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February 27, 2014

When Democrat senator Max Baucus unveiled a raft of tax reform proposals on a number of issues important to high net worth families in late November last year, some Capitol Hill pundits thought there may yet be hope for some restructuring of America’s unwieldy tax regime. But Baucus’s recent nomination as the new ambassador to China seems to have torpedoed that idea.

When Democrat senator Max Baucus unveiled a raft of tax reform proposals on a number of issues important to high net worth families in late November last year, some Capitol Hill pundits thought there may yet be hope for some restructuring of America’s unwieldy tax regime. But Baucus’s recent nomination as the new ambassador to China seems to have torpedoed that idea.

December 25, 2013

Its not easy to join the board of the family business as a woman, especially if you have never worked in the guts of the business, but don't let timidity undermine your role as a decision maker – Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj has some tips.

Women are increasingly being recruited onto family business boards. This is a good thing. An ever-increasing body of evidence shows that diversity is good for a business. But joining the board of a family business can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand you are at the epicentre of decision-making. On the other, as a woman you may find that you are struggling to assert yourself.

December 16, 2013

“The world of finance hails the wheel over and over again, often in a slightly more unstable version.” Wise words from the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, but is there any alternative to this wheel of finance? 

John Kenneth Galbraith, the great economist and thinker who died a few years back, said in one of his many tomes: “The world of finance hails the wheel over and over again, often in a slightly more unstable version.”

Few missives have been so wise, because the evidence is gathering pace to suggest these wheels are yet again spinning rapidly as we enter another up cycle in the world of finance. Is there any alternative to this wheel of finance?

December 6, 2013

The controlling shareholder of one of the largest real estate companies in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties, has handed a significant chunk of shares to two of her three sons, even though they are awaiting trial for bribery of an official.

The controlling shareholder of one of the largest real estate companies in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties, has handed a significant chunk of shares to two of her three sons, even though they are awaiting trial for bribery of an official.

December 3, 2013

Fortunes are made in recessions, so the saying goes. But they are cemented at the start of a recovery. 

Fortunes are made in recessions, so the saying goes. But they are cemented at the start of a recovery. That’s now, most people agree, which means that now is the time to start creating the long-term relationships to ensure that you make the most of the good years that are on the horizon.

October 21, 2013

Lapo Elkann, a next-gen of the Agnelli family, has said he is considering opening a foundation for victims of sexual abuse, having revealed to Italian media he was himself abused as a teenager at boarding school.

Lapo Elkann, a next-gen of the Agnelli family, has said he is considering opening a foundation for victims of sexual abuse, having revealed to Italian media he was himself abused as a teenager at boarding school.

Elkann, 36 – brother to John Elkann, chairman of multi-billion euro family-controlled holding company Exor – made the comments in an interview with Italian daily Fatto Quotidiano, though he did not name his abusers.

September 10, 2013

So, farewell then, Nokia. Well, not quite. But the absorption of the Finnish mobile phone giant by Microsoft was a big moment in the story of its decline. It is probably a matter of time before the name is history. 

So, farewell then, Nokia. Well, not quite. But the absorption of the Finnish mobile phone giant by Microsoft was a big moment in the story of its decline. It is probably a matter of time before the name is history.

Apparently there was a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching in Finland about the deal, but the writing has evidently been on the wall ever since the infamous “burning platform” email by its CEO Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft man who will now go back to his old employer, taking Nokia with him.

September 2, 2013

What is it with family offices these days? They appear to be everywhere. But are they really family offices or just private banks in family offices' clothing? The new vogue for the title "family office" could be undermining the credibility of the model. 

What is it with family offices these days? They appear to be everywhere. How much so? Well for starters Bloomberg Markets recently ran a big story about the top 50 multi family offices in the world, which was picked up by much of the world’s financial press afterwards.

August 15, 2013

The Mittelstand is the envy of the world. Other family businesses could profit from looking closely at the way things are done there. 

It is often said that Germany’s Mittelstand companies, which are largely family-owned, are the reason that the country’s economy isn’t in such a dire state as, say, Britain’s. So what can family firms learn from the Mittelstand?

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