Delegate Advisors Shortlisted for the 2018 Family Wealth Report Awards

We are pleased to announce that Delegate Advisors has been shortlisted for the Family Wealth Report Awards in the Client Initiative and Best Multi-Family Office Up to and including $2.5 Billion AuM/AuA categories. Core to the nomination for the Client Initiative category was Delegate’s popular Head from Clients series, which highlights common client questions and concerns.

Showcasing ‘best of breed’ providers in the global private banking, wealth management and trusted advisor communities, the Family Wealth Report Awards were designed to recognize companies, teams and individuals that the judges deemed to have “demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2017.”  

Last year, Delegate was also nominated and included on the shortlist for two awards from Family Wealth Report: Best Multi-Family Office with Assets Under Management Up To and Including $3 Billion, and Client Initiative for a Multi-Family Office.

The Family Wealth Report Awards are judged solely on the basis of entrants’ submissions and their response to a number of specific questions, which focus not on quantitative performance metrics, but on the client experience with an emphasis on independence, integrity and genuine insight.

Commenting on the firm’s shortlisting, Delegate Managing Partner Andy Hart says, "Our relationships with our clients are at the center of what we do, and we share the values that the Family Wealth Report Awards seek to recognize – independence, integrity and genuine insight. So we’re honored to be shortlisted for these awards and are grateful that our commitment to our clients is being recognized.”

Winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner which will be held in New York on March 8, 2018 at the Mandarin Oriental.

 

About ClearView Financial Media Ltd (“ClearView”)

ClearView Financial Media was founded by Chief Executive, Stephen Harris, in 2004 to provide high quality ‘need to know’ information for the discerning private client community.  London-based, but with a global focus, ClearView publishes the Family Wealth Report group of newswires, along with research reports and newsletters, while also running a pan-global thought-leadership events program.

Andy Hart Discusses Navigating Uncertainty at the RIA West Investment Forum

Delegate Advisors Managing Partner Andy Hart recently spoke at the RIA West Investment Forum – a conference that brings together approximately 60 RIA executives from the nation’s leading independent RIA firms. Hosted in San Francisco, the event focused on RIA-led discussions and included conversations on how trends such as geopolitical upheavals, the relentless speed of RIA and investment technological innovation, massive demographic changes and ongoing consolidation will all affect the industry and the opportunity and risk landscape in the long term.

Hart shared his thoughts in the behavioral finance segment, focusing on how to navigate and plan for uncertainties. “By proactively talking to clients about potential future challenges or opportunities, advisors can come to a mutual understanding with their clients regarding what they will do when the "what if" becomes real,” said Hart.

This exercise not only empowers the clients to weather a downturn, but also puts them in a better position to take advantage of it.

“While market volatility may be at or near record lows, it is clear we are living through times where uncertainty reigns at virtually every level of an investment decision,” said Hart. “We believe it is our job as advisors to coach our clients through these periods and to help them to remain calm so they can make rational decisions that will benefit them in the long term.”

Heard from Clients: How Do I know my investments are okay?

In today's volatile global financial markets, headlines of doom often dominate our morning reading. Many times, no investment action is needed, but how do you know when you should act? When is it time to make adjustments in your portfolio? This article will provide an answer to the question, "How do I know my investments are ok?"

An interesting thing has happened in 2017. Our clients have become increasingly nervous and concerned about high market valuations and downside risk at the same time that market volatility is hovering near all-time lows. When we ask clients why they are worried about risk and volatility right now, the answer usually comes down to uncertainty. At this time, especially here in the United States, there is a great deal of uncertainty about proposed domestic initiatives such as tax restructuring or infrastructure spending in addition to global concerns around a looming trade war with China or a potential conflict with North Korea.  For clients who are feeling concerned and nervous about macro issues like these, questioning the safety of their portfolios is only natural.

This is the way uncertainty works in the market, too.  If investors are confident in the direction of the global economy, they tend to accept a slightly higher price for growth.  If investors are uncertain about the direction of the global economy, they tend to value security over growth.  In other words, I might pay $100 for a shirt from a brand I love and know it will fit me perfectly, but I might only pay $50 for the same shirt from an unknown brand simply because I’m less certain it will fit me well.  It’s the same phenomenon with stocks: clients and investors who are feeling more uncertain naturally put a higher premium on safer assets. 

