Life Insurance and PPLI

Life Insurance and Private Placement Life Insurance

 We found a very educative blog post about Life Insurance and Private Placement Life Insurance: “This Life Insurance Lets the Very Wealthy Invest in Private Markets and Defer Taxes,“ by Andrea Riquier

Life Insurance and PPLI“No matter who wins the White House and Congress in November, tax law changes loom large, reviving interest in a tried-and-true strategy for the ultra-wealthy.“

The blog post discusses the concept of using life insurance as an investment, particularly focusing on its tax advantages and benefits for retirement and estate planning. It highlights how life insurance can build up cash values tax-deferred and pay them out tax-free, emphasizing the potential tax benefits for wealthy families. The post also touches on leveraging life insurance for investment purposes, maximizing life cover through premium finance, and the role of life insurance in investment diversification and tax-advantaged growth.

Here are some insights:

  1. Purpose of Life Insurance for the Wealthy:
  2. Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI):
    • PPLI is a specialized form of universal life insurance available exclusively through private channels (not publicly offered). It is specifically designed for high-net-worth individuals.
    • Tax Efficiency: PPLI aims to reduce taxes on investments. By structuring investments within a life insurance policy, wealthy clients can benefit from tax-deferred growth and potentially tax-free distributions.
    • Tailored Solutions: Consulting with financial planners and insurance professionals, such as Michael Malloy and his team at EWP Financial, is essential. They can help customize PPLI policies to align with the unique needs and goals of each client.

Remember that PPLI is a sophisticated strategy, and seeking professional advice is crucial to maximize its benefits. Michael Malloy’s expertise in this area makes him a valuable resource for those navigating the complexities of wealth management and estate planning.


by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC.
CEO, Founder @EWP Financial

~ Your best source for PPLI and EWP

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Did You Know This About PPLI & EWP? – Episode 4 – Life Insurance: The Magic Ingredient


Did you know this about Private Placement Life Insurance and Expanded Worldwide Planning?

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) In Action

EWP and PPLI: A Unity of Assets and Life Insurance

To truly appreciate what Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) can accomplish, you first must forget everything you currently know about life insurance. Yes, it is life insurance, but so radically different in cost and benefits, it has its own Wikipedia page, International Tax Planning.

On this page, you will read about the six principles of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP). We give you a short description of these six principles from the Wikipedia page later in this article.

First, let us list the key benefits of PPLI, so you can appreciate why Bloomberg said in a recent article:

“Athletes, celebrities, and family offices are embracing private placement life insurance, or PPLI, as a way to preserve wealth for their heirs. It’s a strategy that’s perfectly legal and has existed for decades.”

This is why Bloomberg is so excited about PPLI. In a properly structured policy:

  • All cash value growth grows tax-deferred, and is paid out as a tax-free death benefit;
  • No income taxes, and this includes capital gains tax;
  • Ability to access the cash value through tax free loans;
  • Adds asset protection and privacy;
  • Limited reporting;
  • Ability to avoid estate taxes;
  • No surrender charges.

An outstanding singular feature that catapults PPLI above any other life insurance policy is that all asset classes can be placed in a policy:

  • Real Estate/Physical assets
  • Hedge Funds/Alternative Asset classes
  • Private Equity
  • Intellectual Property
  • Art
  • Yachts and Private Jets
  • Alternative Currency denominations

Now let’s discuss the low-cost of this unique wealth structure tool. Depending upon the assets inside the policy, the total fees for a PPLI are 1-2% of the asset value in the policy. The cost of insurance charges are institutionally priced at the wholesale reinsurance company rates.

The death benefit is insured with these same reinsurance companies, the largest insurance companies in the world like Swiss Re and Munich Re with trillions of dollars in assets.

“To be eligible for a PPLI policy one must generally be what the SEC terms a Qualified Purchaser, having not less than $5M of investments. Most companies’ minimum premiums are also $5M.”

