Keane recently hosted its annual Client Connection networking event and forum in New York City. More than 90 clients from a variety of industries attended this year’s conference. The annual unclaimed property conference allows escheatment professionals to meet with peers and industry experts while also interacting with the specialists who deliver their communication, compliance or consulting services.
This year, the Client Connection conference focused on recent developments in the unclaimed property industry and their affect on holders, as well as compliance strategies and processes. The forum included three panel discussions as well as guest speakers from the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Uniform Law Commission, and several industry trade associations. Additionally, guest speaker Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock provided insight into the Delaware Voluntary Disclosure Program on the deadline day of the initiative.
The featured panels at Client Connection 2014 included the following:
Uniform Law Commission Panel
Analysis of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act’s Past and Future
Debbie L. Zumoff, Keane’s Chief Compliance Officer, was joined by several others, including Charles Trost, the Official Reporter of the Uniform Law Commission’s (ULC) Unclaimed Property Revision Committee. The panel discussed the history of the ULC and shared its objectives and goals in drafting the next version of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.
Panelists and affiliates from the American Bar Association, Investment Company Institute, and notable industry experts also offered their views and the changes they would like incorporated in the next revision. This panel gave attendees the opportunity to learn additional information about the reform effort as well as about industry professionals’ shared interest in the creation of an updated Uniform Unclaimed Property law.
Unclaimed Property Audit Reform Panel
Discussion of the regulatory environment & recent litigations
Keane’s Managing Director, Valerie Jundt, moderated a panel that included three unclaimed property attorneys, as well as Mr. Harold Kim from the United States Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform. Mr. Kim stressed the need for transparency in the contingency audit space. He also discussed several best practices for holders. Mr. Kim stated that his organization is an advocate for and resource to the business community and encouraged attendees to communicate their findings.
Other members of the panel included attorneys who have represented holders in recent third-party audits and unclaimed property litigation. The Top 5 audit issues that have yet to be litigated were also reviewed.
“3 Ring Circus”
Three current nuances, issues, and challenges within the industry
Keane Vice President of Operations Maureen Ferrari, Senior Manager Ann Fulmer, and Director of Compliance Freda Pepper, addressed a variety of popular topics within the unclaimed property industry. The trio explained the differences between administrative guidance, escheat regulations, and statutes – as well as discrepancies existing among the states.
The panel also expounded upon the implications of state reporting laws and the risks that come with following administrative guidance. Finally, in reaction to an increase in unclaimed property audits, the panel emphasized the value of voluntary compliance initiatives and important information holders need to know once they have enrolled.
Conference attendees concluded the day with small group sessions addressing industry-specific compliance challenges and operational issues for input from fellow professionals.
This annual unclaimed property conference was packed with insight into important industry-related subjects. These topics included everything from escheat regulations, rising trends, and best practices to how to curtail company-wide unclaimed property liabilities.
Keane would like to thank our speakers, panelists, and most of all, our attendees for taking part in Client Connection 2014 and making it another successful Keane event! We look forward to next year’s Client Connection!