Interview with Steve Blatt

What led you to become interested in numbers and accounting and how old were you when you realized this was going to be a career for you?

When I graduated college I was an accounting and finance major and I was interested in Real Estate economics and went to work for an accounting firm with finance clients(Wall Street). I really enjoyed working with one of the premier Investment Banks as a client and learned about investments

Once you graduated school, was your goal to start your own firm right away, or did you first work under the umbrella of another firm and then grow into T,M,B&G from there?

      I always thought that I would have my own firm. Started at Oppenheim Appeal and Dixon(Spicer and Oppenheim) and thought I would be there for a short period of time and ended up staying for nearly 10 years before they went out of business. I thought seriously about starting my own firm before joining Squar Milner but realized I wouldn’t be able to attract the large suffocated clients and glad I didn’t start my own firm.

What are some of the typical “wealthy people’s investment and tax problems” that you solve? Too much cash brings on what kind of exposure, liability, cost etc?

Clients that own real estate generally sell properties as part of a tax free exchange and finding replacement properties to avoid paying taxes is tricky but if done well can be very rewarding.

At what stage of wealth, in terms of both money in the bank and property assets would you suggest a “Family Trust”?

Family Trusts or Living Trusts generally should be looked at with a net worth in excess of 2.5M.

Why do some families choose to eschew the services of an accounting firm and set up their own Family Office? What are the pros and cons of that setup?

Family offices can be very expensive to start up and staff. They generally need to have a family worth of in excess of 500M to make sense. By hiring an accounting firm they can have access to a lot of the features of a family office with much less money.

If someone is a new startup – let’s say in tech, which will hold patents and IP, what are some of the first, structural formation pieces of advice you would give them..Such as S corp vs C corp vs LLC?

LLC is generally a better way to own IP assets for estate planning reasons.

We hear about states like Delaware and Nevada having privacy laws whereby investigators cannot “pierce the veil” and find the actual shareholders, does that still hold true in 2018, or are those old myths and legends?

Delaware and Nevada are still where most attorneys like to set up entities.