Homrich Berg Onboards Wealth Advisor Emily Bentley to Elevate Family Office

ATLANTA — April 5, 2021 — Homrich Berg (HB) continues to cultivate a deep bench of seasoned wealth management professionals with the addition of Emily Bentley. Bentley, who has spent the last 10 years with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, will play an instrumental role in growing the firm’s family office service offering.

“As we continue to grow throughout metro Atlanta and across the country, we are focused on investing in top talent to serve our clients and expand our capabilities,” says Andy Berg, CEO and co-founder of Homrich Berg. “We are excited to add Emily and her unique skill set to our family office team.”

HB President Thomas Carroll adds, “I have known Emily personally for many years, and believe she embodies our core values of providing objective, innovative, and high-touch client service.  She will help drive our strategy of using our scale and growth to attract talent and gain leverage for the benefit of our clients.”

In addition to serving clients, Bentley will help lead the strategic growth of talent and capabilities for HB’s family office services.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Homrich Berg with a focus on fiduciary, fee-only comprehensive wealth management services for clients,” says Bentley. “It’s an exciting time to join one of the largest independent firms in the country where I am comfortable with the family office capabilities, including its expertise in private investments.  Homrich Berg’s commitment to investing in technology and talent in order to provide a personalized client experience really attracted me to join this great team.”

During her tenure at J.P. Morgan, Bentley was responsible for delivering the firm’s investment, wealth transfer, credit and philanthropic services to high-net-worth individuals, endowments and foundations throughout the Southeast region. She also spent several years with the company serving as an investment specialist in New York overseeing the construction, implementation and oversight of client portfolios.

Previously, Bentley had spent seven years with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s investment banking practice, where she advised community banks and specialty finance companies on mergers and acquisitions, as well as raising debt and equity capital.

Bentley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, and received her MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Emily is an active member of Emerging Leaders for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  An Atlanta native and Westminster graduate, she currently resides in the area with her husband Justin and two sons, Hank and James.

About Homrich Berg

Founded in 1989, Atlanta-based Homrich Berg is a national independent wealth management firm that provides fiduciary, fee-only investment management and financial planning services, serving as the leader of the financial team for our clients, including high-net-worth individuals, families, and not-for-profits. Homrich Berg manages over $9 billion for more than 2,000 family relationships nationwide.

This document is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to purchase, any security, product or fund. The information does not constitute investment advice and should not be relied upon as such. Certain of the information herein is forward-looking in nature and may be subject to change. Information is as of 04.05.21 unless otherwise specified, with no obligation to update.

Robin Aiken, CFP® Named to Forbes America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors 2021

Congratulations to Robin Aiken, CFP® for being named to America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors, presented by Forbes. This is a true testament to her dedication to guiding successful women towards their financial goals. See Robin’s ranking here.

Please see Important Disclosure Information Regarding Awards and Recognition

Robin Aiken, CFP® Named to Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors 2021

Congratulations to Robin Aiken, CFP® for being named to the 2021 Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list for Atlanta high net worth.

For a complete list of the criteria used for this award, click this link.

Andy Berg, CFP® Named to Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors 2021

Congratulations to Andy Berg, CFP® for being named #1 to the 2021 Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list for Atlanta high net worth.

For a complete list of the criteria used for this award, click this link.

Andy-Berg

Andy Berg Named To Atlanta Magazine 500 Most Powerful Leaders In 2021

ATLANTA – February 5, 2021 – Homrich Berg is pleased to announce that CEO Andy Berg was named to Atlanta Magazine 500 Most Powerful Leaders in 2021.

Andy is co-founder and chief executive officer of Homrich Berg. He founded the firm with the belief that high-net-worth individuals needed access to conflict-free financial planning and investment advice. He developed HB’s model for serving clients’ wealth management needs on a fiduciary, fee-only basis.  Andy offers his diverse clientele hands-on counsel and oversees the management and operations of the firm. Andy’s expertise spans the wealth management profession and includes financial and estate planning, taxation, and investment strategy.

