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UNCLAIMED PROPERTY FOCUS is a blog written by and for UPPO members, featuring diverse perspectives and insights from unclaimed property practitioners across the U.S. and Canada. We welcome your submissions to Unclaimed Property Focus. Please contact Tim Dressen via tim@uppo.org with any questions about submitting a blog post for consideration and refer to our editorial guidelines when writing your blog post. Disclaimer: Information and/or comments to this blog is not intended as a substitute for legal advice on compliance or reporting requirements.

 

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Attending the UPPO Annual Conference? Explore Tucson

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 5, 2020

This year’s UPPO Annual Conference will take place in city many consider an underappreciated gem of the Southwest – Tucson, Arizona. With its beautiful landscapes, varied arts and entertainment opportunities, and growing culinary scene, Tucson is sure to provide attendees who take some time to see the sights with a memorable experience.  

 

Restaurants

Love Mexican food? You’re headed to the right city. Tucson boasts the best 23 miles of Mexican food in America. Everywhere you turn in Tucson, you’re likely to encounter a taco truck, taqueria or restaurant. One of them, El Charro, has been serving up authentic Mexican fare for 97 years.

 

Not feeling like Mexican food? Fear not. Tucson boasts a collection of restaurants to please any palate. If you need a sushi or dim sum fix, try Sushi Lounge. Get a little taste of Italy, by picking up some cannoli from Caffe Milano. Whatever cuisine you crave, Tucson has the answer.

 

The Great Outdoors

In a word, Saguaro National Park is breathtaking. The 91,327-acre park is home to America’s largest cacti, miles of hiking trails and desert tortoises in their natural environment. Other area parks include Catalina State Park, Tucson Mountain Park and Kartchner Caverns State Park.

 

History

Tucson is packed with history, and much of it is on display at area museums and sights. The Arizona History Museum features artifacts from Wyatt Earp, and Emperor and Empress Maximillian, plus a recreation of 1970s Tucson and a mining tunnel. A 19th century fort that played a key role in the Apache Wars, Fort Lowell includes a large collection of military artifacts. The Pima Air & Space Museum is the largest privately funded museum of its kind in the nation. It includes more than 300 aircraft from throughout the history of aviation.

 

Attractions

The Tucson area has a variety of attractions to fit all tastes and any mood. The Arizona-Sonoma Desert Museum is unlike any other. Part zoo, part aquarium, part art gallery and part natural history museum, this 98 acre facility is home to more than 200 animal species, geological exhibits housed in a cave, and so much more.

 

The Franklin Auto Museum features a large collection of classic Franklin vehicles, built between 1902 and 1934. Only about 3,700 of these early automobiles still exist, and there’s no other place to see more of them and learn about their history in a single location.

 

Seeking something a bit more whimsical? Check out The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. This unique home dedicated to the world of tiny art pieces currently includes exhibitions about 19th century ladies’ fashion, early circuses, miniature silver collectibles and paintings on coins and clayboard.

 

Enjoy your time in Tucson!

Tags:  UPPO annual conference 

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Practical Knowledge and Industry Insights Highlight Annual Convention Sessions

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 2, 2020

Unclaimed property professionals face a myriad of compliance challenges as they manage their companies’ escheatment responsibilities. This year’s UPPO Annual Conference agenda offers a wide variety of sessions designed to help navigate that maze and keep up with the latest trends.

 

Audits and VDAs

Always hot topics, unclaimed property audits and voluntary disclosure agreements will take center stage in several sessions. 

 

Unclaimed property professionals who haven’t experience the audit process firsthand can gain an understanding of the concepts, timelines and expectations at the Audit 101 session. This introduction to audits will explore the scope and methodologies used by states and their third-party auditors. 

 

After completing a voluntary compliance review, holders often face a decision about how to resolve past-due liabilities. The VDA or Wait? Session will discuss how gaps in compliance can be resolved, including through state voluntary disclosure programs, and the pros and cons of different approaches. 

 

While a lot happens in between, actions taken at the beginning and end of an audit can have significant impacts to the outcome of the exam. The Audits: The Beginning & The End will feature an in-depth discussion on NDAs, audit kick-offs, scoping, settlement agreements and closing discussions. 

 

Getting through an unclaimed property audit can take a team that includes holders, lawyers and consultants. During the Audit Perspectives general session, an expert panel will discuss recent audit experiences, significant issues and resolutions, and suggested tips and tricks. 

 

Processes and Practices

Several annual conference sessions will focus on the practical considerations for effective unclaimed property compliance.

