Carsten Hoffmann is a well-known and respected expert on trust and estate matters. A long-time resident of Southern California, he takes personal pride in exceeding expectations on a daily basis: “I have an opportunity every day to serve my clients, serve the firm, and serve my colleagues.”
He also loves to serve a tennis ball. And he’s very good.
As a child growing up in his native Germany, Carsten would practice tennis with elite professionals, including Boris Becker. When he came to the United States with his family as a teenager, he continued his love for tennis as a college athlete and then professionally. He still plays to this day. “I was ranked Number 1 in the county in men’s doubles and in the father-son division,” he notes. “I even had a chance to represent the U.S. in Davis Cup play for my age group as one of four American players.”
But when Carsten is not busy with a racket in hand, he acts as Co-Leader of Stout’s trust and estate practice, delivering myriad valuation services for private operating and holding entities, with matters ranging from the valuation of famous comic/movie characters to the estate of cultural media icons. “We’ve developed a very unique and deep expertise in these areas,” he says. “In those valuations, discounts for lack of control and discounts for lack of marketability oftentimes play a key role. Other valuations will include undivided interests in real estate as well as personal property and note valuations.”
Carsten arrived at Stout in 2016, coming over from FMV Opinions, a Stout competitor at the time and where Carsten was a senior leader. Stout subsequently acquired FMV in 2017. “FMV and Stout had parallel histories. Both firms were established around the same time and both firms built their reputation on high-quality work with high-quality client service,” he says. “Craige Stout, Jeff Risius, and I have known each other for many years prior to joining forces, and it’s great to build a relationship of trust even while being friendly competitors.”
Carsten says the acquisition of FMV has been a very positive and rewarding experience for him and his team, as they continue to focus on premier client service while conducting topline valuation work. To him, being around smart, kind, and motivated people doesn’t hurt either. “It was great to bring my entire FMV crew over to Stout,” he explains. “We were able to combine great people from FMV with great people at Stout – and this synergy has brought great results and fun times.”
When Carsten is not working on high-profile valuation matters or winning another tennis match, he’s busy with his three sons, and you even might see him out on the road. “I love motorcycles. If I am not on the tennis court, I like improving my lap times on the track with my motorcycle or riding some great mountain road.”