With five decades of experience and a deep background in global wealth management, investment research and estate planning strategies, our team offers a highly personalized approach to pursuing your goals. We promote open and regular contact with each generation of your family so we can provide the collaborative guidance you seek. Working together, we’ll help you plan for your goals by providing answers to essential questions about your wealth, life, business and legacy.
Advice for what matters most
How we tailored our solutions for our client‘s unique goals
We explore every opportunity for our clients to get them the solutions they require. Going that extra mile is “business as usual“ for us.
The client is a successful entrepreneur with many unique needs over and above traditional financial planning and investment management. Recently, he came to us with several requests for his personal and charitable pursuits. We listened intently to best understand what his needs were. By being able to access the deep resources of UBS globally, we knew we would be able to provide the appropriate solutions.
In one of his business investments, he purchased a warehouse at an active airport that also contained an airport services business and fuel farm. In order to monetize these interests, he was examining the possibility of establishing a credit card processing service to handle all transactions.
The client is also active in the auto collectibles market. Often, transactions occur in various currencies with very short deadlines, and accuracy and efficiency is critical. Since UBS was not his primary daily banking relationship, the client had encountered numerous delays and errors when sending funds outside of the US.
The client was also looking to become more philanthropic, but was having difficulty determining what his true passion was and which organizations operated most efficiently. Rather than search for the “needle in the haystack“ he was looking to us to help guide him.
For the client‘s business needs, we contacted our banking specialists to explore our options. While we did not offer this capability internally, we were able to refer the client to a third-party vendor that provided payment processing services. A representative worked with us and our client until the system was working seamlessly.
As part of UBS, we can transact in foreign currencies around the world, often more easily than many of our competitors. In order to provide the highest level of service for when the client is purchasing cars, we dedicated an internal resource to work directly with the client and to facilitate the processing of all payments. Since that market is based mostly on reputation, the client‘s standing became enhanced as a buyer who pays accurately and quickly.
For our client‘s philanthropy interests, we connected him to the Executive Director of the UBS Optimus Foundation. She is deeply involved in the philanthropic world and is in charge of the vetting process for charities in which the Optimus Foundation invests. She spoke with our client and explained her due diligence process, and importantly, shared her insight about ways she could help him create his own individual charitable plan.
As Private Wealth Advisors, our job is to understand the needs of our sophisticated clients, to make them aware of the issues, and to work within UBS or with our trusted partners to find the best solution. In this instance, the client had a variety of needs that were specific to him. By actively listening, making introductions to experts in the various fields, and providing a higher level of service than what he was used to, we developed a strong trust with this client. We are now his primary wealth management and banking relationship, and we‘ve also been able to provide advice to other colleagues and friends who are important to him.
A thorough assessment helped reduce a nonprofit’s risk
How we helped this organization align their investment portfolios with their goals
By taking a comprehensive approach, we provided prudent investment advice that helped the trustees of this non-profit reduce risk while continuing to pursue their critical funding goals.
Our client was a large association with approximately 8,000 members and $25 million in assets across various entities. They selected our team to re-evaluate their current portfolios because they were dissatisfied with the service of their current advisors.
For many years, the association’s entire $25 million portfolio had been treated as one pool of capital. Because many endowments and foundations earmark different restricted and unrestricted funds for specific purposes, we requested a meeting with the trustees to better understand the goals of each entity.
Our conversations with key decision makers helped clarify how they each viewed the goals of the specific entities:
- In some cases, the trustees were not aligned amongst themselves, which provided an opportunity for everyone to get on the “same page”.
- We also looked at multiple years of annual budgets, actual cash flow needs and future obligations by entity. One entity served as an operating account. Another was for the families of members who passed away. In another, there was a 15-year spend down with funds going to various individuals. There was also a fund designed for long-term growth.
- Each entity had a different risk profile, cash flow objective and time horizon
We drew two important conclusions from our review:
- The organization as a whole was taking on far more investment risk than they needed or were aware of.
- Some of the entities were invested inappropriately, given their mandate.
