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Is a Bubble Forming in FinTech?

Investors, analysts, and pundits remain highly optimistic on the Financial Technology (“FinTech”) sector driven by factors such as technology advancement and evolution, evolving consumer behavior and expectations for digital delivery of financial services, and regulatory response to the financial crisis.  Mercer Capital examines valuation multiples within the FinTech industry over time to see whether public ...

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What Makes Sequence of Returns Risk So Dangerous

High account balances is an often overlooked risk related to sequence of returns especially for investors within five years of their retirement.  Ron Surz, target-date fund expert and ThinkAdvisor contributor, warns that most target-date investors are in grave peril. Read more about why sequence of returns is so risky in this article at ThinkAdvisor. ...

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The Valuation Analyst’s Role

In Economic Substance Analyses Valuation analysts and other financial advisers are often called on to perform economic substance analyses in federal income tax challenges. In these cases, the Internal Revenue Service challenges a tax deduction or loss related to a taxpayer transaction by applying the so-called economic substance doctrine. This doctrine allows the Service to disallow a taxpayer transaction i ...

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How to Value Venture Capital Portfolio Investments

This blog discusses the four-step process for providing fair value marks for venture capital fund investments in pre-public companies: 1) examining the most recent financing round economics, 2) adjusting valuation inputs to the measurement date, 3) measuring fair value, and 4) reconciling  and testing for reasonableness.   Sujan Rajbhandary, vice president in Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation G ...

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Overcoming Obstacles to Effective Scenario Planning

Scenario planning, an effective decision-making tool under uncertainty, is underutilized by organizations primarily due to deep-seated cognitive biases that exist.  Drew Erdmann, Bernardo Sichel, and Luk Yeung of McKinsey & Company tell managers how to address these common biases and provide guidance along with a practice cheat sheet on the dos and don’ts of scenario planning. Read more on scenario plan ...

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Life Insurance Policy Audits

Dispute Defensible Best Practices (Part 1 of 3) TIn this first part of a three part series, the author suggests that while there are many articles about how to properly analyze a life insurance policy to determine its value, the critical analysis that is needed is not to ascertain value, but to determine viability. Professional advisors involved in buy-sell and exit and succession planning will want to foll ...

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Appropriate Use of Extraordinary Assumptions and Hypothetical Conditions

Healthcare Valuation Considerations when Valuing Outpatient Services With healthcare evolving, how can practitioners project the future benefit stream related to outpatient services? In this article, the authors discuss the use of hypothetical and extraordinary assumptions. They argue that use of these assumptions requires careful consideration as they can have a significant effect on value. In addition, th ...

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Simpler Times Under ASC 805

In this post, Samantha L. Albert, senior financial analyst with Mercer Capital, talks about the FASB’s Simplification Initiative which is designed to make small changes to GAAP that will reduce costs and complexity, while maintaining or improving the usefulness of financial statements. One potential change announced on May 21, 2015 is to ASC Topic 805. The FASB has proposed modifying standards related to ho ...

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Commercial Real Estate, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Cram Down Interest Rates (Part II of II) In this two-part series the author provides as overview of the issues confronted by courts and financial experts involved in a commercial real estate (CRE) bankruptcy. Read the first part in this series here. In this second part, the author continues the discussion regarding how a financial expert may go about to determine the appropriate interest rate for the underl ...

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Considerations in Selecting an Expert Witness

Conducting Due Diligence on the Expert and Setting Expectations of the Expert Witness in a Litigation Engagement One of the risks of doing business today is getting involved in business disputes. Disputes take many forms. Disputes can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Business disputes are frequently complex and the parties involved are sophisticated and motivated to su ...

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A Capital Raise in Acquisition Clothing?

M&A is an infrequent occurrence among business development companies (BDCs). “Under the external management model, the opportunity for material cost savings is limited, and prices at or near NAV indicate that investors assign little ‘franchise’ value to the lending and origination platforms.” Travis W. Harms, of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group, discusses the recent acquisition of MCG Ca ...

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