We are excited to introduce Anissa Bain, our newest Trustee, who joined the Board in late 2020. She is a Partner at Pitt and Moore Lawyers, who has an extensive background in all property, commercial and private client matters.
How did you decide to join the TOS Foundation Board of Trustee’s?
The Foundation is an excellent vehicle to help people give back to their community. As a lawyer practising in the area of trusts and estate planning I frequently encounter people who hold very real and genuine desires to give back to the community but they are unsure how to go about it.
Sometimes people assume they can only contribute to existing charities which already have defined purposes and objects. The beauty of the Foundation is that individuals can make grants or leave bequests which are targeted to purposes, groups or organisations that are dear to the individual. The Foundation essentially enables individuals to create their own charitable trust but without duplicating the overheads and ongoing compliance obligations that each charitable trust would otherwise incur.
It is this economy of scale that provides significant benefits and enables the ‘whole to be greater than the sum of its parts’ which is particularly true when it comes to investment of the trust fund.
Who have been the strongest influences in your life?
That would depend on which ‘me’ we’re talking about. After all, I’m a mum, a wife, a daughter, a friend and a lawyer. Each one of those is the same but different and each has had the benefit of different influences. As a lawyer my greatest influence was when, as a young lawyer, I was fortunate enough to work closely with Mr J B Morrison (it only took about three years before I dropped the ‘Mr Morrison’ and called him JBM as he was known to colleagues).
JBM was a consultant in a Wellington firm that bore his name. He was well respected and very engaged in the community. He cared deeply about his clients and demonstrated the importance of service not just to one’s client but also to one’s community. He taught me that being a lawyer is a privilege and I know for myself the most rewarding part of my work is helping people navigate the myriad of situations that life throws at us all.
In other areas of my life I have been fortunate to be surrounded by people who are strong, resourceful, caring and compassionate (my parents and my husband to name just three). I have friends who are funny, talented and creative and I find myself wanting to hang out with them in the hope that some of that might rub off on me. My three children are central figures in my life and I credit them with teaching me many, many lessons (not all of them I necessarily wanted to learn).
I find I am also drawn to people who are passionate about what they do as that passion is energising, motivating and infectious. I enjoy learning (mostly) and there wouldn’t be a day goes by that I don’t learn something new because of someone else’s passion. I feel very grateful to live in a community surrounded by people who care deeply about all manner of things.
What is most/more important to you as a trustee?
As a trustee I am jointly charged with the responsibility of managing the Foundation and ensuring the funds are distributed in accordance with an individual’s intentions. That is the overarching obligation and the cornerstone of our role as trustees.
In addition to that role, is my desire to see the Foundation grow. My hope is this can be achieved by showing people how they can contribute through the Foundation for the benefit of their community.
I think there are a lot of people who would very much like to contribute towards causes they are passionate about but are not sure how to go about it. So, part of my work as a trustee is to help spread the word about the Foundation and encourage the idea that a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’.