Our job as an advisor to our clients means we need to help them control their “animal spirits.”  Keynes noted years ago that individuals are often driven to take actions based on their emotions rather than logic.  Hence, we, as advisors, first try to listen and understand what is driving our clients’ concerns?  Once they put a voice to the real fears they have, we try to offer mitigating factors or play devil’s advocate.  If the client is concerned about a trade war with China, we would discuss all the reasons a trade war would be bad for both sides.  Often times, clients will have read or listened to a convincing thesis that argues for an extreme outcome.  That may be what eventually happens, but it is often unlikely.  Sure, some people correctly foresaw the debt crisis, but some people also incorrectly foresaw the demise of the dollar and made claims that oil production had peaked.  All of these forecasts are worth understanding, but we need to look at both sides of the argument.  We also remind clients that their portfolios are often structured to provide downside protection in a market downturn.  We show them that their conservative portfolio assets likely won’t reprice materially if equities fall. 

Assessing Risk

At this point, hopefully some of the fear and urgency will have been removed from the discussion, allowing us to reach a critical point in managing a long-term portfolio: deciding how much risk to take.  While allocators often speak about ability to tolerate risk, we also think about a client’s willingness to accept risk.  Investors in aggressive portfolios in 2008 did just fine if they remained invested and stayed aggressive through the downturn and in the following years.  Passive portfolios did just fine if they remained passive and did very well if they took a more aggressive stance during the downturn.   The investors who suffered material losses were those who were aggressively invested heading into the crisis but then became nervous and turned conservative (i.e., they sold assets at the trough) instead of staying the course and participating when markets recovered.  Hence, we test our clients at this point as to how they would react to the market’s being down 30-40%.  If they indicate they’d be inclined to sell and de-risk the portfolio, then they are probably too aggressively positioned for their real risk tolerance, and the portfolio needs to be adjusted. 

However, if their risk tolerance is appropriate for the portfolio risk level, then the best strategy is simply to prepare for the downturn emotionally.  Expect that it will come; eventually there will be a time when there is extreme uncertainty producing mispriced assets.  As our CIO says, you want to be the guy walking into the burning building with a wad of cash to buy it on the cheap.  Right now, we’re testing our clients’ risk tolerances, de-risking portfolios as needed and warning our clients they may be asked to walk straight into that burning building sometime in the next 2-3 years.

Andy Hart

Managing Partner, Delegate Advisors

 

A PDF of this column is available for download here.

 

© Delegate Advisors, 2017

Equifax Was Hacked - How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?

As many of you may know, Equifax, one of the three major U.S. credit reporting bureaus, recently announced that it was hacked and sensitive credit information for ~143 million people was stolen.

Because of the increasing frequency of hacking events like this, we have recommended for years that our clients place a permanent security freeze on their credit with each of the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The benefit of such a freeze is that you or anyone else who tries to access your credit information will be required to provide a unique pin code that is given to you when you place a permanent freeze. The charges to place a freeze and for each time you wish to reopen your credit are modest (ranging from $5 to $15), and they vary by state.

While a permanent security freeze cannot ensure that your sensitive credit information won't be stolen, we consider it a best practice. In light of the recent hack of Equifax, we encourage you to consider placing a permanent security freeze with each reporting bureau if you have not already done so.

The State of California Department of Justice provides information on how you can place a permanent security freeze on your account with each credit reporting bureau here.

Laws and procedures regarding placing a permanent credit freeze vary by state, and most states have enacted new laws that permit such freezes. You can find a summary of each state’s policy and instructions regarding credit freezes here.

Financial Advisor Magazine Lists Delegate Among 
the Ten RIAs Serving the Wealthiest Clients

Delegate Advisors has been named to Financial Advisor magazine’s list of the 10 RIAs Serving the Wealthiest Clients based on average client account size for firms that responded to the Financial Advisor survey.

Financial Advisor magazine reports, “According to the most recent RIA Benchmarking Study from San Francisco-based Charles Schwab, the average client relationship increased in size from $1.6 million in 2015 to $1.8 million in 2016.” 

Additionally, for the second year in a row, Delegate Advisors has been named to Financial Advisor Magazine’s Registered Investment Advisor Survey and Ranking for 2017, which is based on assets under management. 

“Ultra-high net worth families have many options when it comes to managing their wealth, and we are honored by the trust our clients have placed in us” comments Delegate Advisors Managing Partner Andy Hart. “Providing client families with independent advice has always been our first priority, and it’s rewarding to see our dedication recognized.”

