The Alliance Report ™

My Turn
Fixed Income: How The Coming LBO Doom Will Affect Your Bonds

Krishna Memani, OppenheimerFunds

Wall Street’s animal spirits are coming back, judging by the amount of lever- aged buyout (LBO) activity across the industry. Already in 2013, several large capitalization corporations have been approached as potential targets. The specific reasons for the buyouts vary. In the case of the computer company Dell, the company’s founder and largest shareholder, Michael Dell, has joined with partners to make a bid so he can engineer a corporate turnaround. Liberty Global, a media company with subsidiaries worldwide, has a strategic interest in joining forces with its target, Virgin Media,1 a UK provider of telecommunications video and ... more

My Turn
Global Economies on the Comeback Trail

A view of Global Economies in a CNBC interview of a Partner of The Alliance, Virginie Maisonneuve at Schroders.

... more

My Turn
NextGen & Social Media: What are the Implications for Families and Family Offices? (Webinar Playback)

Whitney Kenter, Matter Family Office
Monique Bloom, Aristotle Circle
Marcy Hall, HUB International
Kathleen McBride, The Family Wealth Alliance
Thomas Livergood, The Family Wealth ... more

My Turn
Maximizing What You Have Built

Lori B. Gervais, CFP, and Roger G. Gervais, The Gervais Group, Robert W. Baird & Co.

Family business owners have a different DNA. For them, the business is more than a livelihood – it is the love of their life and the grand plan to support their dreams. A strong desire to create opportunity for future family members is at the heart of their passion and focus. Yet too many owners overlook essential steps of quality stewardship. We explored these issues through interviewing numerous family business owners and consultants. Our results revealed that regardless of industry, all business owners have the ... more

My Turn
The shifting investment environment: Picking growth stocks in a “saturated” world

Virginie Maisonneuve, Head of Global and International Equities and Katherine Davidson, Portfolio Manager,
Schroder Investment Management North America, Inc.

Is the global economy close to reaching a tipping point? The impacts of our key themes (demographics, climate change and the emerging market supercycle) are combining with the ramifications of the global financial crisis to create an environment where growth is reaching a point of “saturation”. In this world, focusing on the sustainability of growth becomes more important than ever. This is important for investors as the global economy painfully adjusts to new realities and follows a rocky path to ... more

My Turn
Re-Awaken Your Inner Capitalist
Brad Fisher, Featherstone Holdings, LLC

The sale of a family business marks a time of celebration, the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Finally, after years, if not decades, of diligent focus, hard work, and delayed gratification, the entrepreneur enjoys a well-earned liquidity event.

For many families, this moment also marks the transition from 'Operating Family' to 'Financial Family' as they shed their operating assets and shift their focus from building businesses and satisfying customers to constructing and managing investment portfolios. At this point, a new universe opens, featuring the capital markets, risk analysis, behavioral finance, family office structure, advisor and manager selection, and other compelling ... more

My Turn
Teresa Leigh Household Risk Management

Teresa Leigh Household Risk Management is considered a subject matter expert in hiring, vetting, and retaining household and property staff. Our expertise in household and staffing operations provides the very specialized knowledge needed to address client, employee, and subcontractor relationships. Whether setting up a new household, hiring staff, creating order from chaos, mediating disputes, or providing human resources documentation, Teresa Leigh there to provide its clients with unbiased counsel and guidance. The foundation of this process is simple: they listen carefully to their clients, immersing themselves in the history of their lives to gain insight and understanding into their unique ... more

My Turn
Active Short Duration - The Spectrum
Babson Capital Management, LLC

Active short duration funds are essentially actively managed portfolios that are made up of short duration investment grade bonds. However, the term active short duration can have slightly different nuances in the investment world. One firm’s short duration fund could be made up of short term government  treasuries while another’s could be mostly longer term corporate bonds mixed in with short term derivative paper; both named  short duration, but each with different risk-return attributes. We need to note at the onset that even though it is widely accepted that short duration funds are distinct from money market funds, some firms ... more

My Turn
Long Term Planning: School Admissions
Aristotle Cirlce

"Let the strategies begin early"

As more American and foreign students apply to US universities each year, admissions rates are decreasing with an admissions process that is increasingly competitive and challenging to navigate.  Much of the stress and potential disappointment surrounding school admissions can be addressed successfully through early preparation and strategic ... more

