Updated NICE DLOM model available for free download

BVWireIssue #231-4
December 22, 2021

discount for lack of marketability (DLOM)
family limited partnership (FLP), risk analysis, discount for lack of marketability (DLOM)

During a recent BVR webinar, Will Frazier (Weaver) did a demo of the revised version of his nonmarketable investment company evaluation (NICE) method for estimating a discount for lack of marketability (DLOM). An Excel template for the revised version, aptly named NICE-R, was given to the audience along with a user’s guide—and they are now available on his website if you click here.

Court test: The year 2020 saw the first use of the NICE method in Tax Court, in Grieve v. Commissioner. The taxpayer brought in Frazier as the second valuation expert for trial, and his valuation was only slightly lower than that of the taxpayer’s original expert. The court accepted the valuation of the original expert and rejected the approach by the IRS valuation expert. While the court did not adopt the NICE approach, it was not critical of it. Neither was the IRS expert, who agreed that it was a “reasonable approach.”

The method is not designed for operating businesses. As its name implies, it is designed specifically for determining the fair market value of equity interests in closely held investment entities, such as family limited partnerships, S corporations, and limited liability companies. While NICE is referred to in the context of estimating a DLOM, it does not determine DLOM as a separate and distinct amount. Instead, it is an income-based method that embodies the DLOM as well as discounts for control and lack of liquidity in the discount rate and views them as investment risks.

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