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Q&A

Do you describe your firm as a boutique?

Since our founders created their first company nearly 40 years ago, we have been actively involved in managing our clients’ financial affairs, deploying our skilled, focused financial craftsmanship to create a superlative service experience. In addition to our bespoke investment advice and financial planning, you can benefit from our significant expertise over a broad range of investment strategies. For example, alternative investments have become an increasingly important component of a well-diversified portfolio. Our research analysts and portfolio managers stay current with new opportunities that can complement a given portfolio. We are global investors, with full appreciation for the global economy in which we live and work today.

Another hallmark of a boutique is Concierge Services to assist clients in managing the many details of busy, complex lives. We embrace the mandate of meeting all of our clients’ unique and specialized needs, serving them, their children and grandchildren in the same fashion that we appreciate being served.

What makes Intercontinental different from other firms?

Unlike many firms, we do not have composites or narrowly defined strategies that we deploy widely, nor do we use a one-size-fits-all approach. All of our portfolios are custom designed for each client. It has always been our core belief that having a transparent, open architecture with no proprietary products is the optimum business model for an investment advisory firm. We continually enhance our menu of offerings with increasingly diversified and well-conceived strategies.

Interaction with families is an essential part of our client relationships. Often, creating and sustaining harmony around the matter of money is challenging for families. Wealth creators may find it difficult to express and share the values with which they originally created the wealth with their children and grandchildren. Being part of and helping to facilitate those discussions is a privilege we do not take lightly. It is an honor to be considered a trusted advisor to multiple generations of our client families.

Financial planning has become a buzzword with little meaning. How is your financial planning different from what i currently see in the market?

A customized financial plan is an indispensable tool in the management of anyone’s resources. It should be created during one’s wealth-building years and evolve throughout the stages of life and career. The process brings an essential depth to our client relationships because it enables us to fully understand your personal and financial circumstances.

Our approach to financial planning is grounded in behavioral finance, which blends cognitive theory and conventional economics, and reveals that many financial decisions are emotional rather than rational. We start by discussing big picture goals and then dig into the numbers. The result is a customized financial plan informed by thinking as well as feeling.

Intercontinental Agency is one of your companies. What does insurance have to do with my financial strategy?

Insurance can reduce risk, enhance wealth, facilitate the transfer of wealth to ensuing generations and support philanthropic goals. It helps protect your family and your assets from loss by transferring the risk to an insurance carrier. Insurance forms a moat around your estate, preventing unexpected events from affecting your plans or reducing the value of your assets. We recommend that you consider insurance as a separate asset class and an important element of your wealth-building strategy. By making insurance services an integral part of the financial planning we do with our clients, we leverage its usefulness at all stages of life.

Why is your firm’s global perspective important to me?

Yields and valuations in fixed income and equities routinely create global investment opportunities. Our in-house global culture and diversity allow us to deploy our strengths for your benefit. Portfolios with international components may, over time, reduce volatility and enhance overall returns. Investment advisory firms with a culture shaded by domestic bias have a narrow field of vision. We celebrate our global outlook and appreciate sharing it with our clients. Our multi-cultural staff lend a richness to the experience our clients have with us, along with a deepened understanding of cultural and geographic influences on the creation, management and dissemination of family wealth.

What about institutional clients? Do you advise non-profits?

Yes, we have built excellent long-term relationships with a number of institutional investors. Non-profits, endowments and foundations are an integral part of our client base. Many of our clients serve on their boards and we deeply appreciate their referrals to organizations that strengthen the fabric of the cities in which our clients live.

As we begin to work with these organizations, we develop a clear understanding of the populations they serve, the ultimate goals for their work, the ways they are funded and the investment horizon for the assets they entrust to us. We become fully aware of their financial development practices and collaborate with them to create opportunities to expand their reach to potential donors. 

Intercontinental’s value proposition for institutions is the same one that benefits our individual clients — we place the objectives of the client first and employ all our resources to maximize our clients’ financial success.

Should I consider alternative investments as part of my portfolio?

Absolutely. Beyond the familiar world of stocks and bonds is a universe of alternative investment vehicles that you should examine. These include private equity, real estate, loans of various types, insurance and commodities as well as tangible assets such as precious metals, rare coins, wine and art.

Sound portfolio management calls for exploration of alternative investments for better balance. If one asset class underperforms during a certain time period, others may outperform. Like university endowments, family offices and astute individual investors, we help our clients incorporate alternatives as an integral part of their strategy to increase returns and mitigate risk.

What are your concierge services?

These comprise an extra level of service you might not expect from your wealth advisors. We can take care of scheduling a difficult doctor’s appointment, find the right people to manage and maintain your properties anywhere in the world, provide expert advice about your art collection or facilitate the acquisition of a private yacht or jet.

All of these things and more are within our scope. Over the years, we have thoughtfully created and nurtured relationships that enable us to do these things. We’ll make sure you have the necessary resources to meet your needs so that you can focus on those issues most important to you and your family.

As a non-US taxpayer it is important for me and my extended family to minimize the tax consequences of my worldwide investments. Do you provide guidance to have these issues be evaluated by attorneys and accountants?

The recent wave of tax treaties involving the automatic exchange of information, under FATCA and the OECD regulatory requirements, remain a priority for world governments. Individuals may face punitive damages that can severely impact their well-being if found to be non-compliant. This heightened state of tax and regulatory requirements sweeping the industry require that our clients navigate these complexities successfully. We work closely with international tax specialists and providers of private companies used for investments to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. Foreign nationals may employ the use of private interest foundations, trusts and insurance vehicles for the purposes of estate and wealth tax planning, discretion and asset protection. If structured properly, these entities can be used as legal tax deferment strategies and minimize the reporting of overseas assets in your home country.



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