Financial Advisor’s list of the 10 RIAs Serving the Wealthiest Clients is available here and the complete Financial Advisor magazine list is available here.

To be eligible for the Financial Advisor magazine RIA ranking, firms must be independent Registered Investment Advisors, file their own ADV statement with the SEC, provide financial planning and related services to individual clients, and respond to a Financial Advisor magazine survey. Eligible firms are ranked by total assets under management. 

 

About Financial Advisor: Reaching 108,000 qualified readers each month, Financial Advisor delivers essential market information and strategies that advisors need to succeed in their increasingly complex environment. FA focuses on sophisticated planning and investment strategies to help advisors better serve their affluent clients, as well as practice management ideas to help advisors build their firms. FA goes in-depth to challenge traditional planning wisdom by introducing readers to new approaches to help them better counsel clients. To achieve these goals, FA continuously seeks to bring together the best team of editors and contributing writers to provide the most compelling publication for the top decision-makers in the financial advisory field.

Heard from Clients: Why the "Why" Questions Matter Most

 WHY “WHY QUESTIONS” MATTER MOST

As an advisor to families of great wealth, we encourage clients to consult with attorneys and other experts in estate and tax planning. Understandably, during these meetings no one likes to discuss his or her own death. Invariably, we often hear similar questions from our clients when broaching the subject of wealth planning. “What plans do I currently have in place?” “How much money should I leave to my children?” Or, my personal favorite, “How much do I have to pay the government to die?”
However, before asking any of the questions we often hear, we should first ask a more important question - “Why should I care about leaving money to my children, to other family members, and/or to charity?” It turns out that the “why” questions are the most important.

How much money you leave, to whom and the types of plans put in place are secondary and tertiary results of answers to the “why questions.” I vividly recall early conversations with a senior partner at the first independent advisory firm I joined. When I first met him in the late 1990s, he and most of his partners had been counseling families regarding their wealth for more than 30 years. On my very first day with the firm he invited me to his office, telling me to take notes. He was going to impart important lessons learned from having spent more than three decades advising CEOs of Fortune 100 companies and others from among the wealthiest families in Silicon Valley.

Among the many lessons imparted that day, two stand out as particularly surprising: “When it comes to giving money to children, just give it to them and get out of the way, ” and, regarding timing, “If they haven’t figured out how to manage their affairs by age 40, they probably never will.” 

But what about generational tax planning? The senior partner’s perspective at the time was direct: “Parents shouldn’t try to rule from the grave.” Despite the obvious tax benefits, he believed 

that parents should let their children decide how best to pass wealth on to the next generation. It was at this point that his view and mine diverged. 

I was particularly focused on multi-generational planning, noting the tremendous benefits of compounding a family’s wealth over many generations without a 40%-50% loss to transfer taxes at each generation’s passing. It seemed to me that such a powerful planning tool is something my learned partners should be recommending. My opinion then and now is that trusts that avoid transfer taxes are an essential tool in helping families avoid the infamous “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations” curse that befalls many wealthy families. 

A Prior Question

I only learned over time that there is a prior question that must be answered before deciding how much, to whom and when one passes control of one’s wealth to the next generation. That question is, “Why do you want to preserve your wealth? Is it to provide your heirs with a common legacy to care for and preserve? Or is it to provide your heirs with a comfortable lifestyle through your children’s generation and perhaps the next? By answering the “why” behind each planning question, we can identify what type of planning is best for a family. No matter what the solution, experience demonstrates that it’s important to discuss wealth transfer early, and to begin with the “why questions.”

My personal opinion became and remains that there are a few key reasons why we all should want to leave as much as possible to our grandchildren, great grandchildren and future generations. Simply put, one needs comprehensive healthcare and a good education to compete in our society. With strong family discipline, and family values focused on handing down the family’s legacy, future generations may be positively affected by careful planning and foresight. In my personal experience in advising clients, they all agree that it should be a priority to fund a trust to provide for the very best medical care and future educational needs. Future family members need to be healthy and well-educated to pursue their chosen careers. Further, future family members may suffer from a disease like MS, or a mental disability, which can rob them of their ability to care for themselves and their families. I haven’t met anyone who wouldn’t want to prepare for this possibility, even if for a future family member he or she will likely never know. 

