FOX Insights Blog

How Uncertainty Impacts a Family Office

Feb 02 2016 - Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA, Partner, Plante Moran Family Office Services

  Recently, I was reflecting on how uncertainty impacts our lives. For instance, modern technology provided ample warning (aka “certainty”) to the East Coast ahead of January’s once-in-a-lifetime blizzard and yet, tragically, some people found themselves unprepared. This is in contrast to the life experiences of many Midwesterners, who over time have learned how to prepare for and coexist with winter storms. I carried this theme of uncertainty into my ritual reading of the weekend newspapers, and through... Read more »


It’s Time for Family Offices to Change the Way They Think About Technology

Jan 20 2016 - Steven Draper

Now, more than ever, the business of managing private wealth is exceedingly complex. Most family offices are doing the work of sophisticated financial institutions with limited staff, while relying on a patchwork quilt of software solutions that are hosted internally with little integration, security, or disaster recovery protection but considerable ongoing expense (e.g., hardware costs, annual software maintenance, personnel). Meanwhile, clients of the office increasingly want secure access to their... Read more »


LLC vs. Foundation: Which is the Better Option for Philanthropists?

Jan 08 2016 - Susanna Poon, Director of Philanthropy Services, CTC | myCFO

In December 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he would transfer 99 percent of his Facebook shares—a sum currently valued at $45 billion—to the new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic endeavor that will be led by Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan.   The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC raised the question about why some philanthropists choose a limited liability company (“LLC”) instead of a private non-operating foundation (“foundation”) to carry out their mission. The move... Read more »


Advisory Boards: An Important Step in Transitioning the Family Business

Jan 07 2016 - Kristen Armstrong, Ph.D., Strategic Wealth Coach, Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank

  "I'm wondering if it's time for us to add outside experts to our advisory board," Julie Jacks mused aloud to her cousins. "Experts who would bring fresh ideas and who would have some gravitas around here." Julie and her cousins were gathered at the brown-bag lunch session they held each week in order to connect, share ideas and concerns, and offer updates on their various lines of business. Since last year's leadership transition to their generation (the third), they'd used this casual forum to... Read more »


Evaluating Your PFTC State Situs: A Case Study

Dec 16 2015 - Ruth Easterling

  I was recently speaking with the general counsel for a private family trust company (PFTC), and they told me a compelling story about their recent PFTC state situs evaluation that I believe many in the PFTC world will find both informative and relatable. With their permission, I have shared it below (the names have been removed to respect the family’s privacy):    We first formed our PFTC just over a decade ago. It’s based in Wyoming and is unregulated, but over the years we’d had a multitude of family... Read more »



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