As the recent equity market decline briefly dipped into bear market territory, we have been pleased by the calm with which our clients have reacted. As market volatility persists, we thought it was appropriate to revisit a few lessons for successful bear market investing.

As we head into our 25th anniversary, this year’s Annual Letter looks back at our beginnings and highlights the cherished principles which have allowed us to succeed over the years.

David Salsburg, Gresham’s President, was a panelist in Andersen’s national webinar held on November 9th titled “The Evolution of a Successful Family Office.” The panel of experts addressed investment, tax, legal, regulatory and other considerations a wealthy family would confront in the face of a global recession.

This webinar was the second in a three-part series Andersen held for its clients and friends, with experts like David providing advice based on their extensive experience serving wealthy families. David’s comments included:

  • Planning for major challenges, such as a global recession, is critical to minimize the adverse impacts that may result and potentially position the family to play offense when others are playing defense. This planning can include sound portfolio construction, a reasonable spending rate, downside protection strategies, cash flow and liquidity planning and effective governance.
  • In the midst of a global recession, a family needs to avoid panic and take a disciplined approach to reviewing investment strategies, debt servicing, cash needs and liquidity options, with a goal of being able to deploy new capital opportunistically.
  • It is also important to have an effective asset ownership structure in place, which can include using separate entities for different investor profiles or investment strategies. Such a structure can avoid harmful impacts caused by competing interests within the same entity and enable good decision-making, especially when capital markets are in turmoil.

Please contact your Gresham team member if you would like to learn more about this event.

CHICAGO, IL, October 25, 2021 – Gresham Partners participated in Greenhouse Scholars’ recent 2021 Glass Half Full virtual event during which 549 donors contributed $430,000. Gresham helped raise over $42,000 of that amount!

Greenhouse Scholars is an educational nonprofit organization that wants students to feel the power of opportunity, choice and belief. They level the playing field so students of all backgrounds can live a life of their choosing. Their Scholars are outstanding college students from under-resourced families and communities who are determined to create a better future for us all.

Gresham Partners has supported Greenhouse Scholars since 2013, both financially and through the direct involvement of many members of Gresham’s team who have served as reviewers of Scholar-candidates, sponsors and mentors.

The exciting 2021 Glass Half Full Event fundraising event was hosted by Andra Pool, Chief Relationship and Community Officer, Jessica Hogan, Chief Operating Officer, and Reggie Rivers, a former Denver Bronco. The event shed light on “The World We Want” through the eyes of Scholars, mentors and sponsors, and how Greenhouse Scholars has helped Scholars achieve their dreams.

Listen here to Ted Neild, Gresham’s Principal, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, explain why he and Gresham believe in and support Greenhouse Scholars.

To watch the replay of the event click here and to learn more about Greenhouse Scholars visit its website here.

CHICAGO, IL, September 8, 2021 – Gresham Partners LLC, an independent wealth management firm with a national client base of ultra-high net worth families, announced today that Nicole Perkins, J.D., has joined the firm as a Principal, Director of Client Experience & Development and a member of its Operating Committee. During the balance of the year, Nicole will work closely with Wally Head, Principal and Vice Chairman, who is retiring at the end of 2021 after almost ten years with Gresham.

Ted Neild, Gresham’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, commented: “Nicole is widely recognized as a dynamic leader and innovative thinker – we are delighted that she is now part of the Gresham Team.” Neild added, “Nicole shares our vision on the importance of independence and the freedom it affords our team to break free from the conventional approaches in our industry and generate results for our clients.”

Nicole spent the past ten years at the PNC Financial Services Group as an Executive Vice President and the Managing Executive of Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth. Previously, she served as Director of Fiduciary Services at Hawthorn and provided wealth management advice to ultra-high net worth clients. Nicole began her career in the advertising industry in New York City. As the daughter of family business owners, early in her career she assumed responsibility for managing the family’s restaurant, jazz club and real estate business, also located in New York City. Later, she practiced law in high profile law firms in Philadelphia until she established and ran her own trust and estate legal practice for nearly a decade.

