The 80/20 Rule

The 20% Is Yours With PPLI

In terms of structuring assets for wealthy international families, Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) puts you at the top of your class.  What is top of your class? Let us apply the 80/20 rule.

Wikipedia gives us a brief history of the 80/20 rule.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted the 80/20 connection while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, as published in his first work, Cours d’économie politique.

Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

It is an axiom of business management that “80% of sales come from 20% of clients”. Richard Koch authored the book, The 80/20 Principle, which illustrated some practical applications of the Pareto principle in business management and life.

Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) is the overarching principle that our firm embraces that is becoming a new model for those who structure the assets of wealthy international families. If we define success as the 20% part of the 80/20 equation, what are these characteristics that assist in this success:

  • All assets inside the PPLI policy receive tax deferral, not only investments, but business income too.
  • The assets pass tax-free to the beneficiaries named in the PPLI policy. In a properly structured policy one creates a tax-free environment for these assets. Assets can be located anywhere in the world.
  • Because life insurance is used, FATCA and CRS reporting is greatly simplified, and in some cases, is eliminated.
  • Families receive enhanced privacy, because the insurance company becomes the beneficial owner of the assets inside the PPLI policy.
  • The EWP structure provides excellent asset protection.
  • The EWP structure is low cost with fees averaging 1% of assets.
  • The EWP structure is fully compliant with the tax authorities of all tax jurisdictions.
  • Should an untimely death of the wealth creator occur, his family is protected with a tax-free PPLI death benefit.

80/20 In Action

According to a recent report on CNBC, just three stocks are responsible for most of the market’s gain this year.  Amazon, Netflix, and Microsoft together are responsible for 71% of S & P 500 returns and for 78% of NASDAQ 100 returns.  Not quite 80/20, but the principal is there.

Now let see how the 80/20 plays out more personally in our daily lives. If you have had the experience of working closely with a group of people over a long period of time, you find out their strengths and weakness and your own. 

You find that that some do things well in some areas and not so well in others–and if you are honest with yourself–this applies to observations about yourself too.  So if we take the 80/20 rule as our guide, we are grouped into the 80% part or the 20% part, depending on the task or character trait that we are measuring.

Our firm must conduct diligent research to achieve the aims of the families that approach us for PPLI structuring. We must find the best possible way to give them the tax and enhanced privacy benefits that they seek. Our goal at the end of our research, is to place the family in the 20% part of the equation.

We wish to elevate you to the 20% through our rigorous and thorough PPLI structuring process. We invite you to contact us today so we can begin the process now.

Download PDF

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

 

Michael Malloy Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is Time?

PPLI Stops Time

 This week we will learn how a sophisticated structuring technique for wealthy international families, Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI), has the ability to stop time. Yes, this may seem at first hearing outrageous, but from a tax and privacy perspective, this will be the conclusion of our article.

If PPLI has this ability, we must first define time. A tall order, you say. Let us look at a few quotes from William Shakespeare to get our bearings.

“Make use of time, let not advantage slip.”

“Let every man be master of his time.”

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”

From these three quotes, we read that one element of time is scarcity: you only have so much of it.  And through your use of time, it is possible to place your affairs in more favorable circumstances.

What happens when assets are placed in a properly structured PPLI policy? These assets enter a privacy enhanced and tax-free environment. If this structure is properly maintained, from the time the policy is issued until the death of the last person insured under the PPLI policy, the assets are not subject to tax and receive enhanced privacy.  As far as tax laws are concerned TIME HAS STOPPED.

PPLI and Tax Law

 Let us leave the realm of poetry and re-enter the domain of tax concepts.  One element of tax law that is germane to time is the concept of constructive receipt. 

According to Investopedia, “Constructive receipt is a tax term mandating that an individual or business must pay taxes on income despite the fact that it has not been physically received. An individual is considered to be in constructive receipt of income when they have the ability to control or utilize the funds, even if they do not have direct possession of them, or if it is guaranteed they will have the ability to draw upon the funds in the future. A business is said to be in constructive receipt if the business has the ability to use the money without restriction or if it has been deposited into the business’ account. Constructive receipt of income prevents taxpayers from deferring tax on income or compensation they have not yet utilized or spent.”

The concept of constructive receipt is no longer applicable to a properly structured PPLI policy, because the assets have been reconstituted inside an insurance policy. The insurance company is now the beneficial owner of these assets for reporting purposes. When a family wishes to receive funds from the policy, they are distributions from the PPLI policy, and only charged a small fee, most usually around 25 basis points.

Again, the laws usually applicable to the assets inside the policy no longer apply. TIME HAS STOPPED.