From the Wikipedia page, International Tax Planning, we give you the six principles which are making PPLI such a sought after wealth structuring technique.


EWP gives privacy and compliance with tax laws. It also enhances protection from data breach and strengthens family security. EWP allows for a tax compliant system that still respects basic rights of privacy. EWP addresses the concerns of law firms and international planners about some aspects of CRS related to their clients’ privacy. EWP assists with the privacy and welfare of families by protecting their financial records and keeping them in compliance with tax regulations.

Asset protection

EWP protects assets with segregated account legislation by using the benefits of life insurance. This structure uses asset protection laws in the jurisdictions of residence to shield these assets from creditors’ claims. A trust with its own asset protection provisions can still receive additional protection with the policy.

Succession planning

EWP includes transfers of assets without forced heirship rules directly to beneficiaries using a controlled and orderly plan. This element of EWP provides a wealth holder a method to enact an estate plan according to his/her wishes without complying with forced heirship rules in the home country. This plan must be coordinated with all the aspects of a properly structured PPLI policy together with other elements of a wealth owner’s financial and legal planning.

Tax shield

EWP adds tax deferral, income, estate tax benefits and dynasty tax planning opportunities. Assets held in a life insurance contract are considered tax-deferred in most jurisdictions throughout the world. Likewise, PPLI policies that are properly constructed shield the assets from all taxes. In most cases, upon the death of the insured, benefits are paid as a tax free death benefit.

Compliance simplifier

EWP adds ease of reporting to tax authorities and administration of assets, commercial substance to structures. In addition, the insurance company is considered the beneficial owner of the assets. This approach greatly simplifies reporting obligations to tax authorities because assets in the policy are held in segregated accounts and can be spread over multiple jurisdictions worldwide.

Trust substitute

EWP creates a viable structure under specific insurance regulations for civil law jurisdictions. It also creates a new role for commercial trust companies. In most civil law jurisdictions, trusts are poorly acknowledged and trust law is not well developed. As a result, companies with foreign trusts in these civil law jurisdictions, face obstacles.


A PPLI asset structure is arguably the most efficient structure available today for wealthy families who wish a conservative and efficient structure to integrate tax-free investment growth, wealth transfer, and asset protection.

by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC.
CEO, Founder @EWP Financial

~ Your best source for PPLI and EWP

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International Tax Planning & Trust Substitute

International Tax Planning and Trust Substitute

Part 1

EWP (Expanded Worldwide Planning) and Trust Substitute

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) in Action

The Dangers of Over Reliance on Trusts

The more sophisticated tools gravitate toward the most sophisticated users of these tools. A Stradivarius violin is used by a master violinist and not a beginner. When clients and advisors initially approach us about Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), they are confused about its uses.

For the most part, what these clients and advisors have read about are beginning uses of PPLI. They have not explored the upper reaches and more sophisticated uses of asset structures that employ PPLI to its full effect. To keep to our analogy, they have picked up a beginner’s violin, and know nothing of the deep, rich, and more pleasing tone of the Stradivarius violin.

We will now discuss the sixth principle of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP), Trust Substitute. We will of course speak of the obvious use of a PPLI asset structure in place of a trust structure in some civil law jurisdictions, but we will also expand our discussion to explore the very nature of trust and how they differ from the sophisticated structures that we use for the world’s wealthiest families. Our discussion will also touch on why a PPLI structure is a far better tool for the client who seeks both maximum privacy, asset protection, and tax efficiency, as well as full compliance with the world’s tax authorities.

Advisors Don’t Know What They Don’t Know………..


Read full article in our Partner Site

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by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC, @ EWP Financial

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International Tax Planning & Compliance Simplifier

Part 1

EWP (Expanded Worldwide Planning) and Compliance Simplifier

PPLI Keeps You Out of a Spider Web Structure

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For most people a spider’s web is not a positive image. For this reason Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) uses a spider’s web as a symbol of an overly complicated asset structure with multiple entities and a confusing array of boxes and arrows. In its complexity, what we call a Spider Web Structure might look impressive to some, but the end result is summarized in three words: overcomplication, confusion, and uncertainty. Later on we will give you a detailed description of a Spider Web Structure.