My Turn
Is it Time to Harvest?
Brian J. Campeau, CPA, Vogel Consulting

In a rising tax rate environment, many investment and tax professionals will tell you that you should “harvest” as much in gains as possible. If you conduct a Google search for “capital gain harvesting,” you will find almost 60,000 search results on the topic. So, with approximately two weeks left in the year, have you decided to recognize all you can? What is an investor to do? It depends on the ... more

My Turn
Death of Equity Hedge
Michael Schneck, Partner, Altair Management Partners

“Can long/short survive in the modern era?” The past four years have been difficult ones for the hedge fund industry. A quick Google search of “Hedge Fund Underperformance” yields 8,370 hits; all with a common theme. Since the nadir of the financial crisis, hedge funds as an asset class in general, and equity hedge (long/short) have underperformed the stock market (as measured by the S&P 500). This paper intends to answer two questions in that regard: 1) What are the underlying causes of this underperformance, and 2) Is this underperformance a temporary phenomenon or has the asset class permanently lost its ... more

My Turn
Why Invest in Asia Bonds?
Teresa Kong, CFA, Matthews International Capital Management, LLC

With 10-year U.S. government bonds hovering at approximately 2%, it’s no wonder that yields are among the concerns that consistently emerge as we speak with investors. The other concerns they cite are worries over inflation and volatility. Given these issues, we believe that one attractive solution to consider is diversification into Asia’s ... more

My Turn
The End of History (Again)
Gregory Curtis, Chairman, Greycourt & Co., Inc.

This article is a brief summary of Chapter 3 in Gregory Curtis’s The Stewardship of Wealth, recently published John Wiley & Sons. The book is available on or wherever books are sold.

Now that the Presidential election is behind us, all eyes are directed at the upcoming “fiscal cliff.” Will a compromise be reached? If so, what will its elements be? If not, what will be the impact on the economy and the markets?

There are hundreds of articles on the subject of the fiscal cliff – virtually every financial firm and economist has weighed in. But if you ask me, ... more

My Turn
The Importance of Private Capital
Gregory Curtis, Chairman, Greycourt & Co., Inc.

It’s no secret that many wealthy families have an uncomfortable relationship with their wealth. While this is especially a problem with younger family members – and is hardly ever a problem with the generation that produced the wealth – ambivalence about the value of private capital can undermine a family’s commitment to sound ... more

My Turn
Raising Financially Thoughtful Children
Allison Taff, Managing Director, Silver Bridge

In the next 10 to 15 years, young adults will inherit approximately $1.5 trillion in assets.  With this transfer of wealth, the importance of teaching financially thoughtful children becomes paramount.

Recent economic turmoil has led many families to re-evaluate their financial priorities and look introspectively at their relationship with ... more

My Turn
Family Code of Conduct
Getting Everyone Together to Listen, Learn and Grow
By Dennis Jaffe, Ph.D., Saybrook University

Setting the Stage for a Family Meeting.
Nothing is as difficult as the first moments when an inter-generational family comes together as a while family. While not total strangers, they are a collection of differing styles, viewpoints, values, ages, genders, and often ways of living and working. While joined by blood, they feel anxious about whether they can find common ground and work ... more

My Turn
The Secret Sauce
Jeff Roush, Partner, Chief Operating Officer, Advisor, Argos Wealth Advisors

What attributes does an MFO executive need to meet client needs, add families and build assets?  Jeff Roush believes the best advisors only need a yellow pad and a pen.  “Parachute them into any location, any major city, they have the eloquence and ability to communicate and educate clients almost immediately.  They are honest, straightforward and, most importantly, they are interesting ... more

My Turn
Client Education and the Next Generation
Rhona E. Vogel, CPA, President & Founder Vogel Consulting

“At Vogel Consulting, everything we do has an educational component.  Everything.  In meeting with families, I always make it a family process, to counsel and inform them of risk and, always, schedule the meetings as close to their decisions as is possible.”

This is Rhona Vogel’s philosophy, who began Vogel Consulting in 1993 to meet an unfulfilled need in the wealth management industry: to provide client-centric services with a depth of integrated and unbiased investment advice.  The first Family Wealth Alliance member, the firm was rated by The Alliance as one of the top 10 ‘toughest competitors’ in our 2011 Multifamily ... more

My Turn
The Power of a Listening Leader
The LEADERSHIP Interview with Craig Smith, President of Tiedemann Trust Company

Over the next year, The Alliance Report will feature interviews with senior leaders in the family wealth industry. In this interview, Craig Smith talks about how he integrates his strengths into his leadership role and the trends that he is watching.The ... more

My Turn
Family Values
Nicole Van Peursem, Vogel Consulting

Every family has values, right? Do the decisions you make as a family accurately reflect your values? Before discussing family values and the important role they play in multi-generational family dynamics we must first define the term. I’ve settled ... more

My Turn
Provider Relevance in the Ultra High Net Worth Market
The challenges of relevance in a cluttered industry
Loraine B. Tsavaris, Managing Director, Rockefeller Financial

Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) families, individuals and their family offices are sophisticated, smart and complex, and have access to the finest intellectual capital and choice of solutions available. Providers of all disciplines are more than willing to serve these clients and strive to get their message out to this client segment to let them know why they are the appropriate solution for them.  So why is this market so challenging for both clients and providers?