 

Exemptions provide holders with the ability to reduce their unclaimed property liability. The Exemptions and Deductions session will explore how to identify and correctly apply exemptions and deductions, and the role of FASB standards. 

 

Maintaining and documenting contact with property owners plays a vital role in unclaimed property management. The Contact and Activity Standards session will examine the ways companies interact with owners, the importance of properly recording activity and the effects on compliance. 

 

Due diligence is required in all jurisdictions. During the Due Diligence on Dormant Property session, gain insight into calculating dormancy, increasing response rates, notifying owners efficiently, locating hard-to-find owners, structuring the due diligence letter, and identifying exceptions to the general due diligence requirements. 

 

Unclaimed property professionals communicate with several different audiences, each with varying degrees of insight and interest regrading unclaimed property. Having conversations with staff, management, third parties and states can be challenging. The Effective Communication Strategies session will explore real-life conversations encountered by unclaimed property professionals. 

 

Industry Focus

One of the great benefits of attending an event with hundreds of other unclaimed property professionals is the ability to “talk shop” about the specific challenges in the industry in which your company does business. 

 

The Annual Conference features industry-specific breakouts and educational sessions for:

  • Banking/FinTech
  • Securities/Mutual Funds/Broker Dealers/Transfer Agents
  • Life Insurance
  • P&C Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail/Hospitality
  • Oil & Gas/Energy
  • Telecommunications & Technology
  • Healthcare Providers and Insurers 
  • Claimant’s Representative/Asset Recovery

This blog post provides a mere snapshot of a few UPPO Annual Conference sessions. View complete details about educational sessions and other 2020 UPPO Annual Conference events. The early-bird registration deadline is Jan. 27, so register today for the best rate.

 

 

 

Tags:  Annual Conference  UPPO Annual Conference 

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UPPO Annual Conference Wrap-up

Posted By Tim Dressen, UPPO, Thursday, April 4, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nearly 700 unclaimed property professionals gathered in New Orleans on March 24 – 27 for UPPO’s 2019 Annual Conference. Attendees enjoyed a multitude of networking opportunities, special events and educational sessions. 

 

Educational Sessions

The foundation of the UPPO Annual Conference is its strong educational lineup. This year’s event included four educational tracks, providing basic, intermediate and advanced sessions along with industry-specific workshops. The session agenda included all of today’s hot topics in unclaimed property.

 

Attendees also participated in industry-specific breakout sessions, heard from state administrators and got insight into unclaimed property compliance litigation through the Mock Trial session.  

 

Association Initiatives

2018/19 UPPO President Marilyn Henry provided attendees with an update on the association’s recent work and special initiatives. During the year, the board of directors undertook a review of the association’s management company, putting the contract out for bids and evaluating association management services before renewing with Forius. 

 

The board also reviewed the organization’s investment portfolio, putting out an RFP for investment services. After reviewing proposals and conducting a thorough analysis, the Finance Committee recommended to the board that UPPO maintain its relationship with RBC. 

 

The board also updated the UPPO strategic plan, which would be discussed in detail by 2019/20 President Troy Wangen during his presentation.

 

Henry also provided updates on the introduction of the certificate program’s intermediate tier, expanded industry focus conference calls and ever-important advocacy efforts.

 

“As we carried out these initiatives, UPPO continued building on our education, advocacy and membership work,” Henry said. “We introduced the intermediate tier of our fantastic certificate program. We established priority issue workgroups to help us more efficiently respond to legislative and regulatory challenges and opportunities. And we continued to improve our membership benefits with the expansion of our industry-focus conference calls.”

 

2019/20 Board of Directors

Henry thanked members of the 2018/19 UPPO Board of Directors for their service and recognized departing board members Carla McGlynn for her years of leadership. She then turned the gavel over to 2019/20 President Troy Wangen as McGlynn installed the new board:

  • President Troy Wangen
  • First Vice President Heather Steffans 
  • Second Vice President Karen Anderson
  • Treasurer Chris Jensen
  • Secretary Jennifer Waryjas
  • Midwestern Vice President Becky Stephens
  • Eastern Vice President Mike Ryan
  • Southern Vice President Michelle Graf
  • Western Vice President Evi Magnusson
  • Immediate Past President Marilyn Henry

 

Upon his installation as president, Wangen discussed the association’s goals for the coming year and beyond, highlighting the areas of focus from the 2019-22 Strategic Plan – advocacy, public perception, state relations and education.

 

“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Wangen said. “Fortunately, this room is filled with passionate, talented professionals who consistently step up to share that passion and talent for the greater good of our organization. I am excited to begin this year as your UPPO president and I look forward to the progress we’ll make together.”

