State trusts will see even more emphasis from DaugaardPIERRE — Through the crafting of favorable laws by a special advisory panel of in-state experts, South Dakota quietly emerged during the past decade as a national center for wealthy people to place billions of dollars in trust accounts.
By: Bob Mercer, The Daily Republic
PIERRE — Through the crafting of favorable laws by a special advisory panel of in-state experts, South Dakota quietly emerged during the past decade as a national center for wealthy people to place billions of dollars in trust accounts.
Now Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants a strategy to build upon that success in ways that would accelerate the addition of strong-paying professional jobs in the financial services sector.
Daugaard, a former trust officer, is extremely familiar with the task force. He was a member until his 2010 election.
“The governor is interested in having the task force come to consensus on to what extent we should work to recruit trust companies to come to South Dakota, and then develop a plan to execute that vision,” said Dusty Johnson, of Mitchell, Daugaard’s chief of staff.
To that end, Daugaard this month issued a new executive order recasting the task force, which was officially created in 1997 by then-Gov. Bill Janklow and has operated largely below the public radar since then. Daugaard also appointed five new members to the task force, after seven seats opened because of resignations or deaths.
The new faces include bankers Jeb Clarkson, from Belle Fourche, Mark Sivertson, of Sioux Falls, and three veteran members of the state Banking Commission in John Lillibridge, of Burke, Paul Christen, of Huron, and Jeff Erickson, of Sioux Falls, all of whom made their careers in running successful groups of banks.
Erickson, the commission’s chairman, headed Daugaard’s transition team last winter after the November election and recently retired as chief executive officer for Great Western Bank’s U.S. operations.
Several top officials from the Daugaard administration, including Johnson and Secretary of Labor and Regulation Pam Roberts, a former bank-board member whose department now oversees the Division of Banking, gathered around the table with task force members and the Banking Commission for a high-level meeting on the campus of Northern State University at Aberdeen last month.
The message was clear. The new administration wants a closer relationship between the task force and the commission. The Division of Banking regulates state-chartered trusts.
The 58 trusts currently chartered in South Dakota are the most in any state. Total assets of trusts chartered in South Dakota grew from about $15 billion in 2004 to about $70 billion currently.
Janklow established the task force with an executive order in August 1997. His panel originally had 11 members and was to complete its work that year, with a report due by Dec. 1, and then dissolve. Those limitations didn’t last long.
Two months later he lifted the restriction on members and issued a new order declaring the governor could appoint as many as necessary. Then on Dec. 29 he issued another order that erased the Dec. 1 deadline and simply said the task force should report to the governor.
Daugaard’s executive order says the task force shall remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2014, with three-year terms for an unlimited number of members who shall deliver a report with recommendations by Oct. 1 each year.
The task force currently has 17 members plus four people from Daugaard’s administration.