Client Snapshot

A wealthy couple with grown, successful children. The husband was hoping to sell his assets and better control various other assets accumulated and mismanaged over the years.

Situation and Outcome

The man was an early Wescott client.  As his business grew, he had accumulated assets along with the couple’s investments. But with transactional attorneys and business accountants as their only professional advisors, they were underserved, and investment focus and direction were lost.

Drawing on the deep professional relationship between the patriarch and senior counsel from Wescott, who understood and could provide trusted guidance on business, Wescott stepped in. The firm embarked on a thorough forensic review and financial analysis of all the personal and business holdings. What Wescott discovered was that the existing broker was managing an investment portfolio inappropriate for the couple’s needs.

When the client decided it was time to sell the business, Wescott provided the financial analysis for the sale.  After poring over the books and projections, Wescott concluded that the client was better off restructuring—and keeping—the business. The client trusted and agreed with Wescott’s opinion. Within two years, the business earned what it would have made in the sale. The client held on to the growing business for 15 more years.

Wescott also guided the client through a difficult time when a trusted employee was found to be embezzling.  Wescott provided expertise in forensic accounting, and suggested a criminal attorney to oversee the case.  There with the owner when he confronted the employee, Wescott counseled the family through the grief that comes from discovering a devastating breach of trust.

Eventually, the patriarch passed away—but not before he sold the business and engaged Wescott in thorough estate planning for the couple. The firm worked closely with him on the succession of wealth from one generation to the next, and was there to help manage and counsel the next generation.

Lessons Learned

Sometimes, plans don’t unfold as one intends. Whether coming to realize it’s not the right time to sell a business, or discovering a long-time employee has turned thief, a financial advisor should be there to provide the due diligence and advice to help through these times—good and bad.