Trustee Round Table 2017

A Word From Your Hosts:

When I agreed to serve as an independent trustee fifteen years ago, little did I realize it would become such a important part of my life’s work. While it has been a very rewarding experience, I have also found it to be a very lonely position at times.

The motivation to create the Trustee Round Table came principally from my desire to be part of a like-minded community of independent trustees who can share experiences and resources in a safe environment. Fortunately, my colleague Don Opatrny at the Lovins Group, also saw the opportunity to help trustees and beneficiaries develop better relationships.

The opportunity to improve ones performance by participating in a community where old lessons and new insights are shared is most compelling. We invite you to register for the Round Table or call us if you’d like any additional information.

–Bill Cranshaw

Fulfilling the purposes for which trusts are created is often a very complex human relationship equation for independent trustees. Godparent, business owner, investor, accountant, conflict mediator, coach, and even emergency room attending can be demands incurred in a single week. With so much at stake, where can trustees turn for support?

My experimental collaboration with Bill Cranshaw has proven the effectiveness of a concerted effort to apply advanced relationship skills in this vital role. We are excited to explore the potential of a community of professional trustees dedicated to learning about their craft and supporting one another over time.

–Don Opatrny, LMFT


    Are you an independent trustee responsible for trusts that hold substantial operating businesses or significant investment assets? Do you care deeply about enhancing the lives of your beneficiaries? If you want to develop your skills in an intimate community of your peers and have found that there is a lack of both a support system and proven resources for you as a trustee, then this conference is for you.


    This is a groundbreaking opportunity to participate in the creation of a unique, world-class, and intimate learning community. It is a place to securely and safely talk about the experience of being an independent trustee. You will be able to share resources, to get sound advice and to develop skills that will make an immediate impact in your relationship with your beneficiaries, and for the future you will develop new insights and reinvigorate your commitment to this important vocation. This conference has limited spaces available in order to maintain integrity and quality.


    Guest Speaker Hartley Goldstone

    His mission is simple. Hartley finds out why some families’ trusts succeed over the long haul, then passes along what he’s learned. His clients include families, their family offices and private trust companies; institutional and individual trustees; and beneficiaries in all stages of life.

    Clients draw upon practical, field-tested approaches to help them forge solid connections between “book-learning” and their real world, day-to-day concerns.

    Following 25 years as attorney, senior trust officer, and advisor to clients of a multifamily office, Hartley left the institutional trust world to found his firm Trustscape LLC in 2009. In 2014, he associated with Wise Counsel Research, an award-winning nonprofit think-tank and consultancy focused on matters of wealth and philanthropy.

    In 2010, Hartley launched the Beneficiary and Trustee Positive Story Project: Lessons Learned from Trustees of Family Trusts that Flourish Over Multiple Generations to collect stories told by beneficiaries and trustees who – with compassion and wisdom – have successfully navigated challenges in the midst of complexity. Two years later, he published TrustWorthy, a collection of 25 such real-life stories. In 2013, the Positive Story Project became the theme of his online column for the journal Trusts & Estates.

    Most recently, Hartley co-authored Family Trusts: A Guide for Beneficiaries, Trustees, Trust Protectors, and Trust Creators (Wiley 2016), which is a practical guide to passing on wealth in ways that enrich the lives of all who are involved.

    Hartley regularly speaks at family-only events, and has presented at conferences of the Family Office Exchange, Institute for Private Investors, Society of Trust and Estate Professionals, Purposeful Planning Institute (where he serves on the Council of Deans), Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises, Private Wealth Network (Australia), American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, The American Bankers Association National Trust School, and many others.

    Advisory engagements – for those who are looking to untangle the tension between theoretical understanding and practical steps – take place in smaller, more intimate settings.


    To download a complete agenda for the Trustee Round Table 2017, click here.


    $2500 — Includes 2017 Conference Fee plus the following benefits:

    • Periodic virtual meetings for ongoing learning and support
    • Member’s only discussion board securely hosted by the Lovins Group
    • Access to individual coaching
    • Trustees Resource Bank hosted on a secure/downloadable website which will include:
      – group exercises
      – communication tools
      – reference library
      – sample agendas for successful meetings
      – annual calendars
      – retreat locations and agendas
      – success stories

    To foster open communication and to uphold the integrity of the Community, there will be no outside sponsors involved in the Round Table.


The impact trustees can have in the lives of beneficiaries, in the communities they influence, and in the wider human community has enormous untapped potential of incalculable significance. The Lovins Group considers the relationship between trustees and beneficiaries to be one of the most potentially powerful and underdeveloped in the world today.

The job of being a trustee is a very complicated one. Because issues surrounding inheritance are often fraught with intense emotions and challenging interpersonal dynamics, trustees often focus their attention on the investing and administrative functions and the distribution function is given less attention than it needs given the impact it has in the lives of beneficiaries.

This seems to be true both with independent trustees and institutional trustees. Independent trustees are often especially unsupported and undereducated in the performance of their roles. We believe that there is an untapped “desire for community” that exists to help independent trustees to improve their vital distribution function and their ability to enhance the lives of beneficiaries.

Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport
October 24–25



    Tuesday, October 24Wednesday, October 25

    “At the Lovins Group, we believe that the relationship between trustees and beneficiaries is one of the most potentially powerful and overlooked contexts for the development of future leaders in the world today.”

    — William Cranshaw