About Homrich Berg

Founded in 1989, Atlanta-based Homrich Berg is a national independent wealth management firm that provides fiduciary, fee-only investment management and financial planning services, serving as the leader of the financial team for our clients including high-net-worth individuals, families, and not-for-profits. Homrich Berg manages over $6 billion for over 1800 family relationships nationwide. For more information, please visit www.HomrichBerg.com.

HB Perspective on the GameStop Short Squeeze Headlines

By: Ross Bramwell, CFA

02/02/2021

As the company GameStop and the term “short-squeeze” have become the center of headlines in the media recently, we wanted to give a little background on the recent events. Below is a Q&A style format that explains some of the basics of the story. Overall, the actions have increased market volatility in the short term as speculative day-trading has dominated headlines, but over the long term we believe markets will continue to focus on economic fundamentals dependent upon future corporate earnings, the vaccine rollout, the continued economic recovery from the pandemic, and fiscal policy. There is certainly a lot of noise right now from these small stocks, and we’ll continue to focus on any larger impact to the markets in the short term and long term. If you have any further questions, please contact a member of your service team.

What is GameStop? GameStop is a video game retailer. Like most stores that still sell products in person, it has had a difficult time lately as video game sales have moved online and as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps people away from stores. GameStop is still in business, but the perception is that it will struggle to grow again.

Why GameStop? Like many companies that are struggling, GameStop was the subject of what’s called short selling, in which investors borrow shares of stock to sell and then buy back later so they can return them, which lets them pocket a profit if the stock price goes down. Short selling is a bet that the price will go down. GameStop was one of the most shorted of all publicly traded companies. Other companies on the list include AMC Theatres, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Blockbuster.

What is a Short-Squeeze? For the most part, investors follow the “buy low, sell high” theme when buying stocks. Short sellers do the opposite — they borrow and sell a stock when it is high and bet that it will continue to fall. If that does not happen and the stock price rises, short sellers are forced to cover their positions or buy more stocks to minimize their losses. Because short sellers (frequently hedge funds in this case) are betting against a company’s success, there is quite a bit of risk involved. Any positive news or enthusiasm for the stock will push up the stock’s valuation, which is going against a short seller. For GameStop, chatter on massive online trading forums drove interest in buying the stock, pushing up the price, which in turn fueled more interest. The speculative trading left short sellers with no more shares to buy to cover their positions, creating a short squeeze and leaving them with millions of dollars in stocks they had to buy at a higher price, creating huge losses in some cases.

What are Reddit’s and Robinhood’s Roles In This? The internet has been used previously to prognosticate about stocks, but the recent message board involved has been on the Reddit community called wallstreetbets, also known as WSB. Investors on WSB have discussed GameStop for years, but things changed early this year. As the price of the shares rose, more WSB posters jumped on board. WSB temporarily made the community private recently and said they were experiencing technical difficulties based on unprecedented scale because of the newfound interest in WSB. There’s also Robinhood, the app that is the unofficial stock trading platform of choice for WSB. Robinhood lets people trade stocks and options for little or no charge. Robinhood, and several other brokerage firms, made headlines because they restricted trading as trading volume became so large.

Why is this a big deal now? Shares in GameStop ticked up on January 11 after it named three people to its board of directors as part of a deal with shareholders who had been pushing for a change. That caused some short sellers to abandon their positions, helping to drive the stock up more in the following days. The stock traded about even for the next few days, but then things began to change as increased volume indicated a short squeeze, meaning people who had bet against the stock either chose or were forced to give up and take losses. And while WSB had gotten some media attention in recent days for its GameStop chatter, an increase in coverage of GameStop and WSB helped bring the story out of the financial world and more into the mainstream. GameStop shares would go from trading at around $43 to as much as $380, becoming one of the most traded stocks on the market along the way.

Will the markets change because of this? In the short term, the impact has been increased volatility and the volume of trading has strained the computer infrastructure of online brokerages. But the larger and longer-lasting impact may be on how the market itself operates. The battle over GameStop has taken on something of a David vs. Goliath feel, with some people outside of finance painting it as a reckoning for parts of Wall Street. There is some belief that WSB signals the arrival of a powerful new force as large numbers of retail investors find influence by acting together in a big trade. That may serve as a check or balance on other large forces, such as hedge funds, which are used to throwing their weight around without ordinary investors affecting a price. Right now, the activity is only around a few companies, which is not that uncommon. But the broader concern comes when retail investors become overly exuberant and inflate stock prices, as that may be considered evidence that the stock market has reached a dangerous level of enthusiasm and speculation.

