Director of Estate Administration and Trust Counsel

  • Competitive
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Permanent, Full time
  • Franklin Templeton Investments
  • 22 Sep 17

Director of Estate Administration and Trust Counsel

Fiduciary Trust Company International has been a trusted investment manager for individuals, families and foundations for more than 80 years. With world-class capabilities in investment management, trust and estate services, and custody services, we have the expertise to meet the requirements of the most sophisticated clients and their advisors, and can help assure that their families' needs will be met long into future generations.

In 2001, Fiduciary Trust joined forces with Franklin Resources, Inc., a global investment management company operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. The acquisition presented both companies with an opportunity to expand and enhance their resources, services and global presence by combining complementary areas of expertise.

The Director of Estate Administration and Trust Counsel is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Estate Administration, assisting Trust Officers with trust administration issues, supervising a team of experienced estate specialists and developing and reinforcing internal policies and procedures. The Director's role also involves working with and cultivating a strong partnership with local markets leaders, business development officers, and other professionals across the firm to win new appointments and provide an unmatchable client experience. The Director will provide senior thought leadership and business acceptance responsibility for the most complex estates and trust matters. She/he will report to the National Head of Trust and Estates.

Ensure excellence in Estate Administration by fostering high-quality services, professionalism and expertise

  • Provide expertise in all areas of estate administration. Oversee marshalling of assets, working with Estate Specialists to determine liquidity needs, advising portfolio managers to raise cash, reviewing tax returns, accountings, agreements settling account, etc., determining appropriate tax elections and work closely with outside counsel on all aspects of estate administration. Ensuring all assets pass to beneficiaries at the lowest possible estate tax cost and in a form which best meets the deceased client's wishes and beneficiaries' needs.
  • Responsible for addressing any challenges arising during a state's administration, including adapting to changing laws and regulations, policies, addressing beneficiaries' questions, complex estate tax issues and questions from outside counsel.
  • Provide and coordinate Estate Administration for subsidiary offices.
  • Responsible for monitoring commissions received for estates and terminating revocable trusts and critical deliverables for the department.
  • Review and approve client requests and ensure exceptions are executed in accordance with existing policies.
  • Responsible for identifying and addressing service issues as and when they arise.
  • Responsible for managing all activities performed by Estate Specialists. Provide subject matter expertise and legal guidance. Ensure issues are escalated and communicated in timely manner.
  • Responsible for providing training on estate administration.
  • Manage and develop highly efficient and knowledgeable team of Estate Specialists.
  • Responsible for improving department's procedures and efficiencies to cultivate and deliver excellent client experience and employee satisfaction. Assist with the development of policies and procedures to govern the administration of unique assets.
  • Meet with auditors and regulators as required to explain the departmental policies, procedures and controls.
  • Responsible for creating budgets and managing expenses for the department.
  • Manage and maintain business improvement projects.
  • Develop and maintain internal policies and procedures.
Provide advice and assistance on trust administration and estate planning issues and cultivate a strong partnership with leaders and specialists across the firm to win new assignments
  • Assist Trust Officers with multifaceted trust administrative issues.
  • Cultivate relationships with market leaders to win new business and to determine ongoing Estate Administration needs in those markets. Communicate to them any changes in Estate Administration and explain the impact on clients and internal processes.
  • Participate in new business presentations, business development opportunities, and client/prospect presentations. This involves articulation of essential principals of estate planning, laws, ownership of assets, beneficiary designations and their effect on ultimate disposition of estates' assets.
  • Provide direction on opportunities that may arise and staying abreast of competitor offerings and structure.
  • Provide general education on estate planning to Franklin and Fiduciary employees through internal training and development. Create general training materials and advocate for knowledge sharing about importance of estate planning.
  • Represent interests of Estate department by actively participating in firm committees, such as Risk Management Committee, Client Privacy Committee, etc.
  • Plan and participate in continuing legal education programs sponsored by Practicing Law Institute (Chair), Calvary Hospital (co-Chair), American Heart Association (co-Chair), New York Bankers Assoc. (faculty) and America Bankers Assoc. (faculty).
  • Consistently displays a balanced, cross-functional perspective, liaising with the rest of the business to improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.

Qualifications/Success Factors:

  • J.D. required
  • Leadership experience managing complex trust and administration at either law firms, accounting firms or within wealth management firms
  • Working knowledge of Unique Assets is a plus
  • CTFA is a plus
  • Extensive experience in all areas of Estate and Trust Administration
  • Extensive knowledge of procedures and controls necessary for Estate and Trust Administration
  • Extensive knowledge of client services
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and telephone manners
  • Excellent business writing skills
  • Professional demeanor
  • Good working knowledge of the financial services industry
  • Ability to resolve conflicts and manage competing priorities
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadline
  • Ability to manage through other people heavy client contact and specific deadlines
  • Ability to work in team environment and collaborate with professionals from different disciplines and various professional experience/level
  • Ability to handle personnel issues and keep people accountable
  • Strong interpersonal and influence / partnership skills
  • Project management skills - ability to implement tactical objectives under the pressure of timelines and expected outcomes
  • Good knowledge of current technological trends in financial industry and client behavior space
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)