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M. Holly Isdale

Founder, Wealthaven

Dubbed “the Fixer” by Town and Country magazine in 2014, Holly Isdale is one of the leading financial advisors in the United States. Her lifelong passion has been to simplify the complex. Over the course of her 20+ year career, she has become a trusted advisor to some of the country’s wealthiest families and entrepreneurs, helping to untangle and streamline their personal and financial affairs. A tax attorney by training, Holly built and ran the estate and financial planning efforts for JPMorgan, then for Goldman Sachs and then Lehman Brothers, years in which she was advising on some of the largest IPOs and mergers in history. After Lehman Brothers, Holly oversaw the family office, planning and advisory teams for Bessemer Trust.

Increasingly frustrated by the fact that even families with unlimited resources were unable to obtain truly conflict-free advice, Holly left Wall Street in 2010 to start Wealthaven, a consulting firm focused on helping families unlock the true nature of their wealth. Wealthaven serves as an outsourced, full-service family office on an interim or permanent basis in addition to its consulting work on succession, governance and investment matters. Recent mandates have included the structuring of buy-sell (shareholder) agreements, creation of private trust companies, establishment and operation of family offices, including the development of investment committees and boards. Wealthaven assists in the selection of managers and provides ongoing oversight for clients, placing $2.3b of assets in 2015.

Wealthaven is retained regularly by families or closely held businesses as a project manager for highly complex transitions (sale of company, implementation of governance programs) augmenting the capacity of a family and its advisors to manage these events.

Holly received her B.A., cum laude, from Cornell University and her J.D. from Boston

University School of Law. She holds leadership positions in a number of industry groups and is a sought after speaker on issues of family business success, estate and wealth planning. Holly is also known for her work in digital asset management, cybersecurity and, most recently, gamification in the context of family education and governance.

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