5 Wealth Managers Join Aspiriant’s Principals Group

One of the important services we provide to clients is helping them develop a succession plan for their businesses and families. For their plans to be successful long term, it’s imperative that Aspiriant be there for them now and in the future.

As such, we have our own succession plan goal — and that’s to always be an employee-owned, independent wealth management firm serving clients nationwide. To further that goal, we’re proud to announce that five next-gen wealth managers have been named principals of the firm.

This group of professionals shares one thing in common: a sincere and active commitment to the long-term financial, emotional and relational needs of all of our clients.

“Above all else, becoming a principal is about improving the alignment of interests with our clients and the durability of our organization,” said Aspiriant Chief Executive Officer Rob Francais. “All principals take on the financial responsibility of helping the firm remain permanently independent on behalf of clients and our people.”

Aspiriant now has more than 60 employee-owners of the firm, ensuring continuity in quality and personalized client service for years to come.

Meet the new principals

The following advisors have strengthened Aspiriant’s bench of financial expertise with backgrounds in estate planning, wealth management, accounting and investment advisory. They have proven their abilities to add value to any client service team and continue to grow by increasing their responsibilities at the firm.

Ryan Benson, CPA, CFP® — Manager, Wealth Management — Orange County

Ryan Benson, Manager in Wealth Management, PrincipalRyan serves some of our most complex accounts in the Family Office Group. Before joining Aspiriant in 2014, Ryan spent eight years in accounting. His financial planning experience includes estate review and modeling and compliance matters. Recently, he’s taken on the responsibility of nurturing the talent of Aspiriant associate employees in Los Angeles. It’s no wonder that with Ryan’s drive to learn, strong work ethic and deep integrity, he earned an Aspiriant Core Value award this year.

RYAN’S FINANCIAL TIP: When making year-end charitable contributions, consider using appreciated stock. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the limit on cash gifts to public charities from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income, so you may get a better tax break when gifting appreciated securities or mutual funds to qualified organizations. The tax deduction is equal to the full market value (FMV) of the position on the date of the gift, AND you will avoid the tax on the unrealized gain (FMV minus the price paid for the security). Just be sure you have owned the security for at least 12 months, otherwise the deduction is limited to basis.

Lani Kapur, CFP® — Manager, Wealth Management — San Francisco

Lani Kapur, Manager in Wealth Management, PrincipalLani’s career has grown at Aspiriant. She started in 2007 as a specialist in investment operations. Wanting to develop closer relationships with clients, Lani transitioned to wealth management two years later, rising from associate to manager. Today she helps more than 50 clients in the San Francisco Bay Area make meaningful financial decisions. Her work has included leading a major corporate engagement with 20 to 30 C-suite and other executive-level clients.

LANI’S FINANCIAL TIP: New parents (or soon-to-be parents), be sure to create or update your will. A will is critical to ensuring that your minor children are taken care of following the untimely death of you and the other parent. It allows you to designate a person you trust to take care of your child, rather than relying on the court to do so.

Nate Kublank, CFP®, CPWA®, AEP® — Director, Investment Advisory — Milwaukee

Nate has been a part of Aspiriant since 2016 when he rejoined a professional team he had worked with during his earlier days as a consultant at Deloitte Investment Advisors, which became a part of Aspiriant in 2010. Today, he serves over 35 clients in Milwaukee. Nate’s desire to educate people about financial management goes beyond day-to-day client service. He remains an active alumnus at the University of Wisconsin by lecturing for its Personal Finance Program, serving on the finance program’s advisory board, and advising top business owners through the university’s Family Business Center.

NATE’S FINANCIAL TIP: Before making a major purchase, such as a second home, take some time to think about it and analyze the true costs before you close the deal. Your desire to have this asset might be strong now, but you should consult your advisor to be sure it fits in well with your long-term financial plan.

Natalie Morrella, CFP® — Manager, Wealth Management — Silicon Valley

Natalie Morrella, Manager in Wealth Management, PrincipalNatalie joined Aspiriant in 2017 as part of Stanford Investment Group in Mountain View, Calif. Natalie’s financial management career started 12 years ago when she was a college intern at SIG. Over the years, she’s worked up the ranks by serving nearly all the office’s clients as a portfolio administrator and, now, as a manager in wealth management. She’s taking on more team leadership responsibilities to help generations of clients develop long-term financial plans.

NATALIE’S FINANCIAL TIP: New tax laws may provide more IRA conversion opportunities. You should review your income at the end of each year to determine whether a percentage of your tax-deferred retirement assets can be converted into a Roth IRA. This would allow you to build up assets tax-free for either yourself or the next generation.

Melissa Punim, J.D., LL.M — Manager, Strategic Planning — Los Angeles

Melissa Punim, Manager in Strategic Planning, PrincipalA lawyer with a Master in Taxation, Melissa provides indispensable estate planning guidance as a member of our Family Office Group. She joined Aspiriant in 2012. Four years later, her ability to transform clients’ values into intergenerational wealth planning led to her receiving an Aspiriant Core Values award. Today, she takes the lead on some of Aspiriant’s largest accounts.

MELISSA’S FINANCIAL TIP: If you’ve created a revocable living trust, that’s great, but you’re not done yet. Make sure the titles of your assets, such as real estate and brokerage accounts, are named in your living trust. Otherwise, your heirs will still have to go through probate.

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