We raised these issues to the trustees, who shared our concerns. In the broader meeting with the entire board of trustees, we provided recommendations for the six different entities, with an analysis of income need and risk for each one independent of the others. The board unanimously approved all of our recommendations. Confident in our approach, the board then referred us to other organizations they believed could benefit from our guidance.
Global capabilities provided powerful execution
How U.S.-based employees liquidated company shares in Asia
Accessing our global platforms and specialists in Specialized Securities and International Trading, we executed U.S.-based employees’ stock sales quickly and systematically.
Our team was introduced to a C-level executive at a large video game company, which was being acquired by a majority shareholder based in Hong Kong. Because part of the transaction included stock of the acquiring company, U.S.-based employees needed to identify a firm that could also transact locally on the Hong Kong exchange. After we explained UBS resources and our global capabilities to our client we were then introduced to 14 other employees who also wanted us to assist them in liquidating their shares.
- Because of the 14-hour time difference and challenging communication, working with a bank in China was complicated and resulted in daily scheduled calls, often past midnight. In addition, we had a number of questions about the restrictions on trading the stock. In cooperation with the UBS Specialized Securities Sales Group, we worked closely with a team of experts to get clarity on Reg S declaration requirements and Rule 701 exemptions.
- Working with our International Trading Group, we transacted the sales on the Hong Kong exchange. Each employee required a custom plan given their differing concentration levels of the stock and views on price execution.
- Because of the stock’s volatility and currency exposure, timely receipt and execution of shares was critical. In working with the CFO at the company and our UBS colleagues in Hong Kong and New York, we were able to execute these complicated trades for these clients.
In total, we transacted nearly 600,000 shares of stock. We advised on stock and cash proceeds in excess of $23 million. Our ability to handle these complex transactions demonstrated to the employees that we had the insight and resources to help them manage and preserve the proceeds of their sale.
Maintaining control of your legacy
How we helped our client protect and direct his wealth for future generations
By working proactively with our client in collaboration with his other advisors and UBS specialists, we were able to effectively communicate the value of legacy planning. Discussions with his tax and legal advisors helped inform and align our recommendations into a tailored strategy for transferring wealth to the next generation.
Although our client was worth more than $100 million, he had never created a comprehensive legacy plan that would help protect and preserve his wealth for generations to come. It was also important for him to maintain control of the assets. We advised him about the importance of having a plan in place given the complexity of his estate, and were also sensitive to this concern of relinquishing control.
After our meeting, our client agreed on this solution:
- We established basic, two-year grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) with a total funding of $10 million, with the intent of implementing a rolling ladder on an annual basis.
- To maximize the chances of success, rather than putting all of the funds into one GRAT, we thought it best to create three separate GRATs derived from current portfolio holdings—one with a concentrated selection of technology stocks, one with publicly traded REITs and one with a diversified portfolio of equities. In this case, if one area performed poorly, there might still be growth in one or more of the others.
- In a short period of about nine months, the technology GRAT had increased more than 20%. Given the volatility in these holdings, and the relatively short nature of the GRAT, we examined the idea of swapping the technology assets in this GRAT with more conservative fixed-income assets. We coordinated with our client’s personal lawyers and the UBS Advance Planning Team to best understand our options.
- We were able to implement this strategy which helped our client effectively “lock in” a $1.3 million gain.
- Over the same period, the REIT GRAT had performed poorly. Since our client now had the tech stocks back in his own name, we did an additional asset swap, exchanging these for the REIT holdings. These technology stocks continued to perform well over the next six months, increasing by about 10%. This rehabilitated the former REIT GRAT, making it worth more than the initial contributed value.
- By being proactive, we were able to enhance the benefit of a common estate planning strategy by not just “setting it and forgetting it”. In addition to the additional dollars passed to his heirs, the core benefits to our client were twofold: he did not have to sell any of his holdings and he maintained control of his wealth—and legacy.
The value we look to provide: Advice. Beyond investing.
How delivering more than investment advice instills confidence
Looking at our client’s entire financial life, we worked proactively with him and his family to address a number of needs—beyond his investment portfolio. Our thoroughness earned his confidence in us, but also demonstrated to our client that we cared deeply about his financial well-being and his family’s future.
Our client was a successful entrepreneur who owned a large franchise business. When he sold the business to a competitor, he received an additional $15 million in liquidity for the family. After meeting with our team at UBS and two other private banks, he divided the funds among the three firms.
As part of our value proposition, we told our client that we would serve as the "quarterback" in this relationship. Over time, he found that our sense of responsibility and level of involvement in all facets of his life were clear differentiators relative to our peers. Over the course of the year, our commitment to our client was evident, as we:
- Served as the overseer of the total investment portfolio
- Assisted with cash flow projections so he could better understand income needs
- Worked with our insurance partners to conduct a thorough analysis of $8 million of life insurance
- Met with his children to educate them on financial planning and how to create a savings program
- Coordinated the revision of his estate plan with his attorneys and trustees
- Reviewed financial projections on various commercial real estate projects
- Did an on-site visit of a hotel project he was considering for an equity partnership
- Facilitated the establishment of a donor advised fund that would more effectively administer his annual charitable gifts
Our client realized how important it was to have thorough and thoughtful oversight by a team that delivered much more than investment management. At UBS, we call this Advice. Beyond investing. After one year, our client consolidated all assets with UBS. Because he was dissatisfied with the service from his existing legal and tax advisors, he also requested and trusted our recommendations for a new legal and tax team.
Accessing the right resources for a successful sale
How we helped our client maximize the benefits from his company’s acquisition
Our network of resources and expertise in planning and acquisition provided a valuable combination of strategic insight and solutions to support this acquisition. Thanks to this collaboration, we established a business that was viable and in compliance will all the terms of the deal.
A publicly traded company was looking to acquire our client’s business, and he was considering the terms. The offer was $150 million, of which the he would receive $30 million. While half of the offer was in cash up front, the other half was in stock paid out monthly over 30 months. Since our client had never sold a company before, he looked for guidance from our group, several competitors and his attorneys.
- The attorneys did a fine job providing legal advice to help ensure that the transaction was technically sound. However, our client was still hesitant. He was not optimistic about the future of the acquiring company.
- After reviewing the term sheet, we realized that he was to receive a fixed number of shares each month, which equated to $500,000 monthly, but at current price levels. With the current terms, if the stock fell 50%, the net proceeds he would receive would also decline by 50%.
- After reviewing this with him, he insisted on receiving a fixed-dollar-amount equivalent of shares each month. The acquiring company agreed.
Once the deal was made, we worked with our 10b5-1 team to review the various types of plans—duration, stock price, timing, etc. While our competitors wanted this business, it was our thoughtful and thorough approach to laying out the various options that won over our client. We were able to implement the trading plan for him. Since the stock was received monthly, we continued to coordinate with the company’s internal counsel, their stock transfer agent, and the 10b5-1 specialists. All of this happened seamlessly, which enhanced our client’s experience working with us.
Lastly, there were tax considerations. Since the initial company stock was considered Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS), there was a great potential tax savings. If done correctly, rolling QSBS eligible proceeds into a new QSBS business can exclude up to $10 million of capital gains. But our client began working for a competitor and could not easily establish a new company to roll the proceeds into.
Our Advanced Planning Group introduced the client to experienced QSBS tax experts. We coordinated a discussion with them, our client and his tax and legal team. While his current tax advisor was familiar with the QSBS concept, he was not versed enough to fully consider what types of businesses might or might not actually work. After considering a variety of new businesses that might be deemed acceptable by the IRS, the client decided on an art gallery consisting of blue chip pieces and artists. It was an area he has interest in, there are not wild swings in valuation, and outside of the art itself it is not a capital intensive business.
Even in this instance, there were a number of questions that our expert QSBS partner was able to weigh in on–How many employees are needed? Could it be an online gallery? How much inventory actually needs to be sold in any given year? After all potential road block were overcome, the client created the business within the guidelines that were deemed acceptable by our partners, and he was able to shelter $2 million of capital gains.
By being fully aware of the client’s situation, and by having access to experts in various areas, we were able to identify a solution that his own tax and legal team were not equipped to. Put simply, the resources we brought to the table saved the clients millions of dollars that otherwise would have been used to pay taxes.