The aftermath of the Great Recession is still being felt

Date: 16 Mar 2016


Patricia Angus, founder and CEO of Angus Advisory Group, says that private client sector doesn’t do enough prevent loss of assets across the generations, much at private clients, and industry, peril.

What do you see as the risks posed by the presidential elections outcome in the US?

The US is at a major inflection point. Nothing less than the role of government is under review and there are very high stakes involved. The country is increasingly polarised which cannot last indefinitely without more serious repercussions politically, economically and socially both in the US and around the world.

The aftermath of the Great Recession is still being felt, and widespread recovery has yet to take hold in a sustainable way. The US election process reflects the impact of the large gaps in wealth and income that have been accelerated in the years since the downturn.

Would Brexit have an impact on the US market?

Brexit would certainly have an impacts on the US markets. However, Brexit worries may not have been factored into market performance yet as there are so many other developments of major importance in the US internally and internationally.

Are sustained low oil prices ultimately good or bad for the US economy?

While lower oil prices may spur consumer spending in the short term, some sort of mean reversion is likely over time. Meanwhile, the overall transition to more renewable sources of energy is a growing trend.

What trends do you see in the US private client sector?

Major trends include the industry response to servicing the increased consolidation of wealth, technological innovations including robo-advisers, increased reporting requirements and global transparency, emphasis on non-financial aspects of wealth, and greater percentages of assets held in legal structures including trusts. In private client circles, there issurprisingly a lotof focus on issues including how to avoid losing accumulated financial resources, while failing to recognise the societal pressures that might put those clients, and their families, at serious risk. “How much is enough” is asked often with respect to a family’s inheritance plans but a more appropriate question might be “how much is enough” for one family to have accumulated vis-√†-vis the rest of society. These questions are often ignored.

Tell us about modern succession planning?

Many family controlled businesses are public companies. A key issue will be governance of those companies, and increasing public scrutiny of family dominance of public companies. The lifespan of businesses is shortening for both family and non-family businesses. Family wealth will pass across generations regardless of whether it is held in business or not. New businesses are being funded by family wealth through loans and gifts to younger family members while private transactions between family businesses are on the rise.

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