Boston Consulting Group senior partner Ron L. Nicol approaches financial decisions with the thoroughness and precision demanded of the nuclear submarine officer he was for seven years after graduating from the Naval Academy. So believe him when he says this is an excellent time to execute a high-end maneuver known as a charitable lead annuity trust, or CLAT.
Nicol earned an executive M.B.A. at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 1986 and is chairman of Fuqua’s Board of Visitors. In 2012 he set up a $1 million CLAT to benefit both the school and his two daughters. But first he ran all the numbers himself.
“It’s such a [tax-] efficient way to do charitable giving. It’s almost like it’s too good a deal to turn down,” says Nicol, a managing director in technology and organization based in Boston Consulting’s Dallas office. He concludes CLATs are underutilized because “these things are being described to people by attorneys instead of businesspeople.”
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