Making sense of complexity
For many of our clients, the greatest challenges they face do not fit neatly into boxes. The inter-play of personal taxes – sometimes in more than one country – their business interests and investments, philanthropic intentions, and the education and succession of the next generation creates complexity and contradictions that can seem at times impossible to untangle.
Brown Advisory's 30 strategic advisors bring together experience across many fields, including law, taxation, investment, business and family dynamics to act as a sounding board and thinking partner for clients wrestling with these challenges.
Our role as a strategic advisory team is flexible, being governed by the individual circumstances and needs of each client. Typically, we work with our clients and their advisors to understand, clarify and articulate their holistic situation and goals so that prioritisation, planning and protection around all types of “life” events can be efficiently diagnosed and implemented.
Strategic Advice: from the client’s perspective
Whilst the United Kingdom remains a very popular place in which to live, the political, tax and economic landscapes have, like many other places in the world, become increasingly complicated. It is against this background that we work with clients across a wide range of topics.
Non-UK domiciled UK residents
Many of our clients live in the UK as citizens of other countries, including the United States. We help these clients navigate and understand the intricate tax and reporting rules that may follow from being resident (or contemplating becoming resident) in the UK.
UK domiciled UK residents
Our UK resident and domiciled clients are no more immune to this increasingly complex legal and tax landscape. Nevertheless, asset protection and the timely relinquishing of control of assets to the next generation are often front of mind for many of our clients. We recognize that efforts to achieve asset protection and form succession plans need to take into account many factors, including familial dynamics, the value and characteristics of assets, tax cost and cash-flow.
Whatever the citizenship, residency and tax profile of our clients, it is their goals and objectives, in each case, that drive the formation of the solutions and methods that are ultimately deployed.
Case Study – Mr. and Mrs. X
Mr. and Mrs. X are citizens of the United States who have been living in the UK for several years. They had accumulated significant wealth in the U.S. from their investment and employment activities before they moved to the UK, and continue to do so today.
When we first met Mr. and Mrs. X, we learned that their greatest uncertainty was how to manage their UK expenditure without incurring unnecessary tax costs. This concern had been brought to a head because they were contemplating a significant property purchase in the UK and were unsure which of their savings and investments would be the optimal source of funding.
After an initial information gathering phase with Mr. and Mrs. X and their tax advisors, we proposed a revised account framework to ring-fence those monies which might be inefficient to bring to the UK and to make future identification of available assets easier.
Having helped to clarify which parts of their estate might be most efficient for funding the property investment, for meeting annual expenditure in the UK, and for long-term growth, we constructed investment plans for each.
Strategic Advice: from the perspective of the client’s other advisors
We think that our clients get the best results when their investment, accounting and legal advisors are all working in sync with each other. As strategic advisors, we often play a coordinating role, communicating with our clients’ other advisors to ensure there is a common understanding and direction across the board. It is on this premise that we have built many fruitful partnerships with lawyers, accountants and other professionals to effectively serve our mutual clients.
We are fortunate to be able to meet with clients on a regular and consistent basis which allows us to spot potential issues that may be appearing on the horizon and ensure the right members of the clients’ broader advisory team are brought in and/or introduced as early as possible.
We are proactive in trying to provide a communication channel between our clients’ various advisors, so everyone can work from the same playbook, preempt potential issues long before they become last-minute concerns, and generally provide a more seamless experience and consistent result for the client.
Strategic Advice: our history
Our strategic advisory philosophy has been an essential component of Brown Advisory's approach since our firm’s founding over 25 years ago. Our first clients were complex families who valued our ability to help them devise investment plans that were closely intertwined with their business, succession and estate planning needs.
Today, our firm serves many families and institutions around the world and we carry our strategic advisory philosophy into all of our relationships. Whilst investment return is an important part of our clients’ holistic strategy, we know that supporting non-investment goals is also a priority. We view a client’s long-term plan as a tapestry that depicts different events and goals (past, present and future); strategic advice is the thread that weaves it all together.
As strategic advisors, we are privileged to work so closely with our clients and their teams and we are fortunate that our ability to be objective and empathetic with clients is reinforced by the structure and culture of our firm. We are free from the potential conflicts which can arise where firms are involved in lending, underwriting, commission-based transactions or other activities. In addition, we charge no fee to our clients for our strategic advice.
How can we help?
In the future, we will publish articles and host events in London that capture some of the planning solutions we bring to bear for our clients. In the meantime, we are happy to be a resource to anyone who has questions about our approach or the role that a Strategic Advisor may be able to play for them.
The views expressed are those of Brown Advisory as of the date referenced and are subject to change at any time based on market or other conditions. These views are not intended to be and should not be relied upon as investment advice and are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance and you may not get back the amount invested.
The information provided in this material is not intended to be and should not be considered to be a recommendation or suggestion to engage in or refrain from a particular course of action or to make or hold a particular investment or pursue a particular investment strategy, including whether or not to buy, sell, or hold any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable. To the extent specific securities are mentioned, they have been selected by the author on an objective basis to illustrate views expressed in the commentary and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. The information contained herein has been prepared from sources believed reliable but is not guaranteed by us as to its timeliness or accuracy, and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. This piece is intended solely for our clients and prospective clients, is for informational purposes only, and is not individually tailored for or directed to any particular client or prospective client.