Helping a family office restructure to gain clear direction and better decision-making.
A family office was at risk of becoming very average at everything and great at nothing.
A multi-million dollar family office had sold some of the companies they had created. A faith-based family, their primary goals included funding family needs as well as faith-based charities. The family office had invested in many different partnerships in a wide range of industries, many of which they had no core knowledge of or advantage in. It was already leveraged, with two-thirds of its portfolio in illiquid investments that produced little or no income. Because they were over-diversified and spread too thin, they were in danger of becoming average at everything and excelling at nothing.
Most of these investments were not “core” to meeting the family’s goals. Nor were they positioned around the skill set that had created this wealth. From an estate planning perspective, insurance would take care of tax issues. But then we learned that the client planned on giving away most of his estate at or before death.
Realign the client’s goals with their talents and provide structure for future decision-making.
We developed a decision-making matrix that showed the client that they should not be invested in illiquid investments, unless each investment met specific guidelines. The matrix stipulated that in order for the family to invest, the client’s God-given talents needed to enhance that business, investments had to have a defined exit strategy, and they needed to return at least three to four times the risk-free rate of return. We then disposed of any assets that didn’t comply.
Next we changed how the liquid portfolio was invested from a traditional 60/40 portfolio that relied on the market going up to produce spendable returns to a portfolio that produced nearly 6% distributable income so the family could support their charitable and family spending needs. This also lowered the volatility in the portfolio making the servicing of debt far easier.
We also felt that a more structured estate planning strategy was needed. Using the 2011 estate law, we helped the family gift $10 million immediately to the children and used a family limited partnership (FLP) so that the parents maintained. This eliminated the need for insurance coverage (that another advisor had convinced them to buy at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars) because the rest of the estate was going to charity.
More focused on the goals it wanted to achieve, this family office is much better positioned for income and liquidity, and has streamlined the process for making critical decisions moving forward.