We propose an alternative asset structure that we call an EWP Structure.

At the heart of an EWP Structure is a Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) policy which was born out of the necessity to achieve greater tax efficiency, privacy, and asset protection in one low cost structure with institutional pricing. A PPLI structure is made possible through the laws and regulations of life insurance. A much more stable and straightforward body of law than the more politicized tax laws and regulations worldwide.



by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc

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Q & A – Nothing Is Impossible

Questions and Answers from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP RFC


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Nothing Is Impossible

PPLI: Under Higher Laws

 Section 3, Part 3


Professor PPLI, attitudes toward a subject are a powerful force in how people perceive the subject. These attitudes are also sometimes hard to change. How does this relate to PPLI?

If you study the history of science, you can readily see how once a long held belief or attitude is changed, it becomes a new paradigm that awaits another future paradigm shift. What was thought impossible becomes possible.

A similar phenomenon exists in sports with world records. Take Roger Bannister breaking the four minute mile record. In a sense, once the barrier is broken, others are given permission to accomplish the same feat. Again, the impossible becomes possible.

In the world of PPLI, I see a paradigm shift coming for professional trustees’ attitudes towards PPLI asset structuring. Professional trustees can be distrustful at first hearing of these structures, because they think they will lose control of the assets. Exactly the opposite is the case.

When assets are placed in a PPLI structure, the insurance company takes over the administration of these assets, but leaves the trustee in ultimate control. This relieves the trustee of many routine tasks, but the trustee retains their role as the ultimate decision maker, since they are the owner of the policy. They are even free to switch insurance companies, if the administration of the assets is not to their liking.

In a article, “Private Placement Life Insurance Primer, Recent tax law changes make for a particularly interesting time to explore PPLI,” Brian Gartner and Matthew Phillips explain why some trustees are particularly attracted to PPLI.

“Trustees are attracted to PPLI in the context of multi-generational trust planning for three main reasons: (1) assets within a trust allocated through PPLI grow on an income tax-deferred basis; (2) the trustee can make income tax-free distributions to trust beneficiaries from PPLI without having to consider the income tax consequences of liquidating assets; and (3) the trust will eventually receive an income tax-free insurance benefit, which will serve to effectively step-up the basis of the assets within the trust that are allocated through PPLI.”

Lastly, assets within a PPLI structure are frequently held for the long term, usually until the death of the insured person, thus, the trustee can be assured of controlling the assets for a long time period.

The title of this section is “Nothing Is Impossible.” This is a big statement. What relevance does this have to PPLI?

To solve issues in the world of international asset structuring, it is sometimes necessary to ask the simple, yet sometimes profound, questions that come from children: why is the sky blue? And where was I before I was born?

At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc., we ask ourselves one simple question at the beginning of each client engagement:

How can we achieve the maximum amount of tax efficiency, asset protection, and privacy for this family?

Our picture in the book is telling for the answer to this question. Nobody has told the mountain goats in this picture that what they are doing is extremely dangerous and they can fall to their peril at any point.

Our task at Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. is not so dramatic, but we do endeavor to achieve what might seem impossible by conventional structuring methods. How do we accomplish this? By engaging you with simple questions that bring about the answer to the important question posited above.

Ironically, our international PPLI structuring techniques are usually far more conservative than the complex trust structures that clients frequently bring us to review. Sometimes they have spent weeks pondering over this overly complex structure and still do not understand them.

We treat each of our cases as a blank canvas that confronts each painter at the beginning of a painting project. Our goal is to paint, read structure, a picture that gives a family all they desire in the realm of tax efficiency, asset protection, and privacy.

Professor PPLI, how is PPLI similar to the popular phrase, “to hide something in plain sight?”

