2015 Regional SFO/MFO Briefing - Minneapolis - April 21


Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 11:30am to 1:30pm
Join us for a lively exchange of information and ideas with your SFO and MFO peers over lunch at this FOX Regional Member Briefing.
Attendance is included with membership, but advance registration is required.

Host Presentation: 

The Far Flung Family: Addressing Needs of Nonresidents (or Those Considering Becoming Nonresidents) 
James Linnett, Managing Director, Wealth Strategy Ascent Private Capital Management
Benjamin Carpenter,  Managing Director, Client Advisory Ascent Private Capital Management
Sonny Miller, Dorsey & Whitney LLP


Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank
800 Nicollet Mall
Suite 2440
Minneapolis  Minnesota  55402
United States
  • Agenda
  • Speakers
  • FOX Facilitators
11:30 a.m. FOX Welcome
12:00 p.m. Host presentation during lunch
1:15 p.m. Peer Dialogue
1:30 p.m. Adjourn

Host Presentation: 

The Far Flung Family: Addressing Needs of Nonresidents (or Those Considering Becoming Nonresidents) 
James Linnett, Managing Director, Wealth Strategy Ascent Private Capital Management
Benjamin Carpenter,  Managing Director, Client Advisory Ascent Private Capital Management
Sonny Miller, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Many wealthy families with historical ties to Minnesota and the upper Midwest have homes across the country with children…and grandchildren…residing in other states.  These circumstances often present unique — technical, emotional, and servicing ─ challenges for family office professionals advising these client families. Please join Ascent Private Capital Management and US Bank for an interactive dialogue and situational analysis on some of the opportunities and challenges of the Far Flung Family. 
Among the items that will be discussed is… 
  • What are the Minnesota tax and estate considerations that we should be aware of when serving nonresident clients and their multi-jurisdictional family members?  What changes are pending? 
  • What impact do emotions and/or non-technical decisions play on planning strategies? How these factors change over time and how they can impact life style? 
  • How do we best maintain relationships with clients that may spend most of their time thousands of miles away? 
  • How can we leverage technology or other partners to help these clients stay connected and have access to the day-to-day services they desire?   

Benjamin Carpenter, Managing Director, Client Advisory, Ascent Private Capital Management

Benjamin Carpenter joined Ascent after a decade of working with families of significant wealth on complex estate planning and trust management – as an attorney, a trust officer and as an advisor to a large family office. His was also a member of the fulltime faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he taught trust and estate law courses and was named Professor of the Year in 2014.
As Managing Director, Client Advisory in Ascent’s Minneapolis office, Benjamin is the primary contact for a small group of Ascent clients, coordinating a team of specialists in all disciplines of wealth management. “I’ve always valued a professional’s often overlooked role of counselor, not simply as hired advocate. That point of view matches Ascent perfectly, because we counsel families on all aspects of wealth management – both quantitative and qualitative.”
Benjamin’s ability to connect with people and simplify complex issues has enabled him to advise, teach and effectively serve individuals from all generations and backgrounds. He remembers the lesson he learned early in his career when he met with a young, high net worth couple. “I arrived prepared to discuss tax planning, insurance trusts and possible asset protection techniques. Instead, they were most interested in talking about how to ensure their children would grow up humble and
financially responsible. It struck me that the money itself is just one piece of the challenge of wealth management, and often not the most important piece. That experience shaped my approach ever since.”
A graduate of University of Notre Dame, Benjamin earned his law degree from Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia. He has lectured regularly and published numerous articles on trust and estate law.

James Linnett, Managing Director, Wealth Strategy, Ascent Private Capital Management

Being part of a multidisciplinary team that serves high net worth families holistically is what attracted tax and trust attorney Jim Linnett to move from partner in the largest law firm headquartered in Minnesota to Managing Director of Wealth Srategy for Ascent Private Capital Management. The decision to refocus his considerable skills and experience was an easy one.
“While it is essential to have strong technical expertise, I enjoy most meeting families, getting to know them and helping them to solve meaningful issues. Here at Ascent, I look forward to even greater opportunities to develop deep, lasting client relationships and become more of a trusted advisor to families rather than simply a technical expert.”
Jim brings plenty of technical expertise to his position. He has 18 years of professional background in the financial and legal arena. He began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen LLP in Minneapolis, and also worked as director of accounting for a private college prior to earning his law degree. In addition to being a frequent presenter at continuing education conferences, he has served as adjunct faculty at Hamline University School of Law.
One of Jim’s strengths is his ability to clearly communicate with clients about often complex and technical issues so that they can make informed decisions. “I try to serve each client as I would want to be served myself. This requires doing what is in the client’s best interest every time, with honesty and transparency.”
Jim earned his law degree summa cum laude from William Mitchell College in Saint Paul and holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in accounting from Minnesota State University Mankato.

Ruth Easterling, Managing Director, Member Services

Ruth Easterling is Managing Director, Member Services, for Family Office Exchange (FOX), which is a leading provider of research, advice and education to families of exceptional wealth.  FOX serves 330 ultra-wealthy families and 180 multi-family offices and advisory firms across 23 countries.  In her role, Ms. Easterling leads all of the firm’s member services activities, and manages the teams who deliver conferences, educational forums, webinars, website resources and member communications annually. She has overseen marketing and drove the redesign and brand initiative that differentiates FOX today.
In her current Role, Ms. Easterling has expanded the educational programs and services available to FOX membership.  FOX now offers three industry forums, a comprehensive webinars featuring timely topics of the industry and includes a robust library of replays available for members.  Programming addresses the many facets of wealth management, from family dynamics to the most sophisticated strategies in investment planning.
Under Ms. Easterling’s direction, FOX has integrated member feedback processes through satisfaction surveys and advisory boards to guide the development of new programs and services.  She played a lead role in the design and delivery of the first comprehensive program for Wealth Owners, known as the FOX Learning Academy.
Prior to joining FOX, Ms. Easterling worked with the professional services firm Smith, Bucklin & Associates, which provides association management and consulting services to more than 180 associations.  She served as executive director to professional associations ranging in size from 300 to 4,000 members.  In this capacity, Ms. Easterling re-engineered  membership structures and planning processes to better enable organizations to maximize their potential through efficient governance structures and member participation.  In addition to client service, Ms. Easterling often consulted with international and national organizations on strategic planning and governance design. 

Mariann Mihailidis, Managing Director

Mariann Mihailidis serves as managing director and consultant to family office members of the Family Office Exchange. In her role she oversees the management of all domestic family office relationships. As a practicing tax and estate-planning attorney, she develops strategies in wealth transfer issues, taxes, and corporate structures. Ms. Mihailidis has served as an executor and trustee, and her fiduciary responsibilities included administrative, legal, and accounting duties of various trusts and estates.
Prior to joining FOX in 1996, Ms. Mihailidis worked in one of America’s leading family offices for four years as an accounting manager for the family’s investment partnerships and operating companies.