The evolutionary path of a beneficiary

Richard Llewellyn is senior vice president and manager of client administration for Pasadena-based Whittier Trust Company.

Senior vice president at Whittier Trust Company Richard Llewellyn offers a unique perspective on the three roles a beneficiary plays over the course of his life in this month’s Estate Planning. Once a beneficiary becomes entitled to distributions, an evolutionary process is set in motion and often follows a well-established pattern consistent with human nature, Llewellyn writes in the article “Anticipate and Smooth the Evolutionary Path of a Beneficiary.”

He makes the case that awareness of this process can help a settlor design a trust to minimize potentially adverse effects of the evolutionary process.

“When settlors are working with their attorneys to establish a trust, they usually focus on the trust terms, trustee powers, and distribution provisions,” Llewellyn writes. “All of this is done with the goal of implementing the settlor’s wishes for the beneficiary. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that the existence of the trust itself is likely to have an impact on the beneficiary that will last for many years.”

Whittier Trust Company is an independent investment and wealth management firm with more than $8 billion under advisement, serving more than 270 families and 30 foundations throughout the U.S. One of California’s oldest wealth management companies, the firm has helped families manage, grow and transfer wealth intergenerationally for seven generations.

Whittier Trust’s chief investment strategist on how to protect your assets in the current economy

Whittier Trust Company’s Stephen Smith, vice president and chief investment strategist, spoke with Maria Bartiromo of CNBC’s “Closing Bell” recently about what the current triple-digit stock market swings mean for the U.S. economy.

“Make sure your cash is not in a fund that has exposure to European banks,” Smith said on the program. “Put your money in a mini fund or treasury fund. And most of all, be patient about going in and picking bargains.”

Whittier Trust Company is an independent investment and wealth management firm with more than $8 billion under advisement, serving more than 270 families and 30 foundations throughout the U.S.

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San Marino’s Pegine Grayson brings fundraising expertise to Whittier Trust Company

Pegine Grayson is a vice president in Whittier Trust Company's Philanthropic Services division.

Pegine Grayson, a well-known San Marino, Calif., resident, was recently profiled in the San Marino Tribune for both her ongoing philanthropy efforts and for joining Whittier Trust Company. Now that her two children are older, Pegine is bringing her fundraising and philanthropic expertise to Whittier Trust, a wealth management firm based in Pasadena that serves more than 270 families and 30 foundations.

As a vice president in the firm’s Philanthropic Services division, one of Pegine’s goals is to help clients instill in their children a healthy respect for money through foundation and charitable endeavor advisement.

“Family foundations bring families closer together to experience the joy of giving and learn about financial management,” Pegine told the San Marino Tribune.

Prior to joining Whittier Trust, Pegine served as a public interest lawyer and nonprofit executive.

Whittier Trust chief investment strategist: Why financial advisers are keeping calm about the debt deal

Stephen Smith, vice president and chief investment strategist for Whittier Trust Company

With less than a week remaining for politicians to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling, the stock market has remained relatively calm. Reuters Money reached out to financial experts to determine why these advisers are urging their clients to “stay the course.”

An overwhelming majority expressed faith that lawmakers would reach a deal by the August 2 deadline, and many stated that markets would adjust regardless. According to Stephen A. Smith, vice president and chief investment strategist of Pasadena-based Whittier Trust Company, it’s about more than just the debt ceiling.

“We are more defensive in recent months than we had been previously, but that is primarily because of the debt problems in Europe, not the U.S.,” said Smith in the interview with Reuters. “We have advised clients to maintain their normal strategic exposures to the U.S. stock market … and have moved client cash out of money market funds with exposure to European banks.”

The importance of educating children about philanthropy

Julie Williams Lytle serves as executive director of philanthropic services for Whittier Trust Company

Veronica Dagher of The Wall Street Journal spoke with wealth managers about the trend of affluent families placing a greater emphasis on teaching their heirs about philanthropy in the “Wealth Adviser” report published today.

“High-net worth families are increasingly concerned about how wealth will impact their children,” Julie Williams Lytle, executive director of philanthropic services for Whittier Trust Company, says in the report. The idea is to mitigate some of the risks heirs face from having too much as the largest wealth transfer in history from the world’s billionaires takes place.

The Wall Street Journal publishes a “Wealth Adviser” special report every quarter featuring opinion and analysis on topics ranging from the housing market to taxes and retirement plans to philanthropy. Whittier Trust Company is an independent investment and wealth management firm with more than $8 billion under advisement, serving more than 270 families and 30 foundations throughout the U.S.  The firm has helped families manage, grow and transfer wealth intergenerationally for seven generations.

