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Carlos Batlle - J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Carlos Batlle knows what financial advice is important to attorneys. After all, he spent 23 years as an attorney focusing on tax law and estate planning before joining J.P. Morgan Private Bank three years ago as a wealth advisor in Miami. “It was an exciting opportunity to take my experience in estate planning and work within a team to advise high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients on their overall wealth plan,” he says.

 Batlle’s role as a wealth manager is helping clients identify and achieve their objectives both during and after their lifetime. He says he finds a great deal of satisfaction in helping clients navigate both the technical and the emotional issues around their complex estate and gifting plans and developing the solutions that best fit their goals.
Batlle says his strengths as a wealth manager include a deep knowledge of the tax code and the various strategies that can achieve specific client objectives. “But even more importantly, my ability to listen to and understand my clients – and gain their trust – helps me maintain strong client relationships over many years,” he says. “The issues I work with on clients are very personal and involve their entire families, so it is critical to have a clear understanding of family dynamics and goals, which always requires a deep level of understanding and trust between the advisor and client.”

When choosing a wealth manager, Batlle suggests asking the following questions:

  • How do you provide a complete overview of my wealth management picture – including estate planning – and identify my needs?
  • How do you analyze my investment needs and deliver solutions for those needs?
  • How do you staff and deliver client service?
  • How are your people evaluated, measured and paid?

Batlle also emphasizes the importance of a team approach that includes attorneys, accountants and other advisors. If each advisor works in a vacuum without information on the other pieces of the plan, the client could face unintended tax or other consequences that are completely avoidable, he says.

To address that issue, Batlle recommends periodic meetings and ongoing communication among all advisors. “Because we have insight into a client’s documents, investments, family philosophy and charitable intent, we often serve as a coordinator among the various advisors,” he says. “We never try to replace lawyers or accountants, but rather recognize the need to work closely with them to achieve optimal results for clients.”
Reflecting on last year, Batlle says clients were racing to set up trusts before December 31, and did not have the time to identify or get valuations on the most appropriate assets to fund the trusts. “We took advantage of low interest rates to offer credit solutions,” he says. “In this way, clients borrowed cash at low rates, funded the trust, and this year have been able to swap out the cash for other assets. We are now continuing to take advantage of low rates to help clients use credit to lock in their gains, freeze grantor-retained annuity trusts, and to provide seed capital for sales to grantor trusts.”
Carlos Batlle is Managing Director — Wealth Advisory Group of JP Morgan Private Bank in Miami. He has been honored as the Professional Advisor of the Year by the Key Biscayne Community Foundation. Batlle received his B.S. from Georgetown University, his J.D. from Columbia University and his LL.M, from the University of Miami.

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