Insights

2022 Planning Strategies

High-net-worth individuals and families, philanthropists, and business owners should evaluate their tax and estate plans so they are best positioned for the long-term outlook. You might consider reviewing the following strategies to help meet your financial, wealth-transfer, and philanthropic goals.

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Leveraged Finance: 2021 in Review

Debt financing experienced powerful momentum in 2021 as deal volume hit an all-time high and new financing options emerged. William Blair’s Leveraged Finance Group reviews the key themes that drove debt financing markets in 2021.

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Dealmaking Amid America's Water Dilemma

The United States has a problem with water. Water supply shortages and aging infrastructure have led to a critical need for upgrades, repairs, and entirely new water systems. This has created a rich M&A environment for companies that can solve America’s most pressing water issues.

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Education Financing

Among its many benefits, a college education can have a significant impact on future earning potential. It is an important investment. It is also becoming a more expensive one as increases in college costs continue to outpace inflation.

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Snack to the Future

Snacking is becoming a more central feature of consumer eating habits and innovation is resulting in more healthful and functional options appealing to a wider range of consumers.

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Spouse Lifetime Access Trust

The SLAT is a type of irrevocable trust used to transfer wealth outside your estate in which one spouse creates a trust for the benefit of the other spouse and his/her heirs. The trustee of the trust is authorized to make distributions to the grantor’s spouse, during the spouse’s lifetime, should the need arise.

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Inspiring Philanthropy Across Generations

For philanthropic families, charitable giving is more than just a way to strengthen their communities and support causes that are dear to their hearts. Philanthropy is a central part of the family’s mission, values, and legacy.

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Tax Increases Are Coming

President Biden has outlined the three pillars of the Build Back Better initiative: the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the American Jobs Plan (AJP), and the American Families Plan (AFP). These plans touch just about every corner of the U.S. economy.

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ESG Integration Across the Cap Spectrum

With large- and small-cap companies in different stages of ESG adoption, tracking, and reporting, we believe investors should take a tailored approach to engagement to drive the most positive outcomes.

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Retirement Plan Beneficiary Options

The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act”, which was passed into law in December 2019, introduced substantial updates to longstanding retirement account rules. One of the most notable changes was the elimination (with some exceptions) of the ‘stretch’ provision for non-spouse beneficiaries of Inherited IRA accounts.

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Moving Forward: Optimistic Economic Outlook

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, President Biden’s economic plan, and hopes for consumer spending to return to more normal levels raise the prospect for strong economic expansion in 2021, says William Blair analyst Richard de Chazal in Client Focus.

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Asset Allocation: Your Biggest Investment Decision

Building a portfolio involves countless decisions. But none is more important than how you allocate your wealth across asset classes. This white paper describes the process of developing a customized asset-allocation strategy, achieving meaningful diversification across and within asset classes, and monitoring allocations and reviewing portfolios.

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Defining the Distribution Tech Landscape

When looking at the rapidly emerging distribution tech sector, P&C insurance analyst Adam Klauber notes that, “Shifts in the distribution value chain are the main theme to understand and to watch over time.”

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Estate Planning Checklist

Estate planning is a method for determining how to distribute your property during your life and at your death. William Blair published an organizer to help facilitate the process.

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William Blair FinTech: 2020 in Review

The push toward automation, digitalization, and predictive analytics across all aspects of financial services gained momentum during the pandemic. This has set the stage for what should be an incredibly active year in 2021 in terms of consolidation and capital raising.

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Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Estate Planning

Avoiding the most common mistakes in estate planning can save unnecessary costs, delays, and conflicts for your heirs. Our latest paper highlights the common mistakes of estate planning in the context of the new Trump administration and provides an update on the current estate, tax, and legal environment.

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A Back-to-School Season Like No Other I Client Focus Q3 2020

COVID-19 continues to accelerate broad structural changes in society. The reopening of schools this fall is a perfect example. Client Focus takes a look at how teachers are embracing technology to help students and the ed-tech companies seeing a big demand for their products and services.