Well, the senior partner didn’t immediately agree with my perspective. After all, with my limited experience at the time, what did I know about advising wealthy families? But, he did appreciate my perspective and began to share it with our clients. Actually, from that day forward, whenever he would discuss estate and wealth transfer planning with a client, he would invite me to join him so that we could each share our respective opinions on the topic. Almost all of our clients chose to fund multigeneration-skipping dynasty trusts in support of healthcare and educational needs. In time, that same senior partner did as well for his own family.

Asking the “why” questions has been a great way to begin conversations with clients around the topics of wealth transfer and how best to support future generations. It’s been a real eye-opener for most of them to even consider supporting grandchildren, much less future generations they may never know. Some agree that they want to make a difference in a beloved grandchild’s life. But what about that grandchild’s future children and grandchildren, whom they will never know, but whom their grandchild in turn will love just as much? When it comes enhancing their perspective on wealth transfer, asking the “why” questions is essential to broadening their perspective. 

In my next piece, I’ll circle back to tackle some of the “learnings” from decades of collective wisdom on the topic of wealth and family. 

 

Andy Hart

Managing Partner, Delegate Advisors

 

A PDF of this column is available for download here.

 

© Delegate Advisors, 2017

Delegate Advisors Recognized by Financial Advisor Magazine

Delegate Advisors has been ranked number 123 on Financial Advisor Magazine’s Registered Investment Advisor Survey and Ranking for 2017, which is based on assets under management (AUM). The list ranks more than 600 independent RIA firms across the country. This is the second year Delegate has been named to the list, moving up nine spots from last year’s ranking.

This year’s Financial Advisor special report explores the impact of market conditions on investors’ perception of the need for trusted financial advice.

“In times of sluggish market growth, people are scared and want help,” the Financial Advisor Magazine report states. “In 2016, however, the S&P 500 grew by just shy of 10%...in good markets with robots offering a lot of investment management services and low-cost passive indexes available, people think they might not need help at all.”

Yet despite the perceived ease of generating returns, the RIA channel still saw growth. According to Financial Advisor, the average number of client relationships rose more than 12% and the average number of employees rose 8% for the firms on the list*, demonstrating the continuing increase in demand among investors for independent financial advice.

“We are honored to be named on this year’s Financial Advisor list” comments Delegate Advisors Managing Partner Andy Hart. “Our relationships with client families remain our focus through the best and worst of market conditions. We are grateful to be recognized for our commitment and applaud the growth of the other independent advisors who join us on this list.”

The complete Financial Advisor Magazine list is available here.

To be eligible for the Financial Advisor Magazine RIA ranking, firms must be independent Registered Investment Advisors, file their own ADV statement with the SEC, provide financial planning and related services to individual clients, and respond to a Financial Advisor Magazine survey. Eligible firms are ranked by total assets under management.

 Source: Financial Advisor Magazine: http://www.fa-mag.com/news/ria-survey---ranking-2017-33401.html?section=47

 

Delegate Advisors Recognized by San Francisco Business Times

We are pleased to announce that Delegate Advisors has been named to the San Francisco Business Times list of 25 Bay Area wealth management firms ranked by local assets under management.

“San Francisco is home to many sophisticated investors who have their choice of wealth management firms to work with,” says Managing Partner Andy Hart. “We are honored that an increasing number of families are placing their trust in us and recognize the value of independent financial advice.”

The annual list includes wealth management firms with offices located in the Bay Area that responded to a San Francisco Business Times survey. List rankings are based on assets under management in Bay Area offices for individual clients with separate or individually managed accounts. There are no fees or other considerations required to apply for inclusion in the list.

To see the full San Francisco Business Times list, click here. 

Delegate Advisors Named to 2017 Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisors

Delegate Advisors announced that it has been named to the 2017 edition of the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisors, as of June 22, 2017. This is the second year Delegate has been included on this list, which recognizes independent RIA firms from across the U.S. 

After meeting a minimum set of criteria, RIA firms that applied were evaluated on six factors: assets under management (“AUM”); AUM growth rate; years in existence; advanced industry credentials of the firm’s advisors; online accessibility; and compliance records. There are no fees or other considerations required of RIAs that apply for the FT 300.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Financial Times – one of the leading publications in our industry,” says Managing Partner Andy Hart. “Our dedication to building long-lasting wealth management relationships based on trust is at the core of what we do, and it’s rewarding to have that dedication recognized.”