 

UPPO Scholarship

Each year at the Annual Convention, the association announces the winner of the UPPO Scholarship. To foster an environment of continuing education, UPPO established its scholarship program to financially assist members and their children who wish to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. This year’s recipients are Cayla Julius, daughter of UPPO member Cherie Julius; and Lydia Rudden, daughter of UPPO member Fritz Rudden. 

 

Attendees wishing to support the UPPO Scholarship Program participated in a French Quarter Walking Tour and bid on items donated for the first Scholarship Program Silent Auction, held during the conference. 

 

Sponsors and Exhibitors

The UPPO Annual Conference would not be possible without the support of sponsors and exhibitors. Thank you to all of the vendors who helped make this year’s event a success. 

 

Sponsors

  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • Altus Group US Inc.
  • Barganier and Associates LLC
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe LLP
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • Grant Thronton LLP
  • JMS Advisory Group LLC
  • Keane
  • KPMG LLP
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Morris Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • RSM US LLP
  • Ryan LLC
  • True Partners Consulting 
  • WNGATES.com Inc.

 

Exhibitors

  • Altus Group US Inc.
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe LLP
  • DataTree by First American
  • DuCharme, McMillen & Associates Inc.
  • Duff & Phelps
  • Dunbar
  • Eagle Technology Management Inc.
  • Financial Software Innovations Inc.
  • Georgeson LLC
  • JMS Advisorry Group LLC
  • Keane
  • KPMG LLP
  • Linking Assets Inc.
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • Navigant
  • New York Post
  • NY Daily News
  • Phoenix Finders Group
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Ryan LLC
  • Trintech Inc.
  • True Partners Consulting LLC

 

Mark Your Calendar

Thank you to attendees, speakers and members who helped plan this year’s conference, without whom it could not have been such a success. Plan to join us next year in Tucson, Arizona, on March 29 – April 1 for the 2020 UPPO Annual Conference. Planning is already underway, and it’s sure to be another spectacular event. 

 

Want to get more out of your conference experience or learn more about what you missed? Join us for a free member webinar at 1 p.m. EDT on April 17, featuring conference speakers sharing their experience and what they took away from the event. 

 

 

Tags:  education  unclaimed property  UPPO Annual Conference 

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UPPO Honors 2018/19 Award Winners

Posted By Tim Dressen, UPPO, Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Each year during the Annual Conference, UPPO recognizes the hard work and dedication of association members whose efforts contributed to the success of UPPO and the unclaimed property profession throughout the past year. They deserve recognition and appreciation for their hard work, leadership, teamwork and passion. 

 

Members’ Choice Awards

With the Members’ Choice Awards, UPPO recognizes specific state administrators and unclaimed property programs for their excellence. UPPO members nominate candidates and choose the winners from the subsequent slate of nominees. Congratulations to this year’s recipients: 

  • Website Award: Pennsylvania’s website is user-friendly with all of the necessary compliance information and forms clearly labeled and easily located. 
  • Above and Beyond Award: Allen Mayer, chief of staff to Treasurer Frerichs of Illinois,  devoted many hours to our unclaimed property team over the phone explaining the nuances and intent of Illinois’ RUUPA. He also kept us updated on legislative and technical correction activity in the state.
  • Overall Excellence Award: Louisiana allows all holder types to be filed simultaneously; allows optional, user-friendly online reporting; offers an informal VDA process with consideration for waiving penalties and interest; and does not require negative reports or report notarization.
  • Industry Advocacy Partnership Award: Pennsylvania Department of Labor receives this award for renewed enforcement efforts regarding lost pension plan participants.
  • State Legislative Award: Pennsylvania implemented a change to its unclaimed property policy regarding securities, which was clarified through legislation. The change allowed the state to ensure that shareholders would not lose the benefit of their investments through escheatment as a result of mere inactivity. Rather, Pennsylvania implemented an RPO requirement prior to accepting transfer of shares.  

 

Awards of Merit

This award is given to member organizations that have provided exceptional support to UPPO during the past years. During the past year, UPPO has been working to introduce legislation to establish a VDA program in the state of California. Two member companies have led our efforts, and their work has earned them this year’s Award of Merit. Receiving the award at the conference were the representatives from those companies who worked so hard on this project: For True Partners Consulting, Cathleen Bucholtz, and for Alston & Bird, Kendall Houghton.

