Smith & Williamson Trust Corporation Limited is a UK trust corporation established in 1984 and is a member of The Association of Corporate Trustees (TACT) and the Association of Member-directed Pension Schemes (AMPS).

We act as:

  • trustee of family trusts and settlements

  • trustee of charitable trusts

  • an independent, corporate trustee of pension schemes

  • an independent trustee of unregulated collective investment schemes

  • corporate trustee of share save schemes and employee benefit trusts

  • custodian trustee

  • an executor of deceased persons’ estates

  • an attorney under a lasting power of attorney.

In addition, Smith & Williamson Trustees (Jersey) Limited is a subsidiary of the Smith & Williamson group providing non-UK trustee services.

What is a trust corporation?

In summary, a UK trust corporation is a company which has a place of business in the UK and is registered with Companies House. Its constitution must enable it to undertake trust business in England and Wales and it must have issued share capital of not less than £250,000, of which at least £100,000 must be paid up. It can act either solely or jointly on appointments and can validly discharge outgoing trustees on appointment as a sole trustee. A trust corporation can also receive the proceeds on the sale of land held solely, something trust companies are unable to do.

Why appoint a professional trustee?

Acting as trustee or executor is an onerous responsibility. The decision to accept such a position is not to be taken lightly as you can be held personally liable for your actions. In addition to taking away the risk of being personally liable, appointing a trust corporation has a number of benefits, including:

  • to relieve the burden of keeping up with current legislation

  • to establish independence and remove possible conflicts of interest

  • to provide expert opinion and knowledge

  • to ensure continuity.

How we can help

We have a breadth of experience and knowledge within the financial services industry which enables us to make informed decisions and to provide the governance needed to ensure best practice is adhered to at all times.

As trustees we would:

  • ensure the trust is being run in accordance with the governing instrument and supporting documents

  • review investment performance to ensure the managers are acting according to the instructions given to them

  • work in conjunction with third parties and advisers to deliver a premium trustee service

  • organise and host trustee meetings

  • arrange for the preparation of accounts and tax returns and critically review them.

Through our appointment we provide:

  • governance, monitoring and risk management reporting

  • relevant professional experience to support trustees’ knowledge and understanding

  • conflicts of interest management

  • a personalised service

  • streamlined administration and trust management services

  • trustee bank account services

  • efficient administration of the trust or estate.

We can also provide accounting and tax advisory services through Smith & Williamson LLP, and investment management and banking through Smith & Williamson Investment Management Limited.

Our clients

Our clients vary from small family trusts where the sole asset is a portfolio of quoted investments to complex trusts holding a variety of assets including landed estates, private company shareholdings, chattels, etc.

We are also able to act as nominee in relation to the acquisition of UK properties, providing a private office service which includes arranging payment of all property-related charges.

For pension appointments we provide independent trustee services to defined benefit pension schemes and trust-based defined contribution schemes. We also act as trustee on small self administered schemes. We do this either working in tandem with existing trustees, or via a sole appointment.

In particular our focus is working with existing trustees and employers through specific corporate transactions. This includes where a scheme is likely to enter a pension protection fund assessment period, and we are engaged as independent trustee before the assessment date is triggered.

We are appointed to take schemes through the assessment period where the employer has entered insolvency on appointment by the Pensions Regulator and to wind up trust-based defined contribution schemes.

Our clients for corporate trustee appointments on employee benefit trust and share save schemes include a number of the leading multinational employers, particularly in the Japanese sector.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.