February 24, 2019 Marcos Almeida


There are several legal mechanisms that a company or an individual needs to fulfil in order to become a Trustee. Most of them come from the local legislation where the Trustee operates and manages its trusts. However, the functional requirements for a Trustee to act with excellence are not fully provided for in legal provisions. A law firm, for example, needs lawyers and paralegals to act on behalf of its clients. An engineering company needs engineers and a hospital needs doctors and nurses. A Trustee does not legally have to meet severe requirements as to the area of expertise of its employees to perform its primary function of administering trusts.

Of course, the Trustee signatory needs to comply with legal requirements to operate, often being a resident of the jurisdiction where its trusts are established and administered, but there is no forecast requirement concerning the technical requirements of the employees who will assist this Trustee in providing its services. Often, the Trustee relies on a body of administrative staff from different backgrounds to play such an important and detailed role.

A Trustee must perform typical functions of legal professions, such as lawyers, and rely on technical expertise in investments to ensure the excellent performance of assets placed in a trust. After all, these structures can carry the wealth of generations of a family. The responsibility is tremendous and it cannot be left to non-qualified personnel.

Southpac, as Trustee, focuses its services on providing asset protection and wealth planning for its clients. As such, the responsibility for meeting functional and qualitative requirements is always increasing, due to the constant changes in the international scene of business and politics, the different jurisdictions that its clients are located, and the tireless battle that not only creditors but also international regulatory organisations fight against the offshore wealth management industry.

Southpac is aware of its role in the international market, its responsibility to its clients and the benefits of the structures it offers. Its central office, located in New Zealand, contributes to the acquisition of skilled employees. Lawyers are responsible for dealing directly with clients regarding trusts and other structures offered. CPAs and investors analyse the assets placed in their management and the select group of outsourced services, such as banks, investment consultants and law firms, are carefully selected by the company to ensure that its services are provided with the necessary security and quality, corresponding to the size of the responsibility acquired.

Southpac counts on lawyers who are academically or naturally from the country of origin of many of its clients. Sean Yuwen, a Chinese-born lawyer, joined Southpac in February to ensure the technical, communicative and cultural quality needed to deal with Southpac’s Chinese and Asian clients. I, Marcos Almeida, as a lawyer trained in Brazil, can collaborate with my legal experience in Latin America to ensure that Southpac services are performed professionally and smoothly with our South American clients.

To ensure the peace of mind of having trustee-managed equity, it is not enough to create a trust and expect its benefits to come only from the legal protection that comes with that structure. Each act of the Trustee must be perfunctorily analysed and carried out in order to guarantee the qualities derived from this structure. Southpac strives to ensure this. It is not enough to create a trust. Being a trust throughout the existence of that entity is of extreme importance. Southpac knows this and its clients are grateful.

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Marcos Almeida

With over 11 years of experience as a lawyer and 16 years of experience working in the legal industry, Marcos is responsible for managing Southpac’s legal team. He joined the company in July 2018 after obtaining a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Business in New Zealand. In 2021, Marcos acquired a TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) designation from STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) upon obtaining a STEP Diploma in International Trust Management. Marcos is an awarded legal manager for the largest bank in Latin America – Itaú Unibanco Holding SA. His achievements as a lawyer led him to become the managing director and shareholder of his law firm in Brazil before moving to New Zealand in 2017. Marcos provides excellent services leading, training and developing lawyers and paralegals employed by Southpac and helping clients with direct contact with attorneys, banks and investment advisors worldwide.
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