Magazine article American Banker

KeyCorp Reverses Alaska Pullback as State Liberalizes Trust Law

Magazine article American Banker

KeyCorp Reverses Alaska Pullback as State Liberalizes Trust Law

Article excerpt

KeyCorp is rushing back to Alaska.

The Cleveland-based bank, which has about $900 million of personal trust assets under management in Alaska, had been pulling back staff from the state.

But thanks to a law adopted in April that favors trust departments, KeyCorp is once again hot on the nation's coldest state.

"There's nothing wrong with being an opportunist," said William M. Hunter 2d, the executive vice president of KeyCorp's private bank.

The Alaska law contains several provisions intended to attract into trust accounts money that typically would go offshore for protection from creditors.

Unlike most states, Alaska now puts no time limit on the life of a trust.

Also, Alaska is now a safer place to protect assets from debt claims, because creditors now have only four years to demonstrate that money owed to them was fraudulently transferred into Alaska trusts.

The state also allows individuals to remain beneficiaries of their own trusts.

KeyCorp had opposed an earlier version of the law for fear it would protect the assets of deadbeat dads. It also viewed the prospects for personal trusts as weak because Alaskans generally retire to other states, Mr. Hunter said.

But the new law changed that demographic, he said, because it is designed to attract trusts from around the country, regardless of where clients live.

As a result, KeyCorp has sent Susan Brinkman, a vice president, back to Alaska. The bank is urging clients to strongly consider establishing trusts in the state. …

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