Commenting on joining Gresham, Nicole said: “I am thrilled to join a high-performing organization that is firmly committed to its independence. That commitment allows us to avoid many of the conflicts of interest inherent in our industry that so often erode the foundation of trust with clients, and it frees us to think creatively about client solutions. I couldn’t be more excited to join an organization whose values are so well-aligned with mine.”

Nicole’s full profile can be found at www.greshampartners.com/team/#nicole-perkins.

Gresham is proud to support the new Center on Law and Finance at the Law School of The University of Chicago. Kim Kamin, Gresham’s Chief Wealth Strategist and a graduate of the Law School will serve on the Founders’ Committee for the Center.

We have been active investors in China for 15 years. This research piece focuses on the potential impact of recent regulatory actions taken by the Chinese government and implications for public and private investing in China.

Generally, you lose access to your child’s health and financial information once they become legal adults at age 18 unless they take certain steps to provide you access. Gresham provides a list of essential legal documents for completion when a child turns 18 and before they go to college or leave home for other purposes. 

The prospects for inflation in the U.S. continue to receive a lot of attention. This research piece describes our outlook for near-term and longer-term inflation in the U.S. 

Gresham has been selected as the winner of the Wealth Planning Award in the 8th Annual Family Wealth Report Awards. This is Gresham’s fourth FWR Award in the past five years, with Gresham also winning …

Kim Kamin, Gresham’s Chief Wealth Strategist, recently co-authored an article in BNA’s Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal titled “Perspectives on Planning for Personal Property”. 

The article was derived from the authors’ presentation at the 46th Annual Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute.

Kim Kamin, Gresham’s Chief Wealth Strategist, recently co-authored an article in Trusts & Estates titled “Unequal Inheritances: A Final Parental Communication”.

The article addresses considerations and implications of leaving unequal bequests to children, including what “equality” means in this context.

Gresham Partners, LLC, announced several well-deserved promotions. These changes recognize the significant contributions these employees have made to Gresham and their exemplification of Gresham’s core traits.

Joe Richardson has been promoted from Controller to Manager of Investment Operations and Finance. Joe has done an excellent job as Controller in managing and developing a team, executing on the investment team’s strategies, supporting our clients and the client service team through the entire investment life cycle, and overseeing the Firm’s financials and ownership activity.

Vin Mathew has been promoted to Controller, having served as our Assistant Controller since joining Gresham in 2014. Vin will become more involved with the Firm’s budgeting, forecasting and annual audit, and he will continue to be heavily involved with investment operations and investment partnership annual audits.

Emily Reinke has been promoted to Senior Custodian Operations Analyst. In her 3+ years with Gresham, Emily has refined the custody operations function, helped hire and train new employees, taken on the billing process, and supported the client service team, operations team and compliance function. In this new role, Emily will apply her knowledge and experience to continue to reinvent and improve processes within and outside her team.

Christina Pucek and Jeff Wille have both been promoted to Senior Associate. Their promotions reflect the outstanding job they have done with their clients, serving as leaders in the Associate group and consistently identifying opportunities to improve our processes and procedures. In their roles as Senior Associates, they will continue to deepen their technical knowledge, develop their presentation expertise and serve as leaders among the Associates.

These changes recognize the significant contributions these employees have made to Gresham and their exemplification of Gresham’s core traits.

Gresham Partners helped Greenhouse Scholars surpass its fundraising goal of $350,000 at its recent 2020 Rally for Our Future fundraising event.  Gresham has supported Greenhouse Scholars since 2013 both financially and through the direct involvement of many members of Gresham’s team. 

Wally Head, Gresham’s Vice Chairman, is an active member of the Ultra-High Net Worth Institute’s Advisory Board, and Kim Kamin, Gresham’s Chief Wealth Strategist, was recently appointed Domain Chair for the Estate Planning and Legal content that is curated or developed by this newly established educational non-profit Institute. Wally and Kim also are members of the Institute’s Leaders Council, and Gresham is a firm member of the Institute.