To view the full FT Top 300 list, click here.

 

The Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers is an independent listing produced annually by the Financial Times (June, 2017). The FT 300 is based on data gathered from RIA firms, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflected each practice’s performance in six primary areas: assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, years in existence, credentials and online accessibility. This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of the practice’s future performance. Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 300.

The State of the Secondaries Market: Delegate Advisors CEO Bob Borden Comments to FundFire

The secondaries market, the market to buy and sell limited partner stakes in private equity funds, has experienced significant growth since the 2008 financial crisis, reaching the $42-billion-mark in 2011 and leveling off at $37 billion last year, according to FundFire. Delegate Advisors CEO Bob Borden recently commented to the publication on this maturing and increasingly segmented market and what the future may hold for it.

“Despite the growth, what there may not be in the long run is many new entrants to the space,” Borden tells FundFire. “Secondaries deal activity favors firms that have built longstanding relationships in the market with brokers, institutional investors, placement agents, and the general partners of funds whose stakes are being sold, which typically have to give approval for sales within their funds.”

“I don’t think you get crowded away quickly in this market,” Borden summarizes.

Subscribers to FundFire can read the full article here.

Delegate Investment Update: A Brief Review and Look Ahead

This first letter of 2017 will present an outlook for what we believe to be the most important economic and investment themes for the year ahead. Additionally, this letter will incorporate information from our annual Global Economic Outlook and Asset Class Assumptions presentation (available upon request). In the letter, we highlight certain actions that we recommend investors take to protect and grow their portfolios in 2017.

Read the full letter here.

The New Nationalism: A Disconcerting Theme

Over the past 30 years, three forces have largely been responsible for relatively high global GDP growth. First, interest rates have steadily declined since the highs of the 1980s, providing a constant and strong tailwind to the global economy and causing virtually all capital assets to rise in value. Second, the Internet and other new technologies have caused productivity and efficiency to increase substantially and for information to be shared more easily across the globe. Finally, at the center of these forces, globalization, exemplified by the creation of the Eurozone, the European Central Bank, NAFTA, and the World Trade Organization, has removed many barriers to international trade. This has allowed capital to flow more freely across borders, increasing avenues for trade and commerce and introducing sellers of goods to a new pool of buyers.

While these three forces have contributed to relatively strong investment returns over the past 30 years, each is under pressure and, as a result, investors should expect future returns to be somewhat lower than in the past.

We believe that investors are relatively familiar with the first two forces. The first force, declining interest rates, should not be expected to continue. Global rates are at or near historical lows with a move higher seemingly inevitable (although the timing of that move remains uncertain). Second, the Internet has permeated commerce to a substantial degree, potentially limiting the future growth of the technology sector, which has been a key driver of global equity returns.

Of concern, we are now starting to see the third force break down. Many developed nations responsible for the globalization trend of the last several decades are moving towards nationalistic postures that threaten to limit or reverse the easy flow of capital across borders. We believe investors need to understand this move from globalization to a “New Nationalism” and how it could affect their portfolio returns.

The New Nationalism

The emergence of nationalism is well exemplified by “Brexit” and the potential breakup of the European Union. We have long been concerned with structural challenges that the EU experiences primarily due to the disconnect between centralized monetary and decentralized fiscal policy. These growing nationalist tendencies, magnified by the recent refugee crisis, are producing an environment wherein countries begin to seriously consider leaving the union. The UK took this theoretical risk and made it a reality with the vote for “Brexit.” While the political dynamics that led to this event are fascinating and complex, we are perhaps even more interested by the fact that the markets clearly did not anticipate the UK leaving the EU. Despite the fact that the event was clearly a product of these growing tendencies, global markets are still reacting as if Brexit is a “one-and-done” event. We can’t help but wonder which country might be next? While support for leaving the EU appears relatively low in many large nations such as France and Germany, support in the UK also appeared relatively low for a long time before the vote. 

More concerning is that the nationalism trend is not just limited to the UK or even the EU. The rise of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in the U.S. (among other populist and far-right candidates, globally), imperialistic motivations of China in the Sea of Japan, and Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine and Crimea all serve as further evidence of this global trend. If the trend towards globalization does indeed reverse, barriers to trade may re-emerge, and capital flows may become restricted. This would cause global GDP growth to slow, which could drag investment returns down.

