Insights

  • 11 Dec 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

    By Richard Bloom, Jonah Gruda, James Wienclaw, Victor Miesel, Tifphani White-King, Mark O'Loughlin, Minako Steel, Theodore Westhelle, Melissa Gonzalez, David Kohn, Josh Friedman, Alexandre Maguet, PJ Manchanda, John Bowlby and Brendan Williamson

    In 2018, tax planning was significantly impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which contains arguably the most sweeping changes in US tax law since the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The TCJA has affected many areas of taxation including international tax, individual and business income tax, estate and gift tax, state and local tax, compensation and benefits, and not-for-profit tax.

    Read the full report here

  • 06 Dec 2018 by Jasmine Morin

     

     

     

    One of the most important decisions you will make in your estate plan is choosing a trustee to serve now and in the future for trusts that may be created. As you consider your trustee options, it will help to think of your estate plan as more than just a tool for transferring your assets and saving taxes. In essence it is a program for managing your wealth for you and your family during various time frames that could last many years.

    The first time frame is your lifetime. You may retain most of the responsibility yourself during this time frame if you are savvy about investments and other financial matters, and have the time. Most people name themselves as the trustee of their revocable trust. However, you will need help if you lose interest in managing your investments, want to consider more sophisticated planning or become incapacitated at some point.

     

    Read more here

  • 05 Nov 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

     

     

    As people accumulate property or businesses, limited liability companies (LLCs) become a regular topic of discussion. In fact, I work with one client who has created four LLCs in just the last two years.

    What is an LLC? As the name suggests, it’s a special-purpose company intended to limit your liability, or exposure, to losses should somebody sue you. For example, if somebody falls down the stairs of your apartment complex owned by an LLC, assuming the LLC is structured and maintained properly, the injured person’s damages should be limited to the value of the property in the LLC, rather than your entire estate.

    You can put a variety of assets into an LLC, including real estate, publicly traded securities and business entities. The name of the LLC can be just about anything you want as long as someone else hasn’t already secured it. It could be named after your family or trust, or be something simple or creative to keep the owner anonymous. For example, it’s common for real estate LLCs to be named after the address, such as 123 Main St. LLC.

    LLCs may be a viable alternative to large umbrella insurance policies. They can also be useful for estate planning and privacy. But an LLC is complex and has its own unique costs, so it definitely requires careful review of your personal situation to see if it’s right for you.

    Here’s what you need to know as you make that decision.

     

    Read more here

  • 05 Nov 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

    Mazars’ Global Automotive Study 2018, Sustainable Mobility: Navigating the land of disruption, paints a picture of the issues driving change in the automotive industry with the aim of helping organisations to navigate the challenges and prepare for a successful, long-term future.

    With contributions from global leaders within Mazars’ automotive practice and industry experts from IHS Markit, the study looks the impact of sustainable mobility on the automotive sector, both now and in the future, including:

    • Changing consumer behaviour
    • New technologies
    • R&D and manufacturing
    • Regulation
    • Sales and investment
    • The need for new skills
    • A growing value chain
    • The publication also provides insight on the impact of sustainable mobility solutions in cities around the world, including: the UK, China, the US, France, Germany, India and Poland.

    Read more here

  • 01 Oct 2018 by Jasmine Morin

     

     

    Donor-advised funds, thanks to their flexibility, low costs, and tax advantages, provide an attractive vehicle for individuals and families to establish giving strategies in pursuit of their charitable objectives. Fiduciary Trust Charitable offers donor-advised funds with unique benefits.

    Charitable giving in the U.S. has grown substantially in recent years. The latest report from Giving USA highlighted that 2016 represented the most generous year on record, as families, estates, foundations, and corporations delivered approximately $380 billion in gifts to charitable causes. As giving has increased, the ways through which people give have also multiplied. One of the more notable vehicles is the donor-advised fund (DAF), which has grown in popularity over the past decade and now accounts for nearly 10% of all U.S. charitable giving.

     

    Read more here

  • 01 Oct 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

     

    With football season upon us, it is becoming obvious even after just several weeks that some teams seem ready to capture the championship while others will need to rebuild and wait for better times. If you are a fan cheering for one of these rebuilding teams, it can be frustrating to wait for your team to take the necessary steps that will allow them to thrive.