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New Tax Breaks Target Investing in Struggling Communities

A program established under the sweeping Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has created opportunity zones, which offer significant tax breaks to individuals and companies who invest in these selected urban and rural areas that meet income or poverty thresholds.

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State of the Consumer Recovery

COVID-19 has had profound influences on the U.S. economy, institutions, and lives and livelihoods of consumers. William Blair's consumer equity research team anticipates the recovery in consumer spending to continue, albeit probably at a less steep pace in coming months and with likely volatility as coronavirus cases begin to rise again.

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How COVID-19 is Impacting the Insurance Industry

Based on conversations with management teams and investors, we examine how the pandemic is shaping near- and longer-term market conditions for insurance brokers, P&C carriers, claims service providers, and warranty and F&I administrators.

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Food for Thought: Update on COVID-19’s Impact on the Food and Beverage Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to drastically alter the food and beverage industry, presenting wide-ranging challenges and opportunities for company CEOs, employees, investors, and consumers. Retailers and food manufacturers continue to assess when pantry loading will begin to moderate. Companies across the supply chain are adapting to ensure the safety and continuity of their workforce; meanwhile, the CARES Act has added new complexity to these unprecedented times.

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COVID-19 Philanthropy Resources

Our firm is dedicated to assisting our nonprofit clients with both their social and financial returns. We are also proud to partner with our philanthropically inclined clients to help them channel their support.

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Coronavirus Federal Tax Relief

Our firm is dedicated to assisting our nonprofit clients with both their social and financial returns. We are also proud to partner with our philanthropically inclined clients to help them channel their support.

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Why ESG Matters in Emerging Markets | February 2020

As ESG factors come to the forefront of investing, more and more issuers are taking heed—including those in emerging markets. In this Q&A, members of our emerging markets debt team discuss how they view and integrate ESG factors in a highly analyst-driven approach.

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2020 Outlook for Emerging Markets Debt | February 2020

As ESG factors come to the forefront of investing, more and more issuers are taking heed—including those in emerging markets. In this Q&A, members of our emerging markets debt team discuss how they view and integrate ESG factors in a highly analyst-driven approach.

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ESG in Emerging Markets Debt

As ESG factors come to the forefront of investing, more and more issuers are taking heed—including those in emerging markets. In this Q&A, members of our emerging markets debt team discuss how they view and integrate ESG factors in a highly analyst-driven approach.

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Client Focus: Women in Investment Management

In investing and other arenas, women are trending higher—and their voices, together, can improve decision-making and success. In this publication, we celebrate experienced women in the asset-management industry.

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Investment Opportunities in China A-Shares

In this webcast, William Blair’s Vivian Lin Thurston discusses three investible themes in China: the rising middle class and growing domestic consumption; innovation and technology-led growth; and the secular growth of healthcare spending.

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Focus on Infrastructure Investment Drives Future Opportunity

At the recent P3 Conference & Expo, the Trump administration’s push for a massive infrastructure spending plan sparked new conversations about infrastructure services opportunities and public-private partnerships playing a bigger role in the delivery of new projects.

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Why China A, Why Now?

The domestic Chinese equity markets are some of the largest and most liquid in the world, and they offer unique investment opportunities—yet they have been largely neglected by institutional investors.

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Asset Allocation: Your Biggest Investment Decision

Building a portfolio involves countless decisions. But none is more important than how you allocate your wealth across asset classes. This white paper describes the process of developing a customized asset-allocation strategy, achieving meaningful diversification across and within asset classes, and monitoring allocations and reviewing portfolios.

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The Case for Macro

Our Dynamic Allocation Strategies team explains why global macro investing offers many potential benefits when included in an investment portfolio.

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Starting to Re-Risk

Having navigated a number of geopolitical events in 2016, our Dynamic Allocation Strategies team entered 2017 with a more optimistic view.

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Game Theory Primer

Game theory provides a framework for making sense of geopolitical and macroeconomic developments that affect asset prices—and investors can leverage game theory to assess investment opportunities.

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