Truth and Illusion

The challenge is very simple: the ability to offer families and individuals of extraordinary wealth what they want.  The execution of this is ... more

My Turn
Multifamily Office Business Economics
6 Challenges Transforming the MFO Landscape
Jamie McLaughlin, CEO, J. H. McLaughlin & Co., LLC

In early 2010, I left a role as CEO of a New York-based multi-family office and spent six months conducting a highly focused field study of themes and trends in the wealth management and family office world.  It was clear that a transformation was underway and ... more

My Turn
Conceivable Options
Leading the Pathway to Parenthood
Mindy Berkson, founder of Lotus Blossom Consulting

Prominently splashed across media are famous artists, actresses and high profile professionals using surrogates and egg donors to create their families. While these headlines make infertility seem “fashionable”, behind the scenes too often masks the real ... more

My Turn
Limiting Freedom From Wealth
The Impact of New SEC Rules on Families and Single-Family Offices in the United States
Charles A. Lowenhaupt, Chairman & CEO, Lowenhaupt Global Advisors

Overview Providing family members with freedom to live their lives and to self-actualize without feeling the burdens of wealth is the most important benefit that a single-family office can deliver. Yet, under rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange ... more

My Turn
Controlling Your Message in the Marketplace
Three journalists on how to tell your story well

Most multifamily offices and outsource service providers struggle to differentiate their services. Publicity is important channel in communicating an organization's story. How does a firm pitch its message to the media?

In this video on working with the media, Mary Rowland, former New York Times writer and columnist, moderates a panel of seasoned industry journalists: Jonathan Laing, senior editor of Barron's; Kristen Oliveri, managing editor, Private Asset Management; and Robert Jordon, Anchor/Reporter, ... more

My Turn
Family Sustainability Requires ENERGY
Exploring new directions for the family’s future.
Dr. Carolyn Friend and Dr. Jamie Weiner | November 27th, 2011

“Growing up, I was aware that my grandfather was a great man. My parents, particularly my father, seemed to be cut from the same cloth and shared in the family’s success. Heads of state and business leaders were frequent visitors to our home. ... more

My Turn
Gifting Window of Opportunity
How wealthy families can still take advantage of the 2010 Tax Act.
David A. Berek, CFP, CPA, JD, LLM, Partner, HANDLER THAYER, LLP

A significant issue facing wealthy families this year and next is to consider how to take advantage of the additional gifting opportunity resulting from the 2010 tax act.  Last year, Congress surprised practitioners and taxpayers alike by increasing ... more

My Turn
Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going
Generosity develops best in the framework of personal mission
John Stanley, president and founder, The Legacy Group

Being generous is not for 60-year-old rich people anymore. All of us with talent, relationships and resources can build a plan to be generous. I have spent the better part of 35 years helping others be generous, first as a YMCA executive and now as an ... more

My Turn
After Crisis Comes Growth
Family Resiliency and Rebuilding Trust
Dennis T. Jaffe, Ph.D.

There is no Wealth but Life. Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life ... more

My Turn
The Stealth Problem of Human Capital
Attracting and retaining talent requires sustained attention over the long haul.
Gregory Curtis, Chairman, Greycourt & Co., Inc.

To say that the wealth advisory business faces many headwinds is merely to state the obvious. Let’s start with the fact that many firms aren’t businesses at all in any useful sense. Working with wealthy families is fun and interesting, and as a result most firms ... more

My Turn
Ten Crosscurrents in Family Wealth
A future of peril and promise.
Robert W. Casey, senior director of research, The Family Wealth Alliance, and Thomas R. Livergood, Founder and CEO, The Family Wealth Alliance

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYWhen jet streams clash, they create storms of immense power. These crosscurrents cause tremendous disruption, yet can bring in their wake, new and refreshing opportunities. As John F. Kennedy took the Chinese word deriving from crisis, he ... more

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