How can this end? A short squeeze often ends in the stock price falling back to where it was before the drama started. History suggests that these meteoric rises cannot go on forever, and over time, stock prices generally reflect the expected future earnings of corporations. But these can go on for extended periods if the players have enough resources to risk.

Tax Benefits for Homeowners

If you own a home, you’re eligible for several special tax breaks. But many of these rules changed over the past few years, especially after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed in December 2017. Here are some of the key tax benefits of owning a home, and how homeowners can make the most of the new rules. HB Principal Mike Landsberg, CPA, CFP®, CPWA, PFS gave his advice on some of these benefits.

  • New rules for deducting mortgage interest.
  • Limited deduction for home-equity loans.
  • Deduction cap for property taxes.
  • Home-office deduction for self-employed only.
  • Tax exclusion for home-sale profits.

Read the full article here

Meet Kyle Glenn, Homrich Berg’s Newest Principal

ATLANTA – 01/04/2021 – Homrich Berg (HB) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kyle Glenn CFA, as the newest Principal for the firm. “Kyle is an important member of the HB leadership team,” said Andy Berg, co-founder and CEO of Homrich Berg. “My partners and I are proud to welcome him as the newest owner of HB.”

Kyle joined Homrich Berg in 2020 as Chief Operating Officer, returning after a previous stint with the firm from 2008-2013.  He leads the firm’s internal operations, helps align the firm’s talent and culture with its long-term objectives, and drives strategic initiatives to support future growth.

Prior to re-joining Homrich Berg, Kyle was a Manager in Bain & Company’s Atlanta office.  In his 5 years at Bain Kyle led teams serving clients across a wide variety of industries, with a focus on Private Equity, Consumer Products, and Technology.  His expertise includes M&A, growth strategy, organization and operating model design, and performance improvement.

Kyle received an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2015 and a BS in Management with Highest Honors from Georgia Tech in 2008.

 

Homrich Berg Crosses $8 Billion AUM Mark and Will Add Sandy Springs Office Via Planned Merger With SG Financial Advisors

ATLANTA – December 16, 2020 – Homrich Berg is pleased to announce that SG Financial Advisors has signed an agreement to join Homrich Berg, giving HB a new Sandy Springs office location and a great addition of talent and clients. Under the terms of the agreement, Sammy Grant will join HB as a Principal along with Russ Wood and two other client service professionals.  The deal is expected to close on December 31 of this year.

This event is part of the continuing growth story at HB, and a unique story of the return of Sammy and Russ to Homrich Berg where they started their career in wealth management.  SG Advisors will bring over $400 million of assets under management to HB.  Recent firm growth has resulted in Homrich Berg now managing assets of well over $8 billion for clients in 45 states before this merger. HB continues to build a strong regional firm with a leading presence in their home Atlanta market.  The firm is known for combining the scale and expertise of a large firm combined with the high touch client service of a boutique multifamily office firm.  This will be the fifth wealth management firm to join HB since 2008.

“We are thrilled to have Sammy and Russ return to HB via this merger,” stated Andy Berg, co-founder and CEO of Homrich Berg. “We have always had a great relationship with Sammy and his team, knowing that we share common core values with the same focus on serving our clients. It’s clear that this merger will be positive for our clients and employees.”

“With deep respect for those I’ve previously worked with and the culture at HB, I felt this combination ensured our clients’ experience will remain excellent while giving our team a path for continued growth,” said Sammy Grant. “Many firms are in the market seeking to acquire firms like SG Financial Advisors, but the benefits of joining HB were compelling.  I am excited to return to HB where I learned so much at the beginning of my career.  Through this partnership, we look forward to leveraging the expertise and strength of Homrich Berg to offer our clients enhanced services while continuing to guide them to their financial goals.”

About Homrich Berg

Founded in 1989, Atlanta-based Homrich Berg is a national independent wealth management firm that provides fiduciary, fee-only investment management and financial planning services, serving as the leader of the financial team for our clients including high-net-worth individuals, families, and not-for-profits. Homrich Berg manages over $8 billion for over 1800 family relationships nationwide. For more information, please visit www.HomrichBerg.com.

