Helping a family with 14 trusts, a foundation, and no defined strategy expand into new ventures.
A charitable-minded family was seeking to simplify their lives and spend more time on their new business and charitable endeavors, and less time running the foundation and 14 different trusts, each with different payouts, goals, and, in some cases, different beneficiaries.
The family had sold its business and had used charitable remainder, charitable annuity, and intentionally defective trusts, as well as a family foundation, to receive most of the assets. None of the trusts had a defined strategy to accomplish its goals, a written Investment Policy Statement (IPS), or a defined asset allocation strategy. Although the family foundation had a clear purpose, it lacked the income needed to make distributions.
Re-organize the trust/foundation management.
We began by creating the required rate of return (RRR) for each trust, factoring in not just the payout rate, but also such considerations as inflation-related growth and expenses. Then we reviewed how funds were currently invested, using a tool called an “optimizer” to project the expected return of the existing portfolio and its best case and worst case scenarios. Next we compared that to other portfolios that met the RRR. The findings indicated that by liquidating equities and investing in more conservative investments, the RRR and perhaps more important, the income needed, could still be met, while significantly reducing risk.
Finally, we suggested that all the back office and accounting work be outsourced. We assisted in finding, interviewing, and ultimately selecting, an outsourced, third-party administrator for the family. We also hired a firm to handle all of the annual filings, compliance certifications, and income payments. The total cost to the foundation for doing all this was under one-half of one percent of its total value.
We then created a customized reporting document for the entire family, which allowed members to stay in touch with the performance of these assets on a monthly basis. We also helped the family develop a mission statement detailing their objectives. And we created an annual family retreat that involved a day of in-depth financial education, a review of goals and updates on performance. Then we established structures for grant request, an approval process, a tracking process for showing how these grants changed lives, and a verification process to ensure grants were actually reaching beneficiaries.
Freed from the burdens of investing and administrating this fund, the family has been able to focus on new opportunities to create additional wealth and has even brought in new family members to help.