This environment leaves investors with the important question of whether to prepare for a prolonged period of relatively low global growth and low returns. While this story will play out over the next decade, we believe it is wise for investors to reassess their long-term objectives, understanding that the relatively high returns experienced over the last 30 years may not continue for the next 30. We do believe, however, that this environment may present opportunities for investors to capture relatively attractive risk-adjusted returns by taking advantage of potential market volatility (i.e., buying during sell-offs) and focusing on fundamentally sound investments in private markets. 

Delegate CEO Bob Borden Named as Keynote Speaker at Texas Private Equity Conference

Delegate Advisors is proud to announce that Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer Bob Borden will deliver the keynote address at the prestigious 2017 Texas Private Equity Conference on Friday, February 3. Bob will discuss the past and future of the private equity industry while reviewing key economic drivers from the past 30 years with an eye on the next 30 years.   

“The past 30 years will not serve as precedent for the next 30,” says Borden. “And so we often hear questions from families, endowments and foundations about where to find investment returns in an unpredictable, volatile environment. For many investors, private equity can be a beneficial addition to an investment portfolio.”

In the discussion, Mr. Borden will provide a synopsis of the four primary global drivers of world economic growth over the past 30 years: interest rates, globalization, demographics and the internet. He will compare them to a vastly different environment today. Importantly, he will discuss how these conditions affect investment returns and where investors should seek long-term returns in the future.

The Texas Private Equity Conference provides an opportunity for experts in the private equity space to convene and discuss these investment strategies.

Andy Hart Comments to Campden FB on the Rise of Impact Investing

Impact investing, which seeks both financial returns and philanthropic impact, is on the rise according to a recent study by Global Family Office Report 2016. While the study found millennials are particularly focused on the social and environmental impacts of their investments, the trend is growing across the industry. More than 60% of the family offices in the report said they are already active in impact investing or have immediate plans to implement it, and 47% see it as a more efficient way of achieving impact than philanthropy.

Andy Hart, managing partner at Delegate Advisors, commented to Campden FB on this growing trend. “We know that there is a push toward measuring impact, but we believe that any measurements should really come from the family philanthropic objectives,” he explains.

In the article, Hart shared the example of a family whose mission is to support access to education. He explained that a better measurement than just looking at scholarship payments might be the number of scholarship recipients successfully graduating.

“Just because something might be hard to measure, does not mean it shouldn’t be pursued as long as it helps achieve the larger family objective,” he summarizes.

For more details on the report on impact investing, read the full Campden FB article here.

Delegate CEO Bob Borden Comments to Fund Fire on Private Equity Firms’ Potential Choice to Deregister

For years following the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that required most private equity firms to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, private equity firms have been developing more robust compliance practices, despite the feeling among some in the industry that the legislation was designed for managers of publicly traded securities.

Now, however, there is new federal legislation in the House of Representatives that would no longer require private equity firms to register as investment advisors with SEC. Delegate CEO Robert Borden discusses the consequences of deregistering in a recent Fund Fire article.

“Some fund managers may see dropping SEC registration as a net plus if they don’t face client blowback,” he says. “If their client base has investors that don’t care about compliance and registration, they may do it.” However, that decision isn’t without consequences. “For fund managers that seek capital from large public pensions, investment consultants and big foundations, deregistering may put them at a competitive disadvantage,” Borden says.

Even if the pending legislation, called the Financial Choice Act, becomes law, many private equity firms may not be inclined to discard their ramped-up compliance practices and move away from transparency, when the industry as a whole is moving toward more transparency.

“They’ve lived through the trauma to become registered,” Borden says. “Once you’ve gotten registered and gone through an SEC exam, the hard part is done. You’ve gotten the ‘Good Housekeeping seal of approval.’ Why would you now get rid of it?”

To learn more, the full Fund Fire article is available here.

Delegate CEO Bob Borden Discusses Private Placement Variable Annuities in Financial Advisor Magazine

Traditionally, variable annuities haven’t been a product that appeals to wealthy investors. Instead they’re typically aimed at investors looking for a secure source of income in retirement. Recently, however, high and ultra-high net worth investors are looking toward private placement variable annuities (PPVAs) because of their tax advantages and their attractive and transparent fee structure. PPVAs also provide the potential for greater returns by accessing investment options that are generally not available to the public, including hedge funds and private equity investments. 