The key to this question lies in two words–life insurance. Most all life insurance policies in most jurisdictions throughout the world offer all or some of these benefits:

  • Tax-deferred growth of internal cash value
  • Tax-free death benefit
  • No capital gains taxes
  • No income taxes
  • Ability to access Cash Value through tax-free loans
  • Ability to manage or mitigate estate taxes

PPLI now adds these benefits:

  • Invest in almost any asset class
  • Increased asset protection as insurance company becomes beneficial owner of assets in the policy
  • Simplified reporting and privacy as only total cash value is reported
  • Policy can hold CFC’s and PFIC assets on a tax-deferred basis
  • Excellent vehicle to hold real estate
  • Provided a stable, globally recognized structure for tax authorities

Most attorneys, asset managers, trustees, and accountants have received no formal education in PPLI international asset structuring, and their professional societies have scant knowledge on the subject. After they drop their frequent preconceived prejudices against life insurance, and study the subject of variable life insurance, and the tax code that supports it, they usually have two reactions.

One, is they are astounded that they have not been using this simple and conservative method from the beginning of their practice. Or, two, they think it is too good to be true and reject it, because it does not conform to the methods that most of their peers use in the field of international asset structuring.

At Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc. we encourage you to take the path of the first reaction. To that end, we appreciate your questions and comments. Please give us your thoughts on PPLI international asset structuring.


by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc

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Q & A – Elegant Simplicity Revealed

Questions and Answers  from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”

~ by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC


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Elegant Simplicity Revealed 

The PPLI Insurance Code 

Part 2, Section 2


Professor PPLI, there is an ironic challenge in presenting PPLI to families. Sometimes there is initial resistance because of a family’s previous experience involving life insurance. But in the end, when the family understands all the benefits of PPLI, they frequently say, “This sounds too good to be true.”

In this section of the book we quote Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, a Hungarian biochemist,

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” 

At Advanced Financial Solutions Inc., our approach is to give the basics of Private Placement Life Insurance, (PPLI), then, have the family “discover” it themselves through their questions. This approach is also more interactive, and is not just a one-sided lecture.

PPLI works somewhat differently throughout the world, and family’s initial perceptions about life insurance differ. In the Far East, life insurance is looked upon as a favorable and conservative financial instrument. In the U.S., those who offer securities frequently position the investments in opposition to life insurance, hence, there might be a less favorable initial perception.

Whatever the perception of life insurance throughout the world, countries like Bermuda and Barbados have crafted their laws in order to have state of the art PPLI policy features. In most jurisdictions in the world, this allows clients with proper structuring the ability to place almost any of their worldwide assets inside a PPLI policy to achieve the maximum amount of privacy, tax efficiency, and asset protection.

Private letter rulings issued by the IRS in the U.S. form a significant body of knowledge that must be understood to properly construct a policy for those with a connection to the U.S.. Professor PPLI, please comment further on this.

Particularly in reference to investor control issues, the revenue rulings that you mentioned are of significance. We list them in this Section of the book.

Investor control is a large subject, so I will give you a few fairly recent items of interest on the subject. From the much cited Webber case, I find this point worth mentioning from the judge in the case, Judge Lauber:

“The ability to choose among broad, general investment strategies such as stocks, bonds or money market instruments, either at the time of initial purchase or subsequent thereto, does not constitute sufficient control over individual investment decisions so as to cause ownership of the private mutual fund shares to be attributable to the policyholders.”

One simple planning technique to shield the wealthowner from investor control is to use a non-grantor trust, and not a grantor trust to own the policy. In most situations, investor control issues pertain to the owner of the policy, and if the wealthowner is not the grantor of the trust, and the trustee of the non-grantor trust makes the investment decisions, the wealth owner is further insulated from investor control issues.