Keep it in the Family? — Los Angeles Business Journal Releases annual Wealthiest Angelenos special report

The Los Angeles Business Journal today released its annual Wealthiest Angelenos special report. This year, reporter Richard Clough decided to speak with LA’s most affluent residents about the complications in raising children when there are billions of dollars at stake. In his article “Keep it in the Family?”, Clough determines that family ties can blind business owners to their children’s shortcomings, which can hurt a company.

According to Grace Russak, senior vice president of Whittier Trust Co., a wealth management firm in South Pasadena that handles intergenerational wealth transfers for billionaires and other affluent individuals, “It’s a huge concern. Who is going to take over the company and how is that going to ensure that the company is properly positioned and managed and how will that affect family dynamics?”

Why should wealthy parents get teens involved in giving?

In a recent interview with Kathleen McBride of AdvisorOne, Julie Williams Lytle, executive director of Philanthropic Services of Whittier Trust Company, says that children of wealty families often feel undermotivated and unempowered. Getting them involved in philanthropy is an excellent way to bring dignity, pride and self-esteem to teens, says Lytle. She also explains that there is a direct correlation between philanthropy and maintaining wealth, and lists the ways wealth advisors should care:

  • “70% of intergenerational wealth transfers fail by end of successor generation,” Lytle said, because of “poor family communication,” or “inadequate preparation.”
  • “60% intergenerational transfers result in a change of advisor.”
  • “65% of high-net-worth (HNW) families fear that inheriting wealth will hurt the children” instead of help them.

Whittier Trust Hires Former Bessemer Exec As SVP

WealthBriefing is the premier news, features and information source for the global wealth management sector. On Monday, here‘s what they had to say on Whittier Trust Company’s recent hire:

Whittier Trust Company, the US-based investment and wealth management firm, has hired Peter Zarifes as senior vice president and member of the executive committee. Zarifes joins Whittier Trust after 25 years of working with high net worth individuals and families. He spent the last 11 years as a managing director at Bessemer Trust.

In his new role, he will be responsible for the day-to-day management of client relationships. He will be based at the firm’s South Pasadena, California office. Whittier Trust has around $8 billion in assets under advisement for some 270 families and 30 foundations throughout the US.

Palisades Expert Helps Establish and Nurture Family Foundations

By Danielle Gillespie
The Palisadian Post
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Julie Lytle is vice president and director of the philanthropic services department at Whittier Trust Company

Many philanthropic parents hope that their children will also lead a charitable life, but they wonder how to instill this value.

‘A family foundation can be a wonderful way to teach your children how to give,’ said Julie Williams Lytle, vice president and director of the philanthropic services department at Whittier Trust Company, an investment management company.

A Pacific Palisades resident since 1984, Lytle has spent the past year assisting families with setting up and managing their own foundations. Lytle and a staff of seven currently handle $730 million for 31 foundations, ranging in size from $1 million to more than $200 million. She serves as an officer or director on nine of those foundation boards.

‘We help them operate the foundation so they can be involved in the details as much or as little as they wish,’ said Lytle, who is certified by the Institute for Preparing Heirs and the Southern California Grantmakers, which is a membership association of private sector grantmakers.

She and her staff help families establish a mission statement and find charitable organizations that align with those goals. They teach families how to evaluate organizations to assure the money they donate will be used wisely and effectively. They also manage the financial assets of the foundation, the grant making, check writing and regulatory compliance.

Family members sit on the board together and hold formal meetings, typically once or twice a year. If desired, Lytle and her staff will prepare all the information for those meetings as well as facilitate them, so they are highly effective.

‘A foundation is a great legacy, and it keeps the family close,’ said Lytle, noting that when the children grow up and move to other parts of the country, the foundation is an excuse for them to get together.

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The Lesson That Keeps Giving

By Alandra Johnson
The Bulletin
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Julie Lytle, the director of Whittier Trust Co.’s philanthropy services department, frequently works with parents about teaching kids the importance of giving and charity.

She encourages parents to begin early, starting when children are 4 or 5, so that giving becomes a habit that sticks. Lytle says a great way to start is to implement something similar to what the Bloxham family does, to have children buy presents for other family members. This gesture, while sometimes time-consuming or difficult logistically, helps kids begin to think about gifts in a different way. They put themselves in the position of the giver, which, in turn, can help them become more grateful for the gifts they receive.

When a child is a little older, he or she can begin picking out presents to donate to local charities or giving trees, Lytle says. Parents may also want to consider incorporating giving into regular family practices. For instance, on each birthday, a child would help buy something for someone in need.