What does your firm do?
The charities team at Aberdeen Standard Capital manages the investments of large charities across the UK, investing in line with any ethical criteria they set.
What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?
Individually, it helped me earlier in my career through the knowledge acquired in completing the Diploma to become a TEP.
Since then, I've had the opportunity to help shape STEP's professional development framework through contributing the idea for, and helping to create, the STEP Certificate for Financial Services – Trusts and Estate Planning. This Certificate aims to help bridge the gap between financial services and law. You might say it's my educational legacy, and one which has helped hundreds of others understand more about estate planning and tax.
As a business, Standard Life plc's advice business, called 1825, has a number of estate planning specialists and this area is seen as integral to 1825, which is now a Gold Employer Partner in the STEP Employer Partnership Programme.
What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?
Bringing together a range of advisers across different sectors, who have a shared interest in private clients and charities. Looking out for the TEP accreditation is useful when meeting new people, since it's a clear indicator of specialism and experience.
You recently recorded a webcast for STEP. What was the subject and why is this important?
The theme covered in the webcast is the use of investment policy statements by charities in different parts of the UK. It looks at what a charity board might want to include in this policy document, and how a charity can reflect its purposes by including ethical criteria in its investment policy.
What do you most like about your job?
The variety in what I do; the challenge of demystifying complex information and making it simpler to understand; plus of course the opportunity to meet interesting people.
... and what do you feel is most worthwhile?
The knowledge I have built up over the years is of practical use to individuals, families and charities. It's immensely satisfying being able to help.
What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?
Do it! You'll find variety, intellectual challenge and interesting people along the way – what's not to like? You're also slightly less likely to be replaced by a robot in future, as human relationships remain a huge factor in the private client and charity arena. That's not something you can say about every area of law!
Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?
Tax remains an area of growth, in particular cross-border elements. The law relating to digital assets will also continue to grow. There are increasing examples of contractual terms governing the inheritance of digital assets, for example, reducing the scope of what is governed by a will.
Which social media channels do you use and why?
I use Twitter @juliekhutchison. It's a powerful news channel, with first notification of new developments often found there before anywhere else (including tax).
I also find LinkedIn useful as a means of staying in touch and sharing content which may be of use to others.
Julie Hutchison, Charities Specialist at Aberdeen Standard Capital
First published in STEP 23rd May 2016