The 7702(g) variety of PPLI has become more popular of late, in part, because of the large premiums families are contributing to policies. On a traditional policy design, this usually means a correspondingly large death benefit for the policy. On a 7702(g) policy, the death benefit component of the policy is usually only 5% of the total assets contributed to the policy, and the policy owner does not have access to the growth of the cash value, during the life of the insured person of the policy. This fact eliminates the constructive receipt element of the investor control theory, as the growth in the cash value passes as a tax-free death benefit at the death of the insured person of the policy. This is just another reason to employ this type of policy design for wealthy families throughout the world.

Attempting to make something that is complex, like the tax code, simple, often results in something that becomes even more complex. This phenomenon is frequently seen in tax legislation throughout the world. This is well stated by a tax law professor in this section of the book. Professor PPLI, what are your thoughts on this subject?

Emily Cauble, Professor of Law at DePaul University, tells us,

“Simplification of tax law is complicated. Yet, political rhetoric surrounding tax simplification often focuses on simplistic, superficial indicators of complexity in tax law such as word counts, page counts, number of regulations, and similar quantitative metrics. This preoccupation with the volume of enacted law often results in law that is more complex in a real sense.”

Why not work with a structure like life insurance, that is inherently simpler and more universally established throughout the world than the shifting sands of the world’s tax codes? Yes, is most definitely our answer at Advanced Financial Solutions.

Some of you might be saying, “Well, this sounds good, but have you ever tried to figure out a life insurance policy? Isn’t it just as complex?” This is very true of most retail insurance policies that have a cash value. Not so with PPLI, which can be illustrated on a simple Excel spreadsheet. Fees are also very low in comparison, and the life insurance component is institutionally priced.

Leonardo da Vinci tells us that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” At Advanced Financial Solutions Inc., we employ this concept in both our PPLI designs and working with families throughout the world.


by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc

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Rarity and Value

PPLI Will Take You Home

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Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) is a refuge in today’s stormy sea of compliance and tax regulations. When we are distraught and confused our home becomes a safe haven. This is exactly what PPLI does for the assets of wealthy international families.

The rarity of an item tends to give it value. When this item becomes the subject of theft, it can produce more interest, and, even, greater interest if the item is later recovered. This was the case recently with the ruby slippers in the American musical, fantasy film The Wizard of Oz. In the film the ruby slippers have the magically property of taking you Home.

Let us first explore how PPLI creates a safe haven for the assets of wealthy international families. This is best done by diving into the stormy sea of compliance and tax regulations. One understands a subject by the way it is framed. In this case we are speaking about intellectually framing. Let me explain further.

When we wish to go into more depth about a subject, we must first choose a source. How this source of our new knowledge presents the topic becomes part of our new understanding of the topic. This is what I mean by intellectual framing.

Politics gives us a clear example. When we read about a political event from one news source, and, then, read about the event from another news source that has a very different political perspective the two stories can sound very different indeed.

Filippo Noseda of the Mischon de Reya law firm in London is an attorney who is active in privacy issues for wealthy international families. In Trusts & Trustees, “CRS and beneficial ownership registers—what serious newspapers and tabloids have in common,” we think his framing of the privacy vs. transparent issue is excellent. We will express his viewpoint in excerpts from the article.

“The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published a damning opinion in which he decried the unclear objectives pursued by the AMLDs and, more generally, the invasive nature and lack of proportionality of the proposed registers.”

“As if they were living on planet Europa rather than in Europe, the European Parliament, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and politicians show complete disregard for the warnings raised by their own data protection bodies and instead appear hell-bent on introducing a system of total transparency.”

“Data protection has moved to the forefront of people’s minds, prompting the EU to overhaul the existing data protection rules and has also led to a number of ground-breaking decisions by the European Court of Justice which confirms that the pendulum has started to swing back towards greater protection of privacy and data protection.”

“It is somewhat curious that serious newspapers who have been covering both the private banking scandals and the erosion of privacy seem unable to make the connection between data protection on the one hand, and the CRS and beneficial ownership registers on the other.”

