Brent Berselli is a partner in Holland & Knight's Portland office and is a member of the firm's Private Wealth Services Practice Group. Mr. Berselli serves as general counsel to wealthy individuals, their families and their businesses throughout the United States to design and implement sophisticated strategies integral to family wealth planning. High-net-worth individuals, including principals of private equity, venture capital and hedge fund firms, private and public company executives, real estate developers, entrepreneurs and business owners, turn to Mr. Berselli for advice and counsel in all aspects of wealth transfer strategies, income and transfer tax planning, philanthropy and business succession.
Family Office Entities. Pooling family assets offers several advantages, including access to investments that would otherwise be unavailable to certain family entities and individuals, centralization of asset management decisions and the resulting reduction of overall investment fees and potential creditor protection. Mr. Berselli creates new entities to accomplish these goals and works with clients' investment advisers to ensure that appropriate investment policies are developed that focus on the overall asset mix, as well as the different investment objectives applicable to a client's taxable and nontaxable estate.
Private Company Succession Planning. A workable succession plan requires considerable development that often evolves over a multiyear period. Succession planning is necessarily an iterative process that requires close interaction between owners of privately held businesses and their advisors. Mr. Berselli guides business owners in designing and implementing a succession plan that balances the current and future needs of the business and the owner. Such coordination is particularly critical where an entrepreneur wants to transfer the business to the next generation but is relying on the ownership interest in the company to fund retirement.
Pre-liquidity Event Planning. Prior to a sale of a business or a major liquidity event, there are several wealth transfer opportunities that should be considered. Such strategies often focus on passing potential wealth to future generations in a tax-efficient manner. Mr. Berselli is often called upon to assist owners of businesses that are embarking upon such transactions to guide them in this critical pre-translation planning process.
Wealth Planning for Private Equity, Venture Capital and Hedge Fund Principals. The unique nature of private equity funds requires specialized planning for the principals of such funds. Implementation of any wealth transfer strategy requires careful attention to the nature of the principal's ownership interest, the fund documents and the manner of distributions. Mr. Berselli works closely with private equity fund principals to structure transfers involving their carried interests in their funds. Following such transfers, extensive additional planning opportunities are developed that are designed to maximize future wealth transfer while minimizing overall family transfer taxes.
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