Trust ‘em

Have you every wondered about the role of the Trust Corporations in Malaysia and what they do?

There are quite a number of them and all are registered under the Trust Companies Act 1949. I do not propose to go into what they can or cannot do, but the word trustee already gives a clue to their activities.

My dictionary says that a trustee is someone or an organisation with legal control of money or property that is kept or invested for another person.

There you have it. The Trust Corporation’s job is like a watchdog to look after money or property for the benefit of some other people.

That’s why so many of them are actively involved with the Unit Trust industry where their main functions are to act as the trustees and custodians of the assets of the unit trust funds and safeguard the interests of the investors’ money.

The trustee is legally obliged to make all trust-related decisions with the investors’ interests at heart and may be liable for damages in the event of not doing so. It is a very responsible job and of course, they will require payment for their services.

According to the Securities Commission, among the Trust Corporations registered with them for this purpose are Amanah Raya Berhad, AmTrustee Berhad, Bumiputra-Commerce Trustee Berhad, BHLB Trustee Berhad, HSBC (Malaysia) Trustees Berhad, Mayban Trustee Berhad, PB Trustee Services Berhad, Universal Trustee (M) Berhad, Malaysian Trustees Berhad, ABB Trustee Berhad, Alliance Trustee Berhad, OSK Trustees Berhad, UOB Trustee (Malaysia) Berhad, Pacific Trsutees Berhad, Equity Trust (Malaysia) Berhad and MAA Bancwell Trustee Berhad.

It is a huge industry and collectively, these Trust Corporations are sitting on assets worth as much as RM105 billion collected by the Unit Trust management companies. The Trust Corporations are required to monitor these management companies on behalf of the unit holders and ensure proper custodianship of the assets acquired.

By the way, it is interesting to note that the Securities Commission website shows that as of 30 Jun 2006, the Total Net Asset Value (NAV) of unit trust funds in the country represented 14.59% of the Bursa Malaysia market capitalisation. Whew….!!

By nature of their function, Trust Corporations are also involved with trusts and estate administration but among all the Trust Corporations in the country, only a very select few do this almost exclusively.

Two that I know of are Rockwills Trustee Berhad and as-Salihin Trustee Berhad. While the latter caters primarily to the Muslim market, the former’s target market share are the non-Muslims.

Who are the people behind these two Trust Corporations?

Rockwills LogoThe chairman of Rockwills Trustee Berhad is Dato Seri Goh Eng Toon. He was my chairman and CEO during my Ban Hin Lee Bank days. I worked with him for 23 years, so I reckon that I should know his reputation well enough.

Johari Low bin Abdullah and Saw Leong Aun are two directors of Rockwills Trustee Berhad that I’ve known since 2001. Very down-to-earth people who always have time to listen to others.

I’ve also known Goh Phaik Lynn, another of the Rockwills Trustee directors, for a long time…since 1983, actually. We were in the thick and thin of BHL Bank together.

As for as-Salihin Trustee, I do not know any of the directors personally but their reputation precedes them.

as-Salihin LogoWhat more can you say when as-Salihin has such a distinguished heavyweight like Tun Dato Dr Haji Mohamed Salleh Abas as the chairman? In case you still do not know who he is, Tun Salleh Abas was the Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia from 1984 to 1988.

Then there is Datuk Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the founder of Mercy Malaysia. After the tsunami struck on Boxing Day in 2004, Mercy Malaysia was among the first aid organisations to provide relief to the strickened people of northern Sumatra.

So you see, knowing all these people and their background gives me every reason to recommend the services of both Rockwills Trustee Berhad and as-Salihin Trustee Berhad. I’m sure they will be acceptable to you too, should you decide to seek the services of competent Trust Corporations for your estate planning needs.

Just let me know if you require their services and I’ll point you in the right direction.

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