 

Team Player Awards

This award is presented to volunteers who serve on committees, work diligently on projects that advance the work of their committees and help pull the team together to accomplish their goals. This year’s recipients include:

  • Tom Powers, a GRAC work group leader who has really stepped forward this year to offer his knowledge and expertise in the area of banking and finance. Not only has Tom worked directly with UPPO, but he has also become an active member of the Holders Coalition. He has regularly stepped forward to assist in analyzing proposed legislation and to educate other members. He has also agreed to step up even more this next year and will co-chair GRAC.
  • Ann Fulmer, a co-chair of the on-demand webinar subcommittee. This was a challenging year for the group, and her leadership skills were instrumental in taking on those challenges. Charged with developing content for two intermediate certificate program webinars, the group found that developing content was more involved than it has been for basic tier webinars. Ann kept the project on task, despite the roadblocks.  
  • Sonja Roman-Molina, co-chair of UPPO’s Member Services Committee. As a leader of multiple work groups for this committee, she has played an instrumental role in projects that increase member value. She also conducts member retention calls to help our membership thrive.

 

Shining Star Awards

Seven UPPO members received Shining Star honors for their “shining brightly to help guide the way.” This year’s Shining Stars are:

  • David Knott, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Jim Harris, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Randy Hotz, member of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Dana Terry, member of GRAC and the Holders Coalition work group addressing the IRS ruling regarding IRAs
  • Jen Borden, member of GRAC and the Holders Coalition work group addressing the IRS ruling regarding IRAs
  • Nancy Kovala, co-chair of the Leadership Development and Nominating Committees
  • Michelle Andre, co-chair of the Government Relations and Advocacy Committee
  • Sonia Walwyn, co-chair of the Ethics Committee
  • Nora O’Connor, chair of the Bylaws Committee

 

President’s Award

This award, chosen by the association’s president, honors a member who has taken on a huge task or project that will help change or improve the unclaimed property profession for years to come.  

 

The first recipient, Robert Joseph has served UPPO for many years on the Conference and Seminar Committee volunteering countless hours in helping to develop programming for the annual conference, reviewed many presentations, helped to select great speakers, and numerous other projects. Although he is stepping off of the Conference and Seminar Committee, he has accepted a new assignment as co-chair of the Leadership Development Committee. 

 

The second recipient, Carla McGlynn has served UPPO for many years, most recently serving on the board of directors. As a member of the UPPO Board, serving through the chairs to her current role as Immediate Past President, she has demonstrated great leadership skills and has clearly helped to advance UPPO’s mission.

 

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners for their selfless dedication and commitment to their association and profession. 

 

 

Tags:  awards  unclaimed property  UPPO Annual Conference 

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Attending the UPPO Annual Conference? Explore New Orleans

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 14, 2019

This year’s UPPO Annual Conference will take place in one of America’s most interesting cities, New Orleans. With its rich mix of history, culture and entertainment, New Orleans is sure to provide attendees who take some time to see the sights with an unforgettable experience.   

 

Restaurants

New Orleans has earned its reputation as one of the nation’s greatest dining destinations. Commander’s Palace, the legendary restaurant where celebrity chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse began their careers, offers legendary Creole fare. Parkway Bakery and Tavern has been serving classic po’ boy sandwiches for more than 100 years, winning awards and making countless best restaurant lists. One of the city’s most popular Latin restaurants, Maïs Arepas serves some of the best Colombian food in the Southeast. Willie Mae’s Scotch House takes southern soul food to another level with its fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, fried okra and cornbread. If you crave a classic Cajun seafood boil, check out Boil Seafood House for heaping servings of crab, shrimp, clams and more. 

 

French Quarter

No visit to New Orleans would be complete without visiting the French Quarter. Packed with history, culture and nightlife, this neighborhood is where the party begins but never seems to end. Lined with 13 blocks of bars, restaurants and clubs, Bourbon Street is the heart of the neighborhood. However, there’s plenty to see beyond Bourbon Street. Overlooking Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in America and one of the city’s most architecturally stunning landmarks. The 1850 House museum takes visitors back in time to a middle-class home during the city’s most prosperous era. For a different, darker side of the city, the Voodoo Museum explains why voodoo plays such an integral role in the history of New Orleans.    

 

Beyond the French Quarter

If you have time to venture beyond the tourist-centric French Quarter, New Orleans has plenty to see. Magazine Street is a six-mile stretch of independent shops, galleries and restaurants that offers a less chaotic, more charming side of New Orleans. The Garden District is home to historical homes, beautiful architecture and one of the city’s oldest cemeteries. American history buffs can delve into one of the nation’s most interesting eras at The National WWII Museum in the Warehouse District. Visitors can take in the natural wonder of Louisiana’s bayou at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, the sight of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 and home to more than a few alligators. 

 

Enjoy your time in New Orleans!

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