matter of trust


Elizabeth Dorsch

Elizabeth Dorsch,
CEO of BMO Trust Company and Head of Trust and Estate Services,
BMO Private Wealth

One trillion dollars—that’s the total intergenerational transfer of wealth expected over the next 10 years in Canada according to Strategic Insight. As families navigate those transfers, they’re looking for the right services, suggestions and sensitivities.

“Our business is all about relationships,” says Elizabeth Dorsch, CEO of BMO Trust Company and Head of Trust and Estate Services at BMO Private Wealth.

For the experts who serve trust and estate clients, Dorsch says active listening and empathy can be as important as technical skills. “That’s a differentiator.”

Shifting opportunities

Dorsch’s group gets involved with families at a highly emotional time in their lives, like the sale of a business, or a death. The next generation is poised to inherit assets, or maybe the generation after that, and those individuals have a whole new set of needs and wants.

You can’t change those circumstances, but you can shape how families experience them. Providing advice or acting as a corporate executor is only part of the challenge.

“It’s really important for us to be agile, know our clients and understand the family dynamics,”
– Elizabeth Dorsch

“It’s really important for us to be agile, know our clients and understand the family dynamics,” says Dorsch. She looks for team members who exhibit that passion and compassion.

What are clients seeking?

In many ways, planning for trusts and estates has become more involved. Sometimes, there are financial considerations and beneficiaries that span geographies, with decisions being made in global environments. Other times, the family structure itself is more complex, as a result of multiple marriages and children from different relationships.

Add to that a changing regulatory landscape, where it’s more difficult for individuals to become executors because of the personal liability that accompanies the role.

In responding to each situation, Dorsch says that her group has the power of the entire organization behind them. “It’s not just about what BMO Trust can do; it’s about what all of BMO Private Wealth can do.”

Delivering innovation

There’s an ongoing effort to create efficiencies in the business, freeing up the team to be with clients even more. To Dorsch, innovation is driven by client needs first. Those conversations and insights are what drive solutions.

“When we sit down with them, we want to deepen our relationship and make access to BMO Private Wealth even simpler,” she says. “We want to make it as easy as possible to bring the best of BMO and our whole strength to the client.”

BMO Private Wealth is a brand name for a business group consisting of Bank of Montreal and certain of its affiliates in providing private wealth management products and services. Not all products and services are offered by all legal entities within BMO Private Wealth. Banking services are offered through Bank of Montreal. Investment management, wealth planning, tax planning and philanthropy planning services are offered through BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc. Estate, trust, and custodial services are offered through BMO Trust Company. Insurance services and products are offered through BMO Estate Insurance Advisory Services Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. BMO Private Wealth legal entities do not offer tax advice. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. BMO Trust Company and BMO Bank of Montreal are members of CDIC. ® Registered trademark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence.