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    Bernie Madoff’s Last Surviving Son Was Under Scrutiny Until He Died — And Questions Still Surround $16 Million Estate

    Associated Press

    The court-appointed trustee seeking to recover money for bilked investors began taking aim at Andrew Madoff’s money even before his Sept. 3 death from mantle cell lymphoma. Two federal officials also said Madoff would have likely faced tax evasion charges if he had not died.

    Bernard Madoff’s last surviving son was under investigation for possible involvement in his … Read More

    Parents, the Children Will Be Fine – Spend Their Inheritance Now

    NYT article by Ron Lieber

    Once people hit retirement, they do not know how long they will live or how long their money will last.

    Still, the vast majority of retirees with children cling to an intention to leave something behind, even though many of those offspring have no expectation of receiving an inheritance.

    This parental instinct might seem loving … Read More

    Senator Proposes 65% Estate Tax

    Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog by Gerry W. Beyer

    As Republicans work to reduce federal estate tax rates, Senator Bernie Saunders counters with a completely opposite approach: an estate tax with rates ranging from 40 percent (for estates of $3.5-$10 million) to 65% (for estates over $1 billion).

    “It’s one thing to ask rich people to pay more of … Read More

    What the Latest List of Top Wealth Management Firms Tells Us

    The bulge bracket now reaches to the stratosphere. Among the true ultra-high-net-worth wealth management firms, Bank of America just cleared a critical milestone — the bank now boasts more than $1 trillion in AUM in the channel.

    SEI White Paper: Wealth Managers To Become More Like Financial Quarterbacks

    Press Release

    On-Demand Data and Real-Time Decision Making Will Be Essential for Next-Generation Wealth Managers

    As the financial industry faces changing consumer desires and expanding digital offerings, bank and trust wealth management firms are at a crossroads in how to best bring young wealth managers into the fold, while simultaneously ensuring they have the support needed to succeed with the … Read More

    Armed With FATCA, IRS Hunts Offshore Tax Evaders, While Canada Eases Up

    Forbes article by Robert W. Wood

    In a move tied to budgets, Canada’s Revenue Agency is cutting its top staff focused on international tax evasion.

    Cuts to experienced personnel who ferret out aggressive tax planning appear to be deepest, despite comments by MP Gerald Keddy that “the CRA is not reducing the number of auditors, nor the number of tax … Read More

    Opinion: How ‘Best Wealth Manager’ Lists Mislead You

    MarketWatch article by Mark Hurley

    Assets under management are largely meaningless in helping you pick a professional

    Selecting a financial adviser is a decision that will affect the quality of your lifestyle for many years, even for the rest of your life. But financial advice can be a lot like flying: It’s hard to determine that the pilot doesn’t know … Read More

    Is Too Much Liquidity Forcing Banks Into Wealth Management?

    Value Walk article by Clayton Browne

    A new report from Rafferty Capital Management suggests that the excess liquidity in the financial system together with the current regulatory environment means that wealth management services are only way banks can make real profits today.

    In an investment report dated September 17th, Rafferty’s VP of equity research, Richard X. Bove, outlines his argument … Read More

    Growth-Focused Investing In the U.S.

    Capgemini Report

    Propelled by increased trust and confidence, U.S. HNWIs continued to adopt a growth-focused approach to investments, and reflected an increased appetite for risk.

    Their allocations to equities, though down from a year earlier, remained the highest across the globe, at 32.6% (see figure below). Allocation towards alternative investments expanded by nearly four percentage points, the largest increase across … Read More

    Estate Planning and Assets: How Much Do You Have To Pass On?

    Forbes article by Larry Light

    We don’t like to think of our own death, but given its inevitability, sooner or later, we need to be ready to pass along our worldly goods to others. Having a good estate plan is key. One of the smartest advisors in this area is Elizabeth P. Anderson, CFA, the founder of Beekman Wealth Advisory, Read More


Bill Gross: Time Bomb or Rainmaker?

Janus shareholders seem convinced Gross will work his trillion-dollar magic for them, but with the SEC checking the bond king’s math, vague “fundamental differences” may turn into a noose around his new firm’s neck.

Judging from the market reaction, Bill Gross jumping ship from Pimco was the best thing that has happened to Janus in a long, long time.

Shares … Read More

What Do Clients Want? Survey Results with Action Items

Recently a 2013 survey run by the Spectrem Group came across my desk. The firm conducts online interviews with affluent households in the US. The interviews cover approximately:

  • 1,500 mass affluent households
  • 1,000 millionaire households and
  • 500 ultra-high-net-worth households

These finding are essentially your blueprint for how to attract and retain more clients. The most interesting findings from the survey

Read More

Tom Clancy Estate Smolders as $83 Million Marital Infighting Flares

Techno-thriller king tried to write a happy ending for both halves of his blended family, but there seem to be just enough pages of plot missing to distract the executors from looking out for vulnerable assets.

Tom Clancy was one of the behemoths of modern publishing, parlaying a flair for describing military procedure into a multimedia empire.

Unfortunately, one of … Read More

$200 Million FolioDynamix Buy Proves Wealth Platforms Are In Play

A few months ago, the outsourced portfolio provider was nibbling at its rivals. Now the firm itself has accepted a takeout offer from an unexpected direction. Who is Actua and what do they want?

Cut through the headlines and the acquisition of FolioDynamix looks like a little more than the usual bolt-on buyout to achieve scale.

For one thing, the … Read More

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Wealth Management Platform

When assets are scarce, costs for portfolio management, research, trading, client service and compliance remain fixed. A turnkey investment management platform, with fees based on assets under management, can reduce costs and unlock strategic flexibility.

Could the post-credit crunch death spiral experienced by so many wealth management firms have been avoided with an outsourced investment management solution?

For example, consider Read More

High-Growth Markets Help Newly Chartered AdvisorTrust Hit Home Run

Next-generation “advisor-friendly” strategy combines deep connections in the retirement industry with commitment to helping partners prospect their own wins. Net result: zero to $2 billion in 60 days.

When independent trust company AdvisorTrust got its state charter in November, the principals had their toe in the doors of a lot of high-powered advisory firms, but they still had to sign … Read More

Joan Rivers Covered Her $290 Million Bases, Leaving Space for the Intangibles

One of the biggest celebrity fortunes looks relatively simple to distribute. Good estate planning means the heirs can concentrate on mourning, the funeral and the lingering medical questions.

Joan Rivers went out at the top of her game, leaving behind what the wealth rankings estimate is around $290 million for her heirs.

From all accounts, settling the estate will be … Read More

California Title Company Opens Trust Office In Las Vegas

First American Trust joins Northern Trust and other federally chartered powerhouses on the ground in one of the most vibrant administrative jurisdictions on the planet.

In a move to get a piece of the trust action in Nevada, First American Trust has opened its first regional office outside its native California.

The Las Vegas operation will extend the institution’s burgeoning … Read More

10 Most Popular Trust Advisor Stories for 2014

Wealth managers and estate planners love celebrity headlines as much as everyone, as long as there’s a core of advice that less flashy high-net-worth clients can apply to their own family finances.

Based on the feedback we get, Trust Advisor readers appreciate in-depth coverage of what’s going on in the business, but the financial feats and failures of the famous … Read More

When Can Breaking Bad’s “Just Call Saul” Deliver Dynastic Trusts in New Mexico?

Estate planning was central to the Emmy-winning TV powerhouse. Now that the show is no longer pumping $1 million an episode into the state economy, trust may finally get some traction.

Walter White’s final struggle to leave a legacy for his son swept the Emmy awards this week but “Breaking Bad” is over and done with now.

Tourists still come … Read More

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