We provide our observations regarding the global economy and capital markets, the death of “dumb” value investing, and…

Kim Kamin, Gresham’s Chief Wealth Strategist and also editor and co-author of Tools & Techniques of Estate Planning for Modern Families, presented …

Wally Head, Vice Chairman, led a panel on Pre-Transaction Planning and Kim Kamin, Chief Wealth Strategist, was a panelist at …

Ted Neild, Gresham’s President and Chief Investment Officer, explained investment strategies we are pursuing to address …

Wally Head, Gresham’s Vice Chairman, explained how profits interest structures can be used by family offices to enhance …

Sean Warrington joins Gresham Partners as Principal and Senior Investment Officer leading Gresham’s private investment activity.

Gresham Partners proudly sponsored for a seventh consecutive year The Community Table fundraising event for Greenhouse Scholars …

Our 2019 Annual Letter celebrates our coming of age (21) and describes our commitments to creative destruction, reinvention and …

Gresham has been named the “Best Multi-Family Office Between $5B and $15B AUM/AUA” by Family Wealth Report’s panel of industry experts

We assess the opportunities and risks we see as the investment environment changes throughout the world …

Gresham Partners, a nationally recognized* independent investment and wealth management firm, has been ranked #4 in Barron’s 2018 Top 100 Independent RIAs.  Gresham moved up to the #4 ranking from #9 in 2017 and #13 in 2016.

Gresham believes that the opportunity set for investment in U.S. businesses has declined within public equity markets while it has increased in private equity markets.  This shift may justify a reassessment of asset allocations between public and private investments.

This year’s Annual Letter provide an update on our firm and shares thoughts regarding various topics, including our 20th Anniversary as an independent investment and wealth management firm and the reasons for that notable accomplishment.

We share our views on how investors should act in the face of expected changes in global central bank policies and current elevated asset prices.

Here is the letter Ted Neild, Gresham’s chief investment officer and president, sent Gresham clients and other friends highlighting this year’s Annual Outlook.

Gresham enjoys keeping a low profile, so it was a departure for Ted Neild, our president and chief investment officer, to participate in a conversation with the chief investment officers of two other financial advisory firms for an article published in The Wall Street Journal this past December titled Where to Put Your Money in the Next Year.

How are investment risks and potential returns changing in India? Are investment opportunities there comparable to those in other developing markets?

Gresham ranks #9 in Barron’s 2017 Top 100 Independent RIAs listing based on assessments of assets, revenue and quality of practice, not explicit investment performance or actual client experience.

Gresham addresses:  What legal standard of responsibility and conduct should apply to firms and individuals who provide advisory services to investors?

Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez, of the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, recently announced that Kim Kamin, Gresham’s Chief Wealth Strategist and one of its Principals and client Advisors, has been awarded the 2016/2017 William M. Trumbull Lectureship. Since it was established in 1977, there have been only 11 past recipients of this honor.

Ms. Kamin started teaching at the Law School in 2003. She has taught Advanced Trusts and Estates, Fiduciary Income Tax, and for the past three years, Estate Planning in a course through the LLM in Tax Program that is cross listed for law students.

Dean Rodriguez thanked Ms. Kamin and others who were appointed to named professorships for their hard work and commitment to the Law School’s core teaching and research mission. The chair to which Ms. Kamin was named was established by the estate of William M. Trumbull who was a member of the Law School’s faculty from 1952 to 1965.

Prior to joining Gresham, Ms. Kamin was a partner with a large Chicago-based law firm where for many years, she advised clients on a wide array of entity restructuring, succession planning, trust and estate administration, asset protection, and philanthropic issues. Ms. Kamin received her BA from Stanford University and her JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

In our 2015 Annual Outlook: Divergent, we predict that an increasingly desynchronized world will likely lead to more volatility and investment opportunity, we assess where caution may be warranted and opportunity may present itself, and we look at the impact of declining oil prices. We also discuss what investors should do in the current environment.

In this year’s Annual Outlook, we assess the relatively anemic global economic environment, review capital markets’ accomplishments in 2013, and discuss our expectations and strategies for 2014 and beyond. We also explain why we believe it is time for investors to revisit their long-term asset allocation guidelines and be prepared to withstand the inevitable market corrections ahead.

