As companies are in the midst of coming to terms with the financial and operational implications of Covid-19, one of the last items on a company’s agenda might be to consider switching their offshore EBT trustee provider. However, with companies generally scrutinising their expenditure, this might be the opportune time to contemplate the service levels they are receiving in comparison to the fees of such service, to determine whether they are getting fair value.

Many companies we hear from are consistently being over-charged for trustee and nominee services and do not feel like they are getting a personalised enough service, but fear that the process of switching trustee provider would be too onerous and complex.

It’s as simple as…

1. Speak to your tax or legal adviser - they will usually have a preferred list of trustee providers they could recommend.

2. Contact potential trustees, either directly or via your tax or legal advisor, to discuss your needs and procure fee quotes in order to determine the cost of the prospective new trustees.

3. Settle on a preferred choice of trustee; your advisor will then draft a suitable deed of retirement and appointment, usually referred to as a DORA, and any applicable ancillary documents as required.

4. Liaise with your current trustee to advise them you are transferring the trust to a new provider.

The EBT trust deed will usually include a clause which allows the company to remove the current trustee and to request the transfer of trusteeship to the new trustee; ordinarily this gives the retiring trustee about a month to complete the transfer. This allows the company, retiring trustee and the new trustee sufficient time to deal with the transferring of the assets of the trust and administration of any plans which in some cases could be completed by the re-designation of accounts and the transfer of appropriate data.

The final piece involved is usually the physical transfer of critical documents, for example the trust deed and trustee minutes or resolutions, from the retiring trustee to the new trustee.

The transfer of trusteeship of EBTs is a very well-trodden path for experienced trustees and advisors and it should be a process that doesn’t require a lot of time and effort for the company.

We understand that in this current environment, companies are aiming to reduce costs where possible and this may include changing to a more cost-efficient EBT trustee provider, without compromising service levels. We provide a high-level, personalised service whilst offering fixed-basis fees and a free transfer in so that there are no surprises for the company.

At VG we pride ourselves on exceeding our clients’ expectations. We are independent, knowledgeable, experienced, and approachable with extensive advisory contacts in the industry for those clients looking for direction or assistance. If you’re having doubts about your current offshore EBT provider or find yourself deliberating about a change, we would welcome an informal discussion.