    It is no different when we make our allocation decisions. While we do not root for one asset class over another, we certainly have studied the longer-term winners and losers. The emerging markets equity asset class seems to be one of those teams that has been a long-term winner, although it occasionally suffers from some difficult years. While our analysis shows that the long-term prospects of this asset class remain robust, primarily because of demographic trends and strong long-term GDP growth projections of these countries, the shorter-term environment continues to be unfavorable.

     

    Read more here

     

  • 01 Sep 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

     

     

    In fast-growing economies, entrepreneurs play a key role in generating durable and inclusive growth. Asia's entrepreneurs can be found at the helm of start-ups, as well as companies with billions of dollars in market capitalization. Oftentimes, the sources of economic growth are assumed to be driven by top-down factors such as geography, demographics, natural resources or official policies. The role of entrepreneurs and businesses, however, cannot be overstated as they look to invest and innovate, creating growth in the process. Identifying entrepreneurial Asian companies that are true, long-term value creators requires a bottom-up investment process that draws on deep knowledge of local markets and a willingness to ignore the short-term noise and focus on long-term opportunities.

     

    Read more here

  • 16 Aug 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

     

    Enterprising families often have rituals that bring joy, connectedness and stability to their members. Unfortunately, these families can also breed practices that are destructive to the cohesion of the clan. One such practice is the avoidance of difficult conversations, which over time creates taboo topics in a family, their businesses, or both. Often parents, children or others in the family or business do not know how to approach subjects that cause friction, tension or hurt feelings, so that over time, these subjects simply become "undiscussable."

    Undiscussable topics are the subjects that a family is unable or unwilling to talk about in an open, honest and candid manner.

     

    Click here to read more

  • 16 Aug 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

    Investors have deserted active strategies en masse since the Great Financial Crisis and have replaced them with passively-managed portfolios. One cannot fairly and confidently attribute millions of decisions and billions of dollars’ worth of flows to any single cause. That said, conventional wisdom holds that the key force behind this huge trend has been a notion that paying active management fees for market-matching or even below-market returns was counterproductive.

     

    Click here to read more. 

  • 16 Aug 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

     The Family Wealth Alliance (“The Alliance”), a leading voice on trends and developments in the family office community, announced today finalists for its Best in the Industry Awards.  Winners will be presented awards at the organization’s 15th Anniversary Awards Gala, being held in connection with its annual Alliance Fall Forum in Chicago at the Union League Club, October 16-18.

    "Because of the role The Alliance plays within the family wealth industry, we have enjoyed a unique vantage point from which to identify the trailblazers among us,” commented Thomas R. Livergood, Family Wealth Alliance Founder and Chief Executive Officer.  He added “In our 15th anniversary year, this Awards Gala is our opportunity to honor these leaders and celebrate their many contributions to our evolving industry."

     

    View Finalist Here & join us at the awards gala on October 17th 

     

  • 16 Aug 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new 20% deduction for qualified business income to reduce the tax burden on sole proprietors, the owners of S Corporations and partnerships and certain trusts and estates and their beneficiaries. On August 8, 2018, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued proposed regulations interpreting the new provision. Taxpayers should take careful note of the new regulations as the pass-through deduction is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.

     

    Click here to read more.

  • 02 Aug 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

    Prenuptial agreements are a commonly stated area of anxiety for both children and parents in wealthy families. They’re complicated – this article does a great job explaining some of the different forces at play in these situations. At Matter, we have seen prenup-related discussions play out many times with a variety of outcomes. As a trusted thought partner for our clients, we have participated in these discussions and provided counsel to families, collaborating with their other advisors throughout the process. There’s no question that helping a family handle prenups, as well as other key milestones, is a great example of how a multifamily office can provide support and value.

     

    Read more here

  • 09 Jul 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

    Advisors are Increasingly Expected to Play a Role in Clients' Healthcare

    Wealth managers believe health insurance is the single biggest healthcare-related issue currently facing their clients, according to a recent study.

    In its inaugural Healthcare Study, The Family Wealth Alliance surveyed 50 wealth management firms to gauge the scope of involvement by family wealth firms in the healthcare needs of their clients, evaluate client demand for services and assess trends in healthcare-related services...

