Livia Benjamin is a Partner in the La Jolla office at Duffy Kruspodin. She has over 18 years of experience in public accounting practice. Livia is passionate about international and state tax matters and focuses on consulting and compliance in the areas of real estate, service-related industries, health care, and working with high-net-worth families. 

Russ Alan Prince: Can you tell us a little about your firm?

Livia Benjamin: At Duffy Kruspodin we understand what it takes to excel in today’s highly competitive environment. We understand the needs of entrepreneurs working hard to grow their businesses. We understand the complex regulatory compliance requirements entrepreneurs and high-net-worth families face. We have the expertise these clients require and we work very hard to not only meet but exceed their expectations.

Prince: How do you approach working with clients?

Benjamin: People are multifaceted having a variety of needs and wants. I strongly believe it’s therefore very important to take a holistic approach with clients. I aim to help them reach the goals they’ve set for themselves and to help them most efficaciously deal with their concerns.

Taking a holistic approach starts by developing a deep understanding of the lives of my clients. The secret to developing such an understanding is asking questions and really, really listening. By carefully listening to my clients I—in conjunction with other experts, many of them at Duffy Kruspodin—can develop and implement customized on-point planning-based solutions. In this way, we’re very often able to find ways to add considerable value. 

When working with successful clients, there is rarely one single strategy that makes sense. Instead, the way to deliver maximum benefits to clients is by being able to integrate several strategies that operate synergistically. For most of our clients, bright-line strategies that can mitigate taxes are very attractive. Examples of these include qualified opportunity funds, charitable structures, and private placement life insurance. 

The holistic approach is especially valuable when I work with family-run businesses. I have many real estate clients, for example, that are family businesses. From ways to mitigate income and estate taxes to making sure their wealth cannot be taken from them because of some unfounded lawsuit, to ensuring the business effectively is passed down the generations, these families are looking for state-of-the-art solutions. Being able to exceed their expectations requires integrating several areas of expertise. 

When it comes to arranging for the cost-effective transition of a family enterprise across the generations, not only do I deal with the financial matters, but I also—with my team—can help make sure the successive generation has the knowledge and skills and is motivated to continue to grow the company. In these situations, I often need to tap into the expertise of the firm such as our valuation group and our family office practices. No matter whom I bring to the table, I’m responsible for making it all work for my clients.

Prince: What do you see as the future of your practice?

Benjamin: My practice is growing. Entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals want solutions that make a major difference in their financials and their lives. My holistic approach can help them optimize their finances and many times optimize their personal lives. And very few people are not interested in optimizing. 

I pick up clients, for example, because many of them are being poorly served compared to what we can offer them. That’s not to say these clients are not getting some good answers from their accountants, but those accountants are unable to deliver exceptional value across a range of issues and concerns. With my team, I can deliver considerable value that addresses a multitude of issues and concerns synergistically, and that’s what entrepreneurs and high-net-worth family want. Therefore, I know my practice is going to continue to grow.

RUSS ALAN PRINCE is the Executive Director of Private Wealth magazine ( and Chief Content Officer for High-Net-Worth Genius ( He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs, and select professionals.