The world is awash in a sea of liquidity, as all four major central banks of the developed
world are synchronized in their aggressive implementation of easy money policies. Despite
this liquidity, the global economic recovery remains the slowest on record, still hindered by
the excessive leverage built-up prior to the financial crisis four years ago. While these easy
money policies have produced some positive outcomes, little money is currently making its
way into the real economy, but is now spilling over into capital markets, distorting prices
and increasing risks to investors. While we believe many areas of the capital markets
remain attractive, investors must be cautious in deploying capital to ensure that they are
adequately rewarded for the risks they are taking.

The world continues to ride the same train of global imbalances. While short-term solutions have
allowed us to arrive at the next station, few are attempting to address the long-term issues. We believe
that capital markets will continue to assail the weakest links in the financial system, which, hopefully,
instills the required discipline for policymakers to make needed, but difficult, decisions. Unfortunately
for long-term investors, this suggests that we will continue to encounter a series of market crises,
leading to continued market volatility that can test investor resolve. During this period, it is important
that investors are cognizant of the risks in their portfolios and remain alert for the opportunities
created. While current markets continue to be driven by governmental policy rather than underlying
fundamentals, we do see several powerful secular trends and risks that should shape the foundation
of a portfolio for the long term.

The biggest surprise of the year was how well asset classes performed. U.S. equity markets were up 15% and bond markets were up 6.5%, both of which are reasonably good by historical averages.

Policy makers in developed economies are likely to remain accommodative, as domestic employment and growth concerns will dominate our trading partners’ concerns regarding the debasement of the U.S. dollar. The very solutions aimed at solving the crisis, may be accelerating many of the secular changes that guide our long-term investment activity. We remain concerned about the wide divergence of inflationary expectations, the potential debasement of the dollar and the long-term secular shift of global economic growth to a series of emerging economies away from developed nations largely responsible for driving economic growth over the last fifty years. In this environment, which may possibly last for a number of years, we expect market volatility and the potential for extreme market outcomes to remain higher than usual.

The credit crisis continues to erode the global economy at an accelerating pace. Governmental authorities are responding aggressively in an effort to thaw credit markets and avoid a severe and prolonged recession. While we are seeing signs of the banking system stabilizing and market volatility subsiding, we still face the question of whether these efforts will ultimately succeed. The range of possible economic and market outcomes remains wide, mandating a cautious approach for risk conscious investors such as ourselves. During this difficult period, we remain focused on limiting losses and protecting against permanent impairment of capital.

The second half of 2007 provided a stark example of the reasons we have felt that the risk/reward equation for investment markets was uninspiring. In particular, it confirmed and perhaps exceeded our expectations that credit markets would likely constitute Ground Zero in any financial upheaval. We can now say with much greater confidence that the problems in credit markets have spilled over into the general economy. However, we are fortunate that the credit crisis began at a time when global economic and business trends were relatively good, providing some cushion to the expected economic downturn. While the debate over whether the U.S. economy is headed for, or already in, a recession has become more of a technical exercise for economists, there is no debate that corporate profits, particularly those in the financial and consumer discretionary sectors, are slowing and general business conditions are weakening.

Broad U.S. stock market indices increased slightly, up a little over 1% during the first quarter. Smaller companies did slightly better but the real disappointment was in the very largest companies, as the top 50 declined almost 2%. The best performers were in the mid-cap range, which advanced by a little over 4%, in part because that is where the merger and acquisition boom is centered.

For the year 2005, U.S. stock markets appreciated modestly, as shown in Exhibit 1 to the right. Within sectors, energy was the star performer, up 32%, followed by utilities, up 16%. Otherwise, it was hard to find broad areas of support. Other sectors provided lackluster to down results, as market leadership was narrow. Discretionary consumer goods brought up the rear, down 6%, which includes the very poor performing auto and related companies.

Stock markets enjoyed an above average year in 2004, thanks to a surge in the fourth quarter. For the year, stock markets were led by energy and basic materials companies, reflecting a surge in oil and commodities prices, and industrial companies riding the profit expansion. Many larger, high-quality, consumer-oriented companies disappointed, especially the drug companies, as did technology.

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