These one-page solution snapshots – Ballentine Briefs – highlight ways in which we have been helpful in specific client engagements. Each of these is just a small piece of what we have done and continue to do for these families. You may find that you identify with one of the case studies, or with several. This is not unusual in our experience; families with significant resources often have very complicated financial situations and work with us across a range of issues.
A family with aggregate investment assets of about $500 million had a family office with one investment professional and several support staff. The family office had experienced personnel turnover every few years because the family was not able to create career opportunities for the staff. When their current investment professional had announced her intention to leave, the head of the family decided to explore alternative ways to obtain the services the family needed.READ MORE
Our client, the owner of a highly-successful business, wanted to pass the business on to his adult children. All of the children were involved in the business in various capacities. He hoped the business would continue to be family-owned and family-managed. He believed that was the best way to preserve the company’s unique values and corporate culture.READ MORE
A number of our clients are serial entrepreneurs or deeply involved in venture capital. Both of these career paths come with numerous demands as well as many opportunities and risks associated with tax planning. Without expertise and experience in tackling these complex tax issues, how can you be sure you are making the right choices for your business and your finances?READ MORE
Our client had spent many years invested in a traditional, diversified portfolio. Always having been passionate about philanthropy, she became concerned that her investments did not support the values that were most important to her. Our client cared deeply about the environment, but what she was doing in her personal life and in her community didn’t feel satisfying enough. She came to us with an interest in transforming her portfolio to align better with her strongly-held values.READ MORE
Our client was the founder and CEO of a biotechnology company. He learned that the Board intended to take the company public in six months, and the company’s complex structure meant that compensation talks would be equally complicated. Going in alone or uneducated could mean not only getting a bad deal for himself, but also not understanding how it would impact the company he created.READ MORE
A client family owned a large parcel of land, a portion of which was covered by a conservation easement. After more than a decade of ownership, the family was unsure of what to do with the land and was growing tired of the property management challenges. The lack of a long-term plan left the property — and the family — in limbo.READ MORE
A new client family came to us with an existing plan to develop a vacant plot of land into a community center in their home town. The project had many moving parts and projections of the budget had ballooned to over $50 million. The family wanted to find a way to put its wealth to work in the community, but was struggling with the scale and complexities of the chosen path. We wondered whether this path was fully aligned with their goals.READ MORE
Many wealthy families hire help, be it a personal assistant, estate manager, or nanny, to name a few. While having assistance can be a blessing, it also brings complexities that can seem overwhelming. Without the proper education and direction, some may be left in unhappy situations, feeling they created rather than eliminated headaches.READ MORE
Nearly 80, a widowed client sought a clearer picture of her investments and future estate. She had been an active investor for many years, but wanted to ensure that she was optimizing her investments and estate plans as well as minimizing future taxes.
Wealthy individuals have the unique ability to pursue investment strategies similar to traditional institutional investors, such as endowments, but have the added challenge of considering the tax impact of their choices. This impact can be significant, and 2013 tax law changes increased the burden materially. These changes included an increase in the highest marginal tax rate on ordinary income from 35% to 39.6%, an increase in the highest tax rate on capital gains and qualified dividends from 15% to 20%, as well as a new 3.8% surtax on net investment income for high earners. All of this is before consideration of state taxes, which can be significant!READ MORE
Many successful families struggle to define and create their “legacy.” The senior generation of one client family wanted to provide sufficient wealth to create opportunities and flexibility for later generations, as well as a platform for significant philanthropic impact. They struggled, however, with how to achieve these goals simultaneously.READ MORE
A client family’s adult daughter, a talented artist, was looking for a way to make a career out of her art. With no experience in building or managing a business, she turned to her team at Ballentine Partners in order to learn some of the skills she would need to be successful.
Wealthy families often own shared properties in the form of a family compound, intended to be a platform for family gatherings and cohesion. One client family found that, over time, expectations for how such a compound would be used and managed began to change. Significant dissension developed over how to allocate access between family members, manage repairs and upkeep, and, eventually, allow family members to remove themselves entirely.READ MORE