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How To Safely Select Staff Members Who Have Access To Family Finances

Lisa Marie Presley sued her former manager over a failed investment.

In 2005, the manager sold 85 percent of Presley's interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises for $100 million. He then invested the money into Core Entertainment, which went bankrupt in 2016. According to her lawsuit, Presley lost $24.5 million as a result.

Five months later, the former manager sued Presley for $800,000 that he alleges she owes him for unpaid work.

Presley claims to be $16 million in debt, and she owes $10 million in unpaid taxes. The manager alleges that Presley's spending, not his mismanagement of her funds, caused her current financial troubles.

Presley terminated the manager in 2016. Emily Marcus "Lisa Marie Presley Sued by Former Manager for $800,000" usmagazine.com (Jul. 24, 2018).


Commentary and Checklist

The background on how the family chose the financial advisor named above is unknown. However, it is important that all family employers perform due diligence when hiring any staff employee who will have access to family finances.

In addition to performing background checks and due diligence on new hires, family employers should never provide unlimited access for a staff member to financial accounts, including trusted and long-term staff. Often, it is the most trusted individuals who embezzle because the trust they hold allows them the opportunity to embezzle without detection. Always require financial advisers and managers to receive your approval before making investments or transferring funds. 

Here are some additional ways you can keep your finances safe when employing financial advisors and managers:
 

  • Only hire someone who has the required qualifications. Ask for evidence of annual renewal of any professional certifications to keep on file.
  • Check with local licensing boards to make sure they are in good standing.
  • Implement a systematic policy for auditing financial records and investments that includes routine third party auditing.
  • Do not hire financial advisors who have a conflict of interest. Your financial advisor should never invest your money in a company with which they, their family, or their associates are affiliated.
  • Train all staff on how to report suspected financial wrongdoing.
  • If a member of the staff suspects that your financial manager has acted unethically, investigate the matter right away. 
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