Case Study #4

A family sold an operating business in May 2008 and hired Certis shortly thereafter.   Our initial mandate was to maximize yield on the cash proceeds of the sale while we developed the investment policy statement.  Because this client is also a well known public figure he is constantly approached with investment ideas and had made numerous investments over the years that he’d lost touch with.  In addition to conducting an audit to uncover the fate of what were mostly seed investments in companies that didn’t survive, we also established a vetting process that enabled the client to say ‘Yes’ while referring people to Certis so that appropriate due diligence could be completed.

The portfolio remained invested in short term cash substitutes, with the exception of an allocation to commodities, through spring 2009.  The portfolio is currently allocated conservatively across multiple assets classes.  As with some of our other clients, we have capitalized on the fact that this client can withstand having a certain portion of his assets in illiquid segments of the market, and have structured one-off private transactions over 2 and 3 year terms at yields that have historically been unobtainable, yet are backed by an abundance of A+ collateral. We believe that these yields are only available due to the unusual credit environment we are currently experiencing and we do not expect them to recur in the near future.  Certis has helped the client feel comfortable taking advantage of these unique circumstances by educating him about every aspect of these deals.

This client has been especially interested in our ability to interact with his extended family and to play a role in the financial aspect of his family’s dynamics.  His household currently supports his children and step-children of various ages.  There is also financial support for an extended network of family members that have had varying degrees of personal financial success. Our ability to be the objective third party, where we often play “good cop / bad cop” according to the circumstances, is instrumental in our capacity to add value in this particular situation.