Alpine Maskhead
  A l p i n e  C a p