In structuring assets for wealthy international families, the insurance company of the PPLI policy becomes the beneficial owner of the policy’s assets. This structure gives compliance simplification, as what is reported to tax authorities is the total of the assets inside the PPLI, and not the individual assets inside the policy.  At the death of the insured life in the PPLI policy, the assets pass as a tax-free death benefit to the beneficiaries.

Let us return to The Wizard of Oz and the ruby slippers. These magic, ruby, slippers had the property to take you Home once you clicked your heals together three times.  The slippers were stolen thirteen years ago from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  They were recently recovered by the FBI and returned to the Museum.  Of course, this publicity gave the slippers added value, and increased their rarity as something unique.

With PPLI you don’t need the ruby slippers to take you Home. You gain protection from the stormy seas of tax compliance by having your assets inside a PPLI policy, so you are Home from the beginning. You also won’t have your assets taxed, since they are inside a tax-free environment.

We invite your participation in our quest to take you Home to a truly unique structuring tool that has rarity and value. Please write your thoughts and questions at the bottom of the page. If you want to communicate privately with me don’t hesitate to drop me a line:

Thank you.

 Michael Malloy, CLU, TEP, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc


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How Is Change Implemented with PPLI?

Change Comes Slowly to PPLI

 Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) gives wealthy international families a conservative structure to achieve enhanced privacy and a tax free environment for their assets. At first glance, it would not seem that PPLI would share something in common with Ralph Lauren, the well-known fashion designer, but read on, and you will see how they are connected.

PPLI structuring is basically using available laws and regulations to the best possible advantage for each unique family situation. Why not take a “straight and narrow” route and avoid issues with the tax authorities of all the countries involved in the structure?

Life insurance is well established in the laws and regulations of most countries in the world.  It is considered a benefit to society: 

“Life insurers are vital to an efficiently functioning modern economy and society and are a key contributor to long-term economic growth and improved living standards,” states a 2016 report by The Brattle Group, “The Social and Economic Contributions of the Life Insurance Industry.”

Because life insurance permeates the social fabric at all economic levels, the laws and regulations on life insurance tend to be more stable and less subject to political change. Later on we will give you an example of how a tax law change in the U.S. is playing out in a complex manner that will take many years to fully resolve.

What are a few key elements that show us why it is vital to use life insurance in structuring for wealthy international families?  Here are two significant ones:

Simplified Reporting

A compliant PPLI policy is an asset that can hold various investments, including multiple underlying traded or non-traded companies as well as private equity. The insurance company is legally seen as the owner of these investments, hence this simplifies the reporting requirements under most reporting regimes. CRS reporting is also simplified and limited, based on correct structuring at the inception of the process.

Asset Protection

 PPLI can offer privacy and, in some cases, significant protection from creditors. Assets held in a PPLI policy are held in a Separate Account and are protected from the assets of all other policyholders and the general account of the insurance Company.

Here is our example of how a recent tax law change is playing out in the U.S.

New Hampshire Fights Supreme Court

Sales-Tax Ruling

Retailers in five states without a sales tax face new burdens


New Hampshire is one of five states without a broad-based statewide sales tax, a status that had insulated retailers from a task familiar to businesses elsewhere. That cushion lasted until the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which lets states require retailers to collect sales taxes even if those businesses lack a physical presence in the state.

States with sales taxes are still figuring out how they’ll approach out-of-state retailers. New Hampshire, with a special legislative session scheduled for Wednesday, isn’t waiting to respond. Its reaction to the court’s decision will spur the next round of skirmishes over cross-border sales-tax collection.

States with sales taxes are working on their regulations to get out-of-state sellers registered in their systems and collecting the tax. In some cases, they need to wait for their legislative sessions for new or revised laws.

Does all this sound familiar?  Change the actors and subject matter in the play and you have the worldwide reactions to implementing FATCA, CRS, Registers of Beneficial Ownership and other mandates from governments and regulatory bodies around the world.