     

    Visit Wealth Management to read more! 

  • 09 Jul 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

    Among the top 5 sellers at Sotheby's New York Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on May 14, 2018 was a painting by American artist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986). Lake George with White Birch reached $11.29 million dollars, performing over nearly twice its high estimate.

     

    Click here to view more

  • 09 Jul 2018 by Amanda Brown

     

    Why A Family Enterprise Could Be Essential To Your Future

    I have the great privilege to work with families who wish to sustain their wealth to benefit multiple generations. This can be quite a challenge. Families that have worked extremely hard to build wealth find it just as difficult to preserve wealth over time. The concern is that a wealthy family could go from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. The first generation creates the wealth. The second generation consumes the wealth and the third generation is starting all over again.  

    While there are many strategies that can be put in place to preserve multi-generational wealth, here is what I’ve learned from serving affluent families over the years. There are two critical factors that will have a greater influence on this goal than anything else: recognizing tipping points and viewing family wealth as an enterprise. 

    Click here to read more.

     

  • 09 Jul 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

    In the world of “bigger is better,” it is hard to argue the toll this has taken on good, old-fashioned customer service. The type of service where the person who answers the phone not only knows you, but recognizes your voice. A service-oriented person who understands your business and business needs. The type of person where your success is also his or her success.

     

    As a fund administrator in the alternative investment space, we are in a unique position to work with all of the various service providers engaged by the asset manager or family office. In order to service an investment fund, we must liaise with legal firms, audit and tax firms, banks, brokers, etc. We have been witness to the degradation of personalized service across all type of businesses where consolidations have created mammoth size companies.

     

    Click here to read more

  • 04 Jun 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

    Capturing the growth of the world's second-largest economy, China equities can serve as a core, strategic holding for long-term investors. Yet many investors remain underallocated, despite China's enormous economic output. China currently makes up roughly 31% of the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index, so some investors may think they have adequate China exposure through their EM allocation. Investors often allocate less than 10% of an overall portfolio, however, to emerging markets. Against this backdrop, China may represent only 1% to 3% of a portfolio that is considered to be globally diversified. What's more, many active EM managers are underweight China relative to the benchmark, so investors might have less exposure to China than they intend. Given that the size of China's economy could surpass that of the U.S. within a decade, many investors may need to increase their weight toward China to better align portfolios with long-term goals. 

     

    Click here to read more

  • 15 May 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

    In order to achieve multi-generational success, families need to understand the challenges that can impact their wealth. Looking through the lens of Wealth Momentum™, an experience-based family office model, Pitcairn identifies the three human dimensions of family wealth – The Individual, The Interpersonal, and The Institutional. Families gain a better understanding of how these dimensions can impact their wealth and how to make sure each receives the appropriate time and attention.

     

    Click here to download a copy of Maintaining Wealth Momentum: The 3 Human Dimensions of Family Wealth.

  • 14 Apr 2018 by Brooke Morimoto

     

     

     

    Cybercrime and fraud are serious threats and constant vigilance is key. While Vogel Consulting plays an important role in helping protect your assets, you can also take action to protect yourself and help secure your information.

    Cyber criminals exploit our increasing reliance on technology. Methods used to compromise a victim’s identity or login credentials, such as malware, phishing, and social engineering, are increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot. A fraudster’s goal is to obtain information to access to your account and assets or sell your information for this purpose. Fortunately, criminals often take the path of least resistance. Following best practices and applying caution when sharing information or executing transactions makes a big difference.

    This checklist summarizes common cyber fraud tactics, along with tips and best practices. Many suggestions may be things you’re doing now, while others may be new. We also cover actions to take if you suspect that your personal information has been compromised. If you have questions, we’re here to help.

     

    Read more here

  • 18 Jan 2018 by Jasmine Morin

     

     

    Good estate planning includes taking steps to protect a family’s wealth from various risks.  A common risk is the possibility that a child or other family member might become entangled in a divorce.  Our experiences and our observations of those around us demonstrate that the possibility of divorce is very real.  And with it comes the potential for assets that we intend to transfer to family members to be at risk.

     

    Read more here

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