Our firm gladly welcomes your structuring challenges, questions, and comments. We wish to participate in your quest to, as Shakespeare says, “Make use of time, let not advantage slip.”

Download PDF

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

 

Michael Malloy Information

 

 

 

 

The Art of War in Action

Achieve Stealth Victory with PPLI

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) allows you to achieve levels of legitimate privacy not possible with solely planning with trusts. The PPLI policy works in harmony with a trust to create an environment of enhanced privacy. So what war are we talking about? This war is being played out worldwide almost daily between governments and individuals on what constitutes privacy.

This war is not so simple. California just passed a landmark privacy bill, and after the bill’s passage, one aspect that remains ambiguous is what constitutes the data that can be made private at the individual’s choice. We have an excerpt below, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, by Marc Vartabedian, Georgia Wells, and Lara O’Reilly.

“One of the points of contention is likely to fall around the legislation’s definition of “personal data,” which includes broad categories such as biometric data, psychometric information, browsing and search history and geolocation data. The act’s current version states that personal information doesn’t include information that is publicly available or general enough to not identify an individual, a broad definition technology companies may lean on heavily to argue their collection of such data is justified.”

Thankfully, things are somewhat simpler in our field of planning for wealthy international families. By combining a trust and a properly structured PPLI policy, we can transfer beneficial ownership to the insurance company which creates a much welcomed benefit for families.

This is particularly true for those that reside in countries where the government is unstable or corrupt, or sometimes unfortunately both.  This issue raises real concern for the personal data of wealthy international families in the massive exchange of data now taking place under CRS.

In a recent letter to The Financial Times, Filippo Noseda, a partner at Mishcon de Reya LLP, gives us a startling example:

“In Argentina seven members of the Argentine tax authorities were arrested on February 2 for allegedly selling taxpayers’ information, showing the risks faced by citizens living in high-risk jurisdictions who for one reason or another have bank accounts abroad (Argentine police also seized $5m in cash, which gives a measure of the scale of data trafficking). Dissidents with foreign accounts will be particularly vulnerable to reprisals from their governments.”

Hiding in Plain Sight

What are the steps that allow an insurance company to become the beneficial owner of the assets inside a PPLI policy, and give clients a level of legitimate privacy not possible with other techniques?  Here they are:

  • The policyholder contributes the assets that he or she wants to protect as a premium payment, in cash or in kind, to a bespoke investment fund created by the life insurer. The life insurer opens a dedicated account at a custodian bank for the underlying assets of the policy.
  • The policyholder selects an investment strategy and nominates an investment manager. The life company formally appoints the investment manager.
  • This internal investment fund is exclusively linked to the policyholder’s life policy. The value of the PPLI policy is equal at all times to that of the underlying internal investment fund.
  • The life insurer has now become the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) of the underlying assets. In return for the premium payment, the policyholder has a “claim” on the life insurer for the value of the underlying investment fund.

This planning technique of using the insurance company as the beneficial owner of the assets in a PPLI policy is akin to what we learn in a 5th century text by Sun Tzu, The Art of War. This famous text teaches ostensibly about war, but its basic message is–avoid open conflict unless it is absolutely necessary.  A few key quotes from the book demonstrate this:

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

“A good commander is benevolent and unconcerned with fame.”

This is precisely what we do in marrying a trust with a properly structured PPLI policy.  The result is what we call Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP). By finding the best of what a trust and an a PPLI policy have to offer, we create this legitimate environment of enhanced privacy without a conflict with tax authorities in any jurisdiction worldwide. This is stealth that achieves a victory by study and superior knowledge.

Please bring us your privacy concerns, so we can construct a bespoke structure that fits the aims and goals of your family.

 

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

 

Michael Malloy Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Succession Planning

     PPLI Offers the Following Advantages  

  • Transfers assets without forced heirship rules
  • Transfers assets directly to beneficiaries
  • Transfers assets using a controlled and orderly plan

 

Many countries, primarily in civil-law jurisdictions, require forced distribution of assets at death according to strict laws and regulations.  This usually takes the form of percentage shares of assets that will be distributed to spouses, children, and other close relations of the deceased.1  A PPLI policy purchased outside the home country of the owner or policy holder is one method to mitigate these forced heirship rules.2

