Formed in New Zealand in 2014, Denton Morrell was designed in response to wholesale change and consolidation in the trust industry globally. The message from families and their advisers was universal – trust and relationships had broken down, corporate objectives and financial gain had been prioritised over client service and, ultimately, a lack of clarity and certainty prevailed.
Instead, Denton Morrell’s foundations are built on traditional values of a superlative and personalised service. Discretion, integrity and transparency are core principles through which we nurture long term relationships. We are entirely owned by our staff and therefore we are free of internal and external conflicts of interest. This allows us to put our clients’ best interests at the heart of everything we do.
Similarly, we are structured to remain nimble and pro-active. Our clients are dynamic and entrepreneurial and expect us to be the same. This is achieved through careful selection of experienced and highly-qualified staff, ongoing investment in appropriate technology and collaboration with our extensive network of best of breed specialists.
Whilst we remain headquartered in New Zealand, today, through our network of offices, we represent clients resident in some twenty-five jurisdictions and steward USD 15 billion of assets of every type.
We are immensely proud of the fact that we do not advertise; all our growth has come from referrals from other professional firms and word of mouth recommendations.
We do not aim to be all things to all people but we do strive to be outstanding in the fields of family advisory and fiduciary services.
In essence, we are a sophisticated and dynamic private concierge, a safe pair of hands to which your personal wealth can be entrusted
In practice, that entails devising and implementing a strategy to provide certainty of outcomes. As with any strategy, flawless execution is conditional on:
A clear understanding of the current position.
We don’t assume that we know more than our clients about their business or their family circumstances. Crucially, we will always seek to gain a wider picture of the wealth enterprise. The family’s core values and principles, the practicalities of a succession plan and preparation of the next generation are often at the heart of the client’s desire to establish a structure but are all too often overlooked.
Identification of what must be achieved.
Every family and, therefore, every relationship is different. This translates into diverse objectives, motivations, expectations and measures of success. More than at any other point of the process, the ability to listen and understand these factors before offering an objective perspective is critical.
We are experts in our field but cannot, and do not, operate alone. Every relationship has many parties, whether the family members themselves or their selected service providers and advisers. Clear, open communication is key to ensuring that the entire network is aligned with what our clients are trying to accomplish and how they wish to make decisions, now and into the future.
The world we live in is increasingly dynamic and the challenges are myriad. Risks may be geo-political, financial or reputational and the source may be internal or external. Experience enables us to identify and quantify these threats at an early stage and take proactive measures to mitigate them, or to adapt the strategy accordingly.
Review, review, review.
People change, circumstances change and objectives change. We are deliberately structured so that we have the time to engage regularly with our clients and their advisers and so that we are agile enough to adapt when required.
WHAT WE DO
As every client’s circumstances are unique, we take the time to listen and understand before implementing the appropriate solution.
Solutions we commonly provide include:
- The establishment and administration of trusts, limited partnerships and foundations;
- The establishment and administration of corporate structures;
- Family investment company establishment;
- Private investment funds; Structures for private equity or venture capital arrangements;
- Family office services; Family governance and education;
- Philanthropic strategy implementation; Immigration and inbound investment support;
- Assistance with contentious trust or family matters;
- Consultancy services – whether for a specific project or as an independent “audit” of existing arrangements.
More frequently than not, we are entrusted with the family’s “de-risked” assets – that proportion of their wealth enterprise that has been earmarked for a specific purpose or for specific people in the future.
It is our firm belief that all of the structures we administer must be robust in order to deliver on the specified objectives.
This does not happen through the filling of paperwork after the fact, or by taking a hands-off approach. Instead, it requires adherence to strong corporate governance principles, regular and rigorous review, open communication and alignment of interests and expectations.
This is perhaps where the Denton Morrell difference is most visible.
OUR CLIENT CHARTER
Obviously, this cannot be achieved if the trustee does not know who those beneficiaries are (collectively and individually) and has not taken the time to understand the nature and purpose of the structure.
Similarly, the trustee must appreciate how these components might change. The basis on which we engage is therefore critical:
Denton Morrell does not charge on a time-spent basis or based on asset value. We believe that fixed fee arrangements provide clarity, certainty and, most importantly, give everyone involved the opportunity to speak with us as regularly as is required without fear of the costs running away.
Every client will work with at least two Denton Morrell team members – one at director level and typically at least one with fluency in the client’s native language.
Normally, the structure will also involve lawyers, accountants, bankers or other providers. We recognise and respect that each are experts in their field and, combined, the output to the client is truly greater than the sum of the parts.
Our independence is critical to our success. We are the stakeholders. We have no debt or external shareholders to service. That enables us to act differently. We are not tied to one provider or jurisdiction. We do not seek or pay commissions. We do not push product.
We frequently work with specialist third parties, whether in relation to a certain asset class or a specific transaction. Our huge experience and international exposure mean that we can draw from a long list of best of breed providers. Often we will engage them on behalf of our clients and project manage the engagement (with no additional cost or mark up).
Our clients do not work regular hours and neither do we. We have established a network of offices to ensure that, whatever the time, whatever the issue, our team is at hand to offer immediate assistance.
Denton Morrell has always operated across borders and had capability in many of the major international centres. The diverse nature of our clients and the increase of globally mobile families has resulted in our expansion into a number of carefully selected jurisdictions.
Please direct all enquires in the first instance to our Auckland headquarters or use the contact form below.