Estate Planning Opportunities in 2020

By: Todd Hall and Andy Bunch

11/18/2020

The rest of 2020, and likely most or all of 2021, could prove to be an important period of estate planning for your family.  Transferring assets to the next generation typically plays an important role in an estate plan and potential changes in the coming months could change the allowable transfer amounts or other features of current estate laws.

Current gift tax laws allow an individual to give up to $15,000 per year per recipient.  Once gifts to any individual recipient go above that amount in a given year, the excess utilizes some of your lifetime exemption.  The estate tax lifetime exemption is the amount you can transfer to the next generation without incurring gift or estate tax. You can use some or all of this exemption during life, and any amount not used will be available at death, depending on the laws at the time of death. Any amount in excess of the exemption is taxed at 40% under current law.

Unique Opportunities in Current Law: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) temporarily doubles the Estate & Gift Tax Exemption (as set out by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) through the end of 2025.  At that point, the law is scheduled to “Sunset” and revert back to the lower limit (indexed for inflation).  In 2020, the exemption is $11.58 million per person, or $23.16 million per couple, and one could think of this amount as two parts: a basic exclusion increasing with inflation each year, and a temporary additional exclusion that is scheduled to vanish in 2026 under the current tax law.

* Amounts shown for 2021 are estimated based on 2020 available data. Amounts for years 2022 through 2026 assume a 2.13% inflation adjustment each year. Actual inflation may be different. This information is current as of 10/2020. Homrich Berg does not provide tax, accounting or legal advice, and information presented about tax considerations is for informational purposes only and not intended as tax advice. Please consult your legal or tax advisor(s).

What Could Change Next Year: Current news reports indicate that Republicans will have 50 seats in the Senate, and Democrats have 48. Both of Georgia’s Senate seats will be decided by a runoff election on January 5. If Republicans win either or both of these seats, they will retain control of the Senate. If Democrats win both seats, both parties will be tied with 50 Senators and control of the legislative calendar will likely change to the Democrats, assuming Joe Biden ultimately wins the Presidential election. This means we will either have divided government in 2021, or Democrats will have control but with no wiggle room to lose any Senate votes on legislation. Legislation is always unpredictable, and so are effective dates for any changes. Even if tax changes are passed into law during 2021, they might not apply until 2022, leaving time for additional estate planning next year.

Taking Advantage of Current Law: Families with a net worth of greater than $13 million for a married couple (or $6.5 million if single) may have an estate tax if they live to 2026 or later, and laws remain unchanged. Every additional $1.00 of growth above that level could result in another $0.40 of taxes at death. Families in this situation should talk to their advisor about whether it is advisable to make significant gifts in trust while the exemption is temporarily at the higher level.

In 2020, each individual can give $11.58 million to the next generation without gift or estate tax. If someone with a large estate were to make a gift of this amount into a trust for future generations, and current law remains unchanged, this would result estate tax savings of over $2 million* at death, and possibly significantly more depending on how much assets grow after a gift is made.

For a married couple, one spouse could give up to $11.58 million to the other spouse in a special kind of trust called a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT). This could result in significant estate tax savings and the ability of the beneficiary spouse to access the funds for life if needed.

It is important to work with an attorney who is an expert in the field of estate and trust law when implementing planning like this. It is also important to review with your financial advisor how much can or should be gifted to trust, and which assets are best to use. With that said, there are significant opportunities in current law that are currently scheduled to go away on January 1, 2026, and may go away sooner if Congress takes action before then.

For those with a net worth of more than $13 million for a married couple, or $6.5 million for a single person, we believe it is appropriate to discuss whether or not these or other strategies may be appropriate in your specific situation.

* Tax savings of $2 million are based on the assumption that a family removes $11.58 million from the taxable estate and current law remains unchanged. Assuming death occurs in 2026 when the exemption is projected to be $6.5 million, the difference between the $6.5 million exemption and the $11.58 million of gifts made in 2020 is $5,080,000. If left in the taxable estate and taxed at 40%, these assets would generate $2,032,000 in estate taxes at death in 2026.