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Financial Intermediary
Learn about asset management solutions designed for Retirement Plan Advisors, TAMPs/Outsourcing Providers, Subadvisory Program Sponsors, RIAs/Financial Advisors and Trust Institutions.
Learn about asset management solutions including: global index management, active equity and fixed income, target retirement date funds, and manager of manager programs.
Get answers to your investment challenges with asset management capabilities including alternatives, exchange traded funds, fixed income, mutual funds and tax-advantaged equity.
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LGBT Individuals and Non-Traditional Families


Life driven solutions that make all the difference


Solutions for LGBT Individuals & Non-traditional Families We understand the unique needs of LGBT individuals or same-sex couples and have the knowledge and experience to help you focus on achieving your life’s goals. Our financial experts have years of dealing with the special considerations of LGBT individuals and nontraditional families, from co-owned or commingled assets in civil unions, domestic partnerships or marriages to relationship dissolutions, death of a partner, and complex family dynamics.

While success can bring added financial complexity –  especially when certain tax advantages and legal rights afforded to others are simply unavailable to you – Northern Trust can help you clearly navigate a path to achieving your financial goals.

United States v. Windsor
Potential Wealth Planning Impact of Same Sex Married Couples

The June 26, 2013 Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor means the U.S. Government must now recognize married same-sex couples for the purposes of federal laws and programs.

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The Situation

Our client wanted to ensure that his partner of more than 20 years was well provided for should he predecease him. He owns a successful landscaping business — where his partner’s adult daughter works — and a significant investment portfolio.  Knowing that his partner is not financially sophisticated, and that his business lacked a plan for the future, this client turned to Northern Trust for help.

Customized, integrated solutions

Meeting with Northern Trust financial professionals helped our client clarify both his immediate and long-term goals. Financial security for his partner was the priority, but he also wanted to make his partner’s daughter his successor in the business, support his favorite charities during his lifetime and minimize his wealth transfer taxes. Our team of experts devised an integrated wealth management strategy driven by the clients’ objectives. We assisted by:

  • Working with his estate planning attorney to fund a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust (CLAT) with assets from his individually held investment portfolio. Northern Trust was selected to invest those assets. The client can take an immediate income tax deduction, and the CLAT will pay named charities each year over the client’s remaining lifetime. At his death, all remaining assets distribute to a trust for the benefit of his partner, with Northern Trust named as trustee.
  • Creating a succession plan with his estate planning attorney that funds a five-year Grantor Retained Income Trust (GRIT) with 49 percent of his business units. During the GRIT’s five-year term, he is entitled to receive the income, if any, from the trust; at the end of the five-year term, his partner’s daughter will receive the units, including the value of any appreciation over those five years.
The funding mechanisms for these sophisticated trust vehicles as well as today’s low interest rates allowed our client to reduce his income taxes AND to take advantage of the 2012 tax opportunity to make up to $5 million in TAX-FREE transfers to his partner and his partner’s daughter. He achieved peace of mind, knowing his priorities had been addressed and his wealth transfer objectives had been satisfied.
Mark Braun

Mark Braun

National Liaison, LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice
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Mark Braun

Mark Braun

National Liaison, LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice

Mark Braun, Vice President, is the National Practice Liaison for the LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice. Mark is responsible for bringing Northern Trust expertise and support to our LGBT clients and community organizations in the markets we serve. He also establishes partnerships with other client advisors, such as estate planning attorneys, accountants and realtors, who devote part of their practice to LGBT clients and concerns.

Prior to his current role, Mark was a Private Banker in the Wealth Advisory group where he focused on bringing sophisticated lending and depository solutions to successful families and individuals. Mark has been with Northern Trust for more than 30 years.

Mark holds his B.S. in Business Management from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Mark has affiliations with Lambda Legal, Point Foundation, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Howard Brown, Chicago House, Equality Illinois, Center on Halsted, Victory Fund, Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, Aqua Foundation for Women, Equality Florida, Horizons Foundation and the East Bank Club.

Mark is also on the Board of Directors for the Point Foundation, the country’s largest provider of college scholarships to LGBT Youth.

Mark also serves on the National Leadership Council for Lambda Legal.


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