Trident Trust Offers a Personal and Stable Relationship
In this interview, Sean Coughlan, our Singapore Managing Director, talks to Tom Burroughes, WealthBriefingAsia’s Group Editor, on the qualities that set Trident Trust apart from its peers and what the company has been doing to stay on the front foot in such a fast-growing but highly competitive region.
Trident Trust opened its Singapore office in 2010. Now numbering over 75 staff, the Singapore team has been named Best Independent Trust or Fiduciary Company in South-East Asia by WealthBriefingAsia a total of seven times. The team provides a full range of trust, corporate and fund administration services.
Trident Trust is a leading global corporate, fiduciary and fund administrator, employing over 900 staff in more than 20 jurisdictions and across a footprint that spans Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East.
What sets you apart from the peers this year and why?
We believe that independence is a core feature of our long-term success. As one of the very few privately-held businesses in our sector here in Singapore, we are fully independent and debt free. This is very important as we are not under the same financial pressures as other competitors may be. We are uniquely positioned to offer our clients a stable and personal relationship that will not be compromised by conflicts of interest, short-term transactional and financial priorities, or changes in ownership. This is something clients appreciate and have been looking for, especially during these uncertain times.
Despite the added challenges of the last 18 months, we have been growing and brought in two new Directors in our Business Development team to handle the ever growing number of new enquiries we keep receiving. We also hired more operational staff to manage the flow of new business and a new COO.
How has your business model reacted to the pandemic? Have you introduced new working practices that will endure?
We have been growing at a good pace in the recent years across all the 3 pillars of our business, which are trust, corporate and fund services. We have a deeply committed, hard-working and talented multi-lingual team that delivers a high touch personal service, which is recognized in testimonials we receive from our clients.
With very little staff turnover we have been able to build long standing business relationships with professional firms such as bankers, lawyers, tax advisers and family offices. Having in place strong foundations paid out during the last year and no change to our business model was necessary; we only put in even more effort to stay connected whilst working from home and to provide a seamless customer experience to our clients during the pandemic.
Against the common trend of downsizing on office space, we are very excited to announce that we will be moving into a new and much bigger office on 6 September to accommodate our growing team. We are committed to our staff, clients and business partners and want to offer a place to share, connect and exchange. As a people business, we feel that in-person meetings and face-to-face interactions are vital.
What lessons have been learnt that can be carried forward?
As a Group, our DNA is to achieve long-term sustainable growth and balance. There is no pressure for short term performance from the Group’s global management. This approach, together with our focus on growing our teams through organic hiring and having all the right people sitting in all the right seats, keeps our foundations strong and weathers any storm. Whilst preferring a more conservative approach over a more risk-taking one, we are fast to adapt and flexible as circumstances require. This applies to all the areas, from quickly switching to “work from home” mode, to integrating new modern IT infrastructures to help us deliver the highest quality customer experience.
Have your differentiators become more important to your business? Are they still relevant?
Yes, a big differentiator is that we are and remain privately owned, as we have been for the past 43 years. That enables us to take a long-term view, which means we can focus on building stable and committed relationships with our clients and business partners, and offer our staff genuine career paths and development opportunities.
We have a relationship focused business model with a single point of contact in our Singapore office to coordinate clients’ requirements. We feel that our international footprint and wide offering across multiple jurisdictions give us an advantage on competitors and are highly valued by our clients and partners. We are proud to offer high level service quality and reliability as we do not have the need to outsource any services, but we have in-house expertise and staff to cater for our clients’ needs.
What are you going to do to stay on the front foot in a fast-growing but also challenging region such as this?
We will continue to hire qualified staff who have the right mindset and attitude and can identify with our core values of reliability, responsiveness, attention to detail and personal service. As we continue to grow, we will ensure that we have all the right people sitting in all the right seats, from business development, onboarding, relationship management and administration.
We have built a strong support team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff in the field of accounting, compliance, operations and FATCA/CRS reporting and continue to offer all our services in-house. We maintain close and regular contact with our clients and business partners to understand their needs, especially in testing times.
What do you hope will be the result of receiving this accolade? How does it help your business in this region?
This award is a recognition of the quality of our service and reflects the strength of our business and Trident Trust Group as a whole. It’s also a recognition of the hard work everyone in the team has put in during the last year. It energises, encourages and motivates us to do even better and to keep providing the best service possible to our business partners and clients.