Profile of Norman Solberg

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After many years of international law practice, my role now focuses solely on an area about which I long have cared deeply.

I now teach clients and friends about ways to keep their family wealth secure and how to assure that it is put to use in the ways they wish.

Your Wealth and How To Keep It

The hard data shows that today most personal wealth in the US and many parts of the world is self-made, not inherited or confiscated. It is earned by hard work and intelligence.

(In the US, over 70% of the wealth of the Forbes 400 is self-made and that percentage is growing. Only about 11% is inherited. That data is for multi-billionaires, but the percentage of self-made millionaires is even higher.)

Opportunities exist throughout the world and at all levels of society to copy that achievement, for those who do it the right way.

In one real sense, the matter will always be extremely political. Those lacking wealth (including most governments) always want to share in –– or even simply take –– the wealth that has been hard-earned by others.

Whether you are citizens of the United States or of another country, you are under attack from excessive taxes and bureaucratic regulations, asset seizures, social unrest, lawsuits and other potential abuses. We all know about information leaks and the loss of privacy today –– and the increasing risks of traditional offshore tax havens.

The issue then becomes how to shelter what you have earned and preserve your privacy? It can be done. Why were almost no US citizens listed in the Panama Papers disclosures of 2016? Most likely, because they do not need to park money in Panama! Or Switzerland. Or the Cayman Islands.

Many simply do not know about the huge protections that are available in certain parts of the United States due to the legal benefits there, for those who how to use them.

I personally know what methods work and how you can benefit from these relatively new devices in the United States. My mission is to counsel others about this. It is very economical for you to do so.

There is tremendous flexibility. Customized approaches are best, since every situation is somewhat different, but such approaches are not expensive.

Of course, one must beware of the one-size-fits-everyone providers who sell “living trusts” to the unsophisticated general public. These are entirely different and do not offer the above benefits.

As noted, the administrative trust company I recommend and use, South Dakota Trust Company, LLC, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to serve as a professional corporate co-trustee. There are technical legal reasons for this and you need the best. Due to its deep expertise, brand leadership, volume of clients and economies of scale, fees are extremely reasonable.

SDTC and I work on a collaborative basis with existing investment advisors, lawyers, CPAs, estate planners and other advisors. Thus you can keep your own if you wish, or if you are an advisor, you can work with us. Since we do not compete with such advisors, we support and backstop their relationships with clients. The extra expense to base assets in South Dakota is negligible.

What do I know, and why is it helpful?

As a long-time international attorney and counselor at law around the world, I personally have wide experience inside many different industries, including manufacturing, finance, banking, high technology, insurance and merchandising. I have worked directly at senior levels with top management and boards of directors of US and non-US large multinational companies, and for wealthy families.

foreign investment advisors

I served for several years as head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Kansai Chapter, here shown with the CEO of Procter & Gamble Japan (later Vice Chair of P&G) and the head of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

All this has taught me that there are good and bad ways to manage one’s wealth. I truly believe that much of the learning in the popular media encourages far too much risk and costs in today’s world. Nonetheless, those choices are yours.

I have worked in a Wall Street law firm and in five multinational companies, including as Vice President and General Counsel of a family controlled, New York Stock Exchange-listed, Fortune 500 company, and special outside counsel to Sharp Corporation in Japan from 1991, where I also established a private law practice in 1992.

I have advised on a wide variety of legal issues, ranging from complex business and high technology projects to personal wills, trusts and estate issues for both holders of extremely large fortunes and moderate income families. I have seen the best with whom to place one's investments, and the worst.

I have been licensed to practice law in New York, Massachusetts, Missouri and Illinois, and for 24 years as a foreign lawyer licensed by the Ministry of Justice in Japan.

I am a graduate of Columbia University Law School, Columbia College and the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia’s post-graduate program on international business and international tax law.

Columbia University in New York
Columbia University in the City of New York

Including myself, my family now includes over 115 years of American expatriates in Asia - spanning five generations.

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