February 2010.

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

STEP membership has afforded me the opportunity to connect and work with many specialist practitioners around the world, increasing my depth of knowledge and breadth of skill set.

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

The Founder’s Award is a recognition of the work of many dedicated STEP members who worked to position STEP as a thought leader in a number of emerging areas of law and business; especially fiduciary access to digital assets, cybersecurity, digital and electronic signatures, blockchain and bitcoin.

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

Specialist education and networking.

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

Don’t be a passenger – get involved with a Special Interest Group, and/or your local branch committee. Suggest new CPD topics, and offer to prepare a presentation yourself.

What do you most like about your job?

Helping clients understand their rights and options about estate planning, succession law and wealth devolution.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

Raising awareness in the community about the benefits that a modest investment in preparation and planning can bring to families and businesses.

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

Be prepared for relentless change. I predict that every five years or so there will be an opportunity or a positive requirement for a disruptive change in a STEP career path; this means you need to offer a degree of flexibility and adjustment not previously known within the professions.

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

A number of them, but in particular elder and succession law, wealth devolution, cybersecurity, labour and employment, public safety and privacy re automation and autonomous vehicles, which includes drones, buses, taxis and deliveries.

What about jurisdictions?

Many countries will grapple with disruptive forces to their established protocols and paradigms. I envisage that money laundering, cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity, profit-shifting and cross border/globalisation issues will predominate in the STEP universe, especially in Australia, Canada, the UK, the EU and the US.

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

It seems inevitable that increasing areas of professional work will continue to be eroded by competition, automation, legislative reform and disruptive technologies. Increased expertise in specialty niches and constant re-training are the strategies I intend to pursue to confront these challenges.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

I use LinkedIn for professional contacts and find it a valuable source of up-to-date information within specialised groups. Twitter is useful to push out quick headlines regarding specific issues to a (mostly) international professional audience, and Facebook and Pinterest work well for ‘content marketing’ to the public.

Rod Genders TEP specialises in wills and estate planning, probate and estate administration, trusts and guardianship, and inheritance claims and contested estates in South Australia. He was awarded the STEP Founder’s Award 2017, the Australian Law Award for Sole Practitioner of the Year 2015/16; and was a finalist for the STEP Private Client Awards Vulnerable Client Advisor of the Year 2015/16. Rod was a founding committee member of STEP South Australia, and a founding Chair of the international STEP Digital Assets Special Interest Group.