November 13, 2012
The 2012 EisnerAmper Private Wealth and Family Office Summit, held this date in New York, brought together more than 150 business leaders and executives serving family offices and high net worth individuals. This fourth annual Summit was sponsored by the firm’s Personal Wealth Advisory practice and took place at the Asia Society and Museum, one of the nation’s great examples of family philanthropy, founded by John D. Rockefeller III in 1956.
Summit Chair and EisnerAmper Partner Marie Arrigo and her Organizing Committee presented an extensive program that focused extensively on helping families deal with uncertainty. As Marie said in her remarks to the Summit, “In a post-Hurricane and post-election environment, there are proactive steps families can take to protect their assets, including people, places and things.”
The Summit began with six pre-conference workshops: Emerging Trends in the Technology Sector; On the Road to Wisdom for Trustees, Beneficiaries and Families; 2012-2013 Tax Update; Family Office CFO Perspectives on Business and Operations; Current Topics in Financial Services and Family Office Executive Compensation.
The main session began with a thoughtful address from Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economics and Policy Research, who spoke about the effects, real or imagined, of the fiscal cliff and what families might expect during the lame duck session of Congress or after the first of the year.
Two panel discussions followed:
Investing and Doing Business in Asia: China and India which focused on in-bound investment opportunities and risks, concentrating on the key cultural and regulatory aspects for investors to consider. This session, moderated by EisnerAmper International Tax Principal John Forry, featured Dr. Daxi Lee, Chairman of the Chinese Association for Science and Business, and Raj Mahale, Partner in the law firm Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP.
What’s Keeping Family Executives Up at Night?, moderated by EisnerAmper Consulting Partner John Fodera, examined issues surrounding safeguarding personal identifying information and the proactive steps families can take to protect themselves, their families and their reputations. The speakers were Nancy Brady, a Director in EisnerAmper’s Consulting Practice and an expert in systems security; and Alice Rosenwald, a family office expert and Principal in American Securities Group.
The event concluded with a cautionary keynote entitled Current Trends in Protecting the Family by Juval Aviv, Chairman of Interfor Inc. Mr. Aviv, one of the world’s leading experts in anti-terrorism and security, advised attendees to expect renewed terrorist activity and to be prepared to act by establishing family meeting places, along with compiling multiple copies of key personal documents and devices including satellite phones. This sobering address was enthusiastically received and spurred significant reaction and commentary.
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