Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies was officially launched
in September, 2007, in Zurich and Geneva, in a bid 'to encourage
the professional and ethical development of an industry in full
expansion in Switzerland'.
The trust business is witnessing rapid growth in Switzerland,
having more than doubled in size over the past five years. In 2007,
as previously stated, Switzerland ratified the Hague Convention
on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition.
The primary objective of the association was to encourage the growth
of the trust industry while upholding a high standard of quality,
integrity, and professionalism. SATC has already enacted its bylaws
and a code of ethics and conduct that members undertake to observe.
It also aims to encourage the federal bodies to develop a set of
specific rules applicable to trust companies that complements the
existing regulations under the Swiss anti-money laundering regulations,
drawing inspiration from SATC’s professional qualification criteria
for membership and from the principles contained in its code of
ethics and conduct. SATC will therefore also act as a partner for
dialogue with the Swiss government.
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies comprises
twelve founding members whose primary activity is trust administration
and who illustrate the diversity of this industry in Switzerland:
small and large, independent or bank-owned companies which are active
in various regions of the country. They are: Barclaytrust (Suisse)
SA, Bonhôte Trust SA, Cantrade Trustee Ltd, Close Trustees (Switzerland)
SA, Experta AG, Investec Trust (Switzerland) SA, KENDRIS private
AG, Paicolex Trust Management AG, Quiltrust Ltd, Rothschild Trust
(Switzerland) AG, Settlements SA and VALUEworks. The Association
expects to grow rapidly.
The initial Committee was comprised of Kecia Barkawi-Hauser, VALUEworks
(President), Xavier Isaac, Investec Trust (Switzerland) SA (Vice
President), Adrian Escher, KENDRIS private AG (Treasurer), Mark
Barmes, Settlements SA, and Daniel Martineau, Close Trustees (Switzerland)
An advisory board was also established, composed of leading professionals
mainly from the trust industry. Professor Luc Thévenoz, Professor
at the University of Geneva’s Centre for Banking and Finance Law
and Member of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission is one of its
members, along with Stephanie Jarrett, attorney and partner with
the law firm Baker & McKenzie, Geneva, and Vice-Chairman of the
Suisse-Romande Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
The project for founding this association was conceived almost
two years previously by two of the Swiss branches of the Society
of Trust and Estate Practitioners. STEP, which brings together more
than 700 individual members within Switzerland, is particularly
focused on professional training and development for the trust professionals
making up its membership. SATC intends to complement STEP and plans
to unite trust companies of a sound reputation operating in Switzerland.
According to Kecia Barkawi-Hauser, President of SATC, Switzerland
is a very favourable market for trusts: “The status Switzerland
enjoys as an international financial market, the proximity to private
banks, internationally renowned management and investment companies,
along with the resulting synergies, all represent a major asset
for the growth of the trust industry in this country. Furthermore,
Switzerland benefits from an extremely qualified, multilingual and
multicultural workforce that proves particularly valuable to trust
activities. In this context, SATC will provide trust companies in
Switzerland with an industry association devoted to best standards."