Advisor Newsletter Series

Working to Better Serve Our Clients

Winter 2018 NYLA Newsletter Thumbnail

The charitable opportunity for real estate.

Most donors have more of their wealth in real estate than in any other asset type. Despite this, in 2012 (the most recent year for which data is available), the IRS reports that donors gave only $4.5 billion worth of real estate. That may seem significant, but securities donations topped $22.3 billion, while clothing exceeded $9.3 billion. Indeed, real estate gifts were not quite 10% of the fair market value (FMV) of all noncash donations reported on IRS Form 8283—not even including cash contributions.

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Managing succession in the family business.

As a doctoral student at MIT in the early 1980s, I was the teaching assistant to one of our faculty members, Dick Beckhard, a well-known consultant. I was having lunch with Dick one day when he asked me the following question: “Gibb, what do you know about family businesses?” I admitted that I didn’t know much about them, only that my grandfather ran a family owned grocery store in Portland, Oregon, for many years. Dick then told me that many of his clients owned family businesses and they were extremely difficult clients to work with, for he would try to help the family solve various business issues only to have family conflicts and dynamics undermine his consulting work. He then proposed that he bring some of his clients into Boston for several days, we’d listen to their issues and problems, and then develop a research agenda based on their issues. I spent three days listening to the issues and problems of the leaders of five family businesses (one from Canada, two from the United States, and two from Venezuela), and I heard things that I never encountered in my MBA program, which focused primarily on issues facing large, public corporations.

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