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Before we think about what a Trust Administrator is, it is important to understand what a trust is.

A trust is a legal device used to hold assets for one or more persons. It is a relationship where one party (Trustor/Settlor/Grantor) gives another party (Trustee) the right to manage these assets for the benefit of a third party (Beneficiary). A trust is established to provide protection for the Trustor’s assets and to make sure those assets are distributed to the beneficiary/beneficiaries according to the requests of the trustor. The Trustee is an individual or firm given control or powers of administration to do what is best for the trust.

There are several reasons a trust is set up. For example, it may be that a minor must reach a certain age before receiving an inheritance. Or it could be that the trust pays to maintain a property for a deceased individual. Whatever the reason, a Trust Administrator typically provides direct support to Trust Officers and follows the explicit details of the written trust, communicates with all parties involved, and maintains the payments and receipts of the account.

The trust is a fiduciary relationship that requires your professional services as a Trust Administrator to be properly carried out. On a day-to-day basis, you can expect to monitor investments, clear up overdrafts, set up and close out accounts, and make money transfers. This will include updating paper and computer files, answer phones, and respond to emails. In addition, you assist with paying taxes, make distributions, and provide asset information to beneficiaries on behalf of the trust.

Each trust will clearly outline what is expected of you and you are bound by those directions. This can often require patience, for example, when dealing with a son who was cut out of an inheritance, or a business requesting information they are not entitled to. You must treat each beneficiary equally (unless otherwise outlined) and seek legal advice with any questions. With your attention to detail, unflappable demeanor, and knowledge of business and accounting practices, you can handle several trusts at the same time.

What would you be responsible for?

  • Providing back-office administrative support to the Trust Department, primarily the Trust Officers
  • Ensure documentation of all pertinent activities
  • Draft letters, memoranda, spreadsheets and other documents for the trust department and for delivery to the client, where appropriate
  • Preparing cheque requisitions and deposits for client accounts
  • Capturing daily account transactions
  • Transferring of client funds as requested
  • Preparing wire transfer documentation and obtaining bank drafts
  • Reconciling bank statements and sending client statements on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis
  • Completing weekly reconciliation report procedure
  • Assisting department members with account specific administrative tasks
  • Attending meetings with clients/3rd parties and recording meeting minutes.

 What are the standard requirements?

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • At least two years in financial services or legal environment
  • Being STEP qualified would be advantageous
  • Excellent communication, both verbal and written, including proper business letter and email writing
  • Outstanding client service skills and attention to detail
  • Proven analytical and decision-making experience with effective problem resolution
  • Strong computer skills, including MS Office products: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Ability to prioritize, juggle a variety of tasks and interact with staff at all levels
  • Positive attitude, team player, willingness to accept new assignments and to pitch in
  • Ability to complete time sensitive tasks efficiently and effectively
  • Comfortable working with financial statements and concepts.

 Essential skills needed…

  • A comprehensive understanding of the basic principles and practices of trust and company administration and of managing financial investments and assets
  • Ability to prioritize, juggle a variety of tasks and interact with staff at all levels
  • Positive attitude and a team player
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ability to multi-task.

What if I’m just starting out?

  • As the experience required is quite specific the best way to start is with an internship in a trust department
  • If you’re already working, transferring into an administrative role within a law firm can be a great way to learn as much as possible before applying to make the move across as a Trust Administrator
  • Signing up for financial services based course or ideally the STEP qualification
  • Keeping up to date with regulatory changes and read articles on the industry
  • Cayman is small and friendly so try and connect with industry professionals both through personal connections and using LinkedIn.

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