Trusts - Money is hardly ever annoying
Money is hardly ever annoying but there are times when it can cause problems, e.g. when it hampers power. This is what is happening to Rex Tillerson, who has just been appointed Secretary of State by US president elect Donald Trump. The long-standing head of Exxon has amassed a considerable fortune in over four decades working for the oil corporation, USD 54 m of which in the form of 600,000 Exxon shares. He is going to be paid another $ 2 m in shares when he retires. Conflict of interests is pre-programmed because in his new function he will also maintain political relations with oil producing countries, which may have effects on Exxon, one of the bigger oil corporations.
Tillerson claims to have found a solution to his money problem: Exxon is not going to hand over the shares to Tillerson but is going to pay the equivalent valey in USD. The corresponding sum of $ 179 is going to go into an independent trust that must not invest in Exxon. In addition to this Tillerson is going to waive a cash bonus of $ 4 m. The solution was drawn up by the Office of Government Ethics and the State Department.
Other millionaires and billionaires as e.g. financier Wilbur Ross (Commerce Department) or Steven Munchin (Finance Minister) will most probably keep a close eye on what has been happening. They are faced with the same situation as Tillerson: their wealth and assets have become a problem. A trust may be the solution in their case, too.
Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, highly abridged