Delegate Advisors CEO Bob Borden discusses this trend in a recent Financial Advisor article, noting that these annuities can be especially beneficial for clients looking to leave money for their children or grandchildren “without the burden of investment acumen or financial discipline.” He acknowledges, however, that not all clients are comfortable with the concept, and like any investment but particularly with private placement, due diligence is required.

“It is important to shop from highly rated, well-capitalized issuers in order to have confidence in the reliability of those income streams and to have a clear understanding of all costs involved,” Bob emphasizes at the end of the article. 

The complete Financial Advisor article is available here

 

Delegate Advisors CEO Bob Borden Talks Hedge Fund Hesitations with HFM Investor Relations

Deleveraging, austerity and rising nationalism. These are the headwinds that are suppressing global growth and creating the relatively low-return global environment we are currently experiencing. As a result, Delegate Advisors has maintained a muted interest in market-neutral hedged strategies as they are likely to produce limited returns in low-return environments.

In a recent interview with HFM Investor Relations, Delegate Advisors CEO Bob Borden discusses the firm’s current hedge fund stance. With an after-tax expected return of approximately 3%-3.5% for a taxable investor, “it is hard to justify a material allocation to hedge funds for taxable investors,” says Borden. “Furthermore, we feel that the opportunities that provide investors with the most attractive risk-adjusted expected returns do not lend themselves to a hedge fund structure. We believe that the most attractive risk-adjusted expected returns are in private debt and private equity.”

While general interest in hedge funds is muted, Borden did explain the firm’s interest in gaining some fixed income arbitrage exposure. “We are searching for managers that can capture the coupon from high-yield instruments in a steady market, but that can also generate alpha or at least protect capital in the event of a market correction. We simply believe that a fixed income arbitrage manager is a better allocation than a long-only high-yield manager at this point in the cycle.”

Subscribers to HFM can read the full article here.

Andy Hart in Family Wealth Report: The US as a Safe Haven for Global Wealthy Families

Despite a chaotic election season and the potential for tax increases, global families are increasingly looking to the United States as a safe haven for their wealth. The reasons, as Delegate Advisors Managing Partner Andy Hart discusses in a recent Family Wealth Report article, are “our stable government and deep respect for the principles behind our rule of law, which include a strong foundation for protection of individual and property rights, the latter providing asset protection.” 

While our stable government provides security, Hart stresses that in order to avoid potential pitfalls, advisors working with global families must not only understand the legal and tax implications of bringing assets into the US, but also the cultural differences and attitudes toward investing. “The investment opportunities available to global families often have very different risk and return profiles,” explains Hart. “For example, many venture opportunities in China have strong political backing that from the outset mitigates downside risk and materially enhances the prospects of a company.”

Another factor that advisors must understand when working with global families is the cultural differences in the client-advisor relationship. For example, Hart shared his observation that families may “often avoid giving a direct ‘no’ to advisors, which can be confusing for advisors who are used to more direct feedback about the potential of forming new relationships.”

 At the close of the article, Hart shares what’s on the minds of many wealthy global families: the current political landscape and the potential for changes to current laws, including the lifetime gift tax exemption and the laws around valuation of family businesses for transfer purposes. For this reason, Hart says, “many of our families are trying to complete wealth transfer projects in 2016.”

The full article from Family Wealth Report is available to subscribers here.

Delegate’s Andy Hart in Campden FB: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Philanthropy

Philanthropy is a common function of families to engage the next generation and to further the family legacy. But as Delegate Advisors Managing Partner Andy Hart points out in a recent Campden FB article, many families find themselves giving without a clear direction – which can lead to several pitfalls.

 “There are three common mistakes families make with philanthropy: sizing, structure and bargaining,” he explains. “Yet if you have a good plan that covers these areas, most future philanthropy problems resolve themselves. When they do not take the time to establish a philanthropic strategy, families often regret the early years.”

 Hart continued by explaining that determining the size of the pledge, especially if the pledge is not for a fixed amount, is the first step. Once the size is determined, the family must define the structure, including whether the donation will be made at one time, or if spreading the donation over a number of years would provide more benefit. Finally, Hart encouraged families to consider using their personal networks. For example, he says, “a family might be able to secure naming rights to a university building for a lesser amount by acting as the lead pledge and helping to secure smaller pledges.”

To learn more about avoiding the pitfalls of philanthropy, read the full article in Campden FB.