Hitchner’s annual review of need-to-know BV topics

BVWireIssue #257-4
February 28, 2024

valuation profession news
expert witness, cost of capital, risk-free rate, discounted cash flow (DCF), estate & gift, insurance, growth rate, liquidity, valuation report

Last week, over 500 attendees listened to Jim Hitchner (Valuation Products and Services) do his annual review of recent need-to-know concepts, data, models, and methods in business valuation. Here are a few key points from the two-hour webinar (we’ll have detailed coverage in the next issue of Business Valuation Update).

  • There should be no liquidity discount for a 100% interest—this is what he says is the “last word” on this matter (not so, according to comments from the audience!);
  • Although many thought leaders say “no” to using a normalized risk-free rate, over half of the audience said they use it either as primary data or as backup;
  • Hitchner updated his cost of capital spectrum chart that some practitioners use in their valuation reports—it’s a good visual and serves as a sanity check;
  • What’s all the recent hubbub about the three-stage DCF ? “We’ve been doing it all along,” he said;
  • New research on company growth is important, but it suggests you take a DCF out 25 years (“that bugs the hell out of me”);
  • Plagiarism is a real bugaboo with Hitchner (his work has been stolen many times)—his advice: when in doubt, footnote it;
  • Keep an eye out for the upcoming ruling by SCOTUS on the COLI valuation issue (he “started all this” 20 years ago with his testimony for the IRS in the Blount case);
  • Valuation experts will feel the effects of the tougher Rule 702 on expert testimony that kicked in this past December; and
  • Hitchner’s “Myth Busters” group is tackling certain ideas, concepts, or notions kicking around the BV world that they feel need to be dispelled (they’re covered in his monthly Hardball with Hitchner publication).

Readers of Business Valuation Update will be well familiar with the above topics, as Hitchner referred to several articles in the newsletter that figured into his discussions. Of course, he gave his unique perspective in what was a very interesting and informative webinar (an archived recording will be made available).

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