International Academy of Trust and Estate Law conference hosts seminars on Stewardship and Governance and Dutch foundations

May 2023

The Annual Congress of the International Academy of Trust and Estate Law, this year in Vienna, hosts a Panel on Stewardship and Governance, led by Ineke Koele together with Amy Szostak from Chicago, senior vice president of Northern Trust. In addition, Ineke also speaks on a Panel on Foundations in civil law and other jurisdictions, chaired by Dr. Andreas Richter from Berlin. With an introduction to the rationale for the recent 'Patagonia structure' which has received much attention in the U.S. but has a long tradition in Europe in countries such as Denmark (panelist Prof. Rasmus Feldthusen), Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, the panelists also eventually returned to the interventions in the governance of existing family conglomerates to achieve a long-term 'alignement of interests. The Patagonia structure is the 'radical' solution, intermediate forms are conceivable in many varieties.

Most striking was the feedback from some congress participants who felt that Stewardship and Governance is so important to the group of international specialists in trust and estate law that it should be on the agenda every year. Some British attendees refused this idea and stated that queen Victoria already declared that ownership should never be held indefinitely for any other cause than a strictly private one rejecting the idea of 'purpose' organizations with wider interests.

Ineke Koele is also active in the Responsible Wealth Steering group of STEP, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners which has put the same topic on the agenda of its 20,000 members worldwide.