The PPLI policy is a contract between the owner of the policy and the insurance company to pay the beneficiary of the policy the death benefit upon the death of the insured under the contract.3 A typical beneficiary provision of a life insurance policy states:  “unless an alternate payment plan, acceptable to us, is chosen, the proceeds payable at the insured’s death will be paid in a lump sum to the primary Beneficiary. If the primary Beneficiary dies before the insured, the proceeds will be paid to the contingent Beneficiary. If no Beneficiary survives the insured, the proceeds will be paid to your estate.”  Since a typical PPLI policy is executed outside the home country of the policy owner, the forced heirship laws do not apply, as the policy will be governed by the laws where the insurance company is domiciled.4

This element of Expanded Worldwide Planning (EWP) provides a wealth holder an excellent method to enact an estate plan that conforms to his/her own wishes, and not be dictated by the forced heirship rules of his/her home country.  To be successful this needs to be well-coordinated with all the aspects of a properly structure PPLI policy, as well as all the other elements of a wealth owner’s financial and legal planning.

Endnotes

  1. “Wikipedia Forced heirship,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_heirship
  2. Whelehan, “International Life Insurance: An Overview,” in International Life Insurance, edited by David D. Whelehan, JD (Chancellor Publications Limited, 2002) at 1.
  3. Christensen, Burke and Graves, Edward, McGill’s Legal Aspects of Life Insurance, (The American College Press 2008), at 1.3.
  4. supra note 2.

 

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

 

 

Compliance Simplifier by Michael Malloy

PPLI Offers the Following Advantages

  •       Adds ease of reporting to tax authorities
  •       Adds straightforward administration of assets
  •       Adds commercial substance to structures

Compliance Simplifier

The beneficial owner of the assets in a properly structured PPLI policy is the insurance company.1 This greatly simplifies any reporting obligations to tax authorizes, because the assets inside the policy are held in segregated accounts, and frequently spread out over multiple jurisdictions worldwide.  The PPLI insurance company becomes the administrator of the assets and their beneficial owner. Because they are held in segregated accounts, they are not part of the insurance company’s balance sheet and are often placed in the hands of a custodian bank.2

Most PPLI companies will accept any qualified institution to act as custodian, and any qualified asset manager to direct the investments in the segregated accounts.  This relationship between the owner of the policy, the insurance company, and the segregated accounts is codified in the laws of the various jurisdictions where PPLI insurance companies are located, and therefore lends viable commercial substance to such a structure.3

 

Endnotes

  1. “Wikipedia Private placement life insurance,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_placement_life_insurance see also, “The New Age of Global Tax Transparency and Registers of Beneficial Owners. The Compliant Solution,” Taxlinked.net https://taxlinked.net/getattachment/m/FT-Alternative-Solutions/Publications/The-New-Age-of-Global-Tax-Transparency-and-Registe/The-New-Age-of-Global-Tax-Transparency-and-Registers-of-Beneficial-Owners-(3).pdf
  2. Bortnick, “Tax Management: Building Wealth, Reducing Taxes,” in The PPLI Solution, Delivering Wealth Accumulation, Tax Efficiency, and Asset Protection Through Private Placement Life Insurance (The PPLI Solution) at 33 (Bloomberg Press, 2005).
  3. “Wikipedia Private placement life insurance,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_placement_life_insurance

 

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

 

 

Asset Protection

PPLI Offers the Following Advantages

 

  • Protects assets with segregated account legislation
  • Protects assets from claims of creditors
  • Protects assets using the benefits of life insurance

 

The assets inside a PPLI policy are protected from creditors of the insurance company because they are segregated into separate accounts.  These separate accounts are not part of the general assets of the insurance company.1 The assets are protected from their own creditors, because of the asset protection laws in the jurisdictions where the PPLI companies are located.2 For example, the Bermuda Life Insurance Act of 1978, § 26(1), provides an unlimited exemption to the insured of both cash value and death benefit.   Further protection can be offered with the policy being owned by a trust that has its own asset protection provisions.

A PPLI policy actually offers three layers of asset protection:  the fact that they are held in segregated accounts; laws that exempt life insurance from the claims of creditors; and the asset protection laws in the jurisdictions where the PPLI insurance companies are located.

In addition, the PPLI policy inherently offers considerable tax benefits as well as asset protection. This would counter any argument that the transaction was a mere so-called fraudulent transfer to thwart creditors.3

 

Endnotes

  1. Lawson, “An Introduction to PPLI,” in The PPLI Solution, Delivering Wealth Accumulation, Tax Efficiency, and Asset Protection Through Private Placement Life Insurance (The PPLI Solution) at 5 (Bloomberg Press, 2005).
  2. Williams, “Jurisdiction—Home or Away?” in The PPLI Solution, supra note 1 at 285.
  3. Rothschild and Rubin, “Asset Protection: Riches Out of Reach,” in The PPLI Solution, supra note 1 at 50.

 

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