Although far from timeless, our firm’s PPLI structures that use life insurance as its core element have withstood many years of changes in transparency, tax legislation, and calls from government officials to end “aggressive tax planning.” Planning with life insurance could be seen as the eye of the hurricane–an area of calm in the midst of constant change. We achieve outstanding results without being aggressive.

We thank Ralph Lauren for his quote, and enjoy the challenge of securing exceptional results that have weathered many storms. As always, we welcome your comments and questions.

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 by Michael Malloy CLU TEP RFC, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc

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What Is Money?

Fungibility Is Key to PPLI

At the center of a Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) structure is fungibility. For PPLI this means in essence taking assets in a taxable environment into one that is tax-free. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, fungibility derives from the Latin verb fungi meaning “to perform (no relation to the noun “fungus” or the plural “fungi.”)

If something is fungible it is mutually exchangeable like an ounce of gold, or in other circumstances, as we will read further on in our article, the U.S. dollar held in the form of $100 bills.

This mutual exchange for a taxable environment for one that is tax-free is accomplished in PPLI by using life insurance. Perhaps a fungible transaction is not quite the right analogy.

Life insurance in the structure functions more like a membrane, where once the assets are properly structured inside the PPLI policy, the assets become recharacterized into a solution that has both outstanding tax benefits as well as enhanced privacy. Clients also can permeate this membrane for tax-free distributions on the income from the assets.

Worldwide life insurance has a tax-favored status, and this exchange from taxable to non-taxable can be accomplished with the creation of a PPLI structure that takes into account these key elements in a wealthy family’s situation:

  • Nationality of the family members;
  • Country of residence(s);
  • Location and type of assets;
  • Laws pertaining to trusts, life insurance, and other entities to be used;
  • Aims and goals of planning.

Once these elements are researched and analyzed, a tailor-made structure can be created for the family.  Wealthy international families are drawn to PPLI structures, in part, because of the legitimate enhanced privacy that can be accomplish inside this structure.

Governments and their tax authorities are in place, in the highest form, to secure the public good through the collection of taxes. Their citizens also have rights to privacy and, within the realm of law, to protect their private property from harm. Therefore, there is a built-in tension between these two aims.

Another built-in tension can occur in the financial world.  What happens when a country’s institutions don’t support a traditional banking system? One occurrence is that new systems are created to support the unique circumstances.  Let us take the extreme example of Somaliland.

For this example teaches us one of the underlying properties of what we call money: a means to facilitate a transaction. We are thankful to Matina Stevis-Gridneff in a recent Wall Street Journal article for these excerpts.

“An Isolated Country Runs on Mobile Money”


“HARGEISA, Somaliland—Hyperinflation and economic isolation have pushed this poor, breakaway republic closer to a virtual milestone than most other countries in the world: a cashless economy.

The continent, home to many of the world’s frontier economies, has come closest to skipping, or “leapfrogging” as it’s often called, traditional brick-and-mortar banks and going straight to heavily using phones as wallets.

And nowhere are the benefits of mobile money more apparent than in Somaliland, where the extreme economic and financial conditions have allowed Zaad, a service from the main local telecom, Telesom, to catalyze commerce in one of the most isolated parts of the world.

Once a week, Abdulahi Abdirahman hauls two bulky, heavy sacks of shillings from his gas station across Hargeisa to the money-exchange area downtown and, several hours later, returns with just a few dollar notes in his back pocket and his Zaad wallet loaded up.

Clients pay Mr. Abdirahman in Somaliland shillings. He needs to pay suppliers in dollars. Using Zaad, he gets half the payments in mobile money, meaning the cumbersome ritual has become more manageable in these times of high inflation.”

Money in Action Using PPLI

Now, again courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, by Joe Craven McGinty, we find another example of how money works in the real world.

“Cash Flow or Cash Stash? How Money Moves Around”


A record level of U.S. cash is circulating, but Americans aren’t spending the bulk of it.

So, where’s the money?

Up to two-thirds—or as much as $1.07 trillion—is held abroad. About $80 billion is held domestically by depository institutions. And the rest—as little as $453 billion—is in the hands of domestic businesses and individuals.

Last year, according to figures published by the Fed, $1.6 trillion was in circulation, including $1.3 trillion in $100 bills, or 80% of the total. In 1997, $458 billion circulated, including $291 billion in $100s, or 64% of the total.

The circulating currency held abroad could range from one-half to two-thirds of the total, the Fed estimates, or a range of $800 billion to $1.07 trillion.

Wealthy families worldwide have the option of creating their own unique structures using PPLI. These structures can become, in effect, private banks. By uniting PPLI with family assets and a bespoke banking relationship, much is achieved that cannot be accomplish in any other way. Please let us know how we can assist you in this endeavor. We welcome your questions and comments.

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  ~ by Michael Malloy CLU TEP RFC, @ Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc

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PPLI: Life Insurance Defined


Life Insurance for International Clients


Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) has a clear advantage in structuring for international clients. In most countries life insurance is defined in their legal codes, and considered a well-accepted benefit for society as a whole. Life insurance is something every one either has or can provide needs justification.

In today’s world of increased tax transparency, after the enactment of FATCA and CRS, life insurance in the form of PPLI not only can give clients increased tax transparency, it can produce a structure that is simple and straightforward.

This is largely accomplished by the fact that in a properly designed PPLI structure the life insurance company becomes the beneficial owner of all the assets inside the policy, and only reports the total cash value of these assets—no other details.

In designing policies for international clients, we endeavor to find what are termed safe harbors. What are these safe harbors? They are sections of the tax codes of countries that clearly define a concept. We then model our structures so that the elements of the structure fit these clearly defined concepts. For those countries that use a common law approach in their tax codes, we are also able to find even safer harbors if case law rules favorably on the tax codes that we use as the framework of our structure.

So, if PPLI structures are able to solve the important issues of increased client privacy and a simplified tax transparent structure, it behooves us to establish a definition of life insurance. We will now give a brief history of how life insurance has been defined in the U.S. tax code, as it pertains to structuring for international clients.

Before the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, which created Code Section 7702, life insurance was only rudimentarily defined. At this time, the Code Section that gave the clearest definition of life insurance was Code Section 101(a), issued in 1957. The definition of life insurance hinged on some element of risk-shifting. The magnitude of the risk was not at issue.

A 1941 Supreme Court case, Helvering vs. LeGierse, concluded that “historically and commonly, insurance involves risk shifting and risk distribution.” This case gives us a definition of life insurance consistent with Code Section 101(a).

Fast forwarding to 1984 and Code Section 7702(a), life insurance is defined for U.S. federal tax purposes as a contract which is a life insurance contract “under the applicable law,” if it meets either the cash value accumulation test or the guideline premium test. Both of these tests are designed to insure a high level of pure death risk coverage relative to the amount of premium contribution. If it fails to meet either of these tests, a contract can be a valid life insurance contract under Code Section 7702(g).

Particularly for clients who are non-U.S. persons, we frequently employ a structure that comes under Code Section 7702(g), so that the least amount of life insurance can be used. This is the so-called Frozen Cash Value (FCV) PPLI policy. To further accomplish a tax-free death benefit to beneficiaries, we also look to Code Section 101(a) to define life insurance in this context.

As far as reporting to tax authorities is concerned, PPLI can mitigate or simplify reporting associated with pre-immigration planning and U.S. exposure, Controlled Foreign Corporation (“CFC”) holdings, FATCA, and CRS.

As always, we welcome your comments, questions, and a brief fact pattern to determine if our Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) concepts for PPLI structures can be employed successfully for you. We thank you for your continued trust and confidence.


 by Michael Malloy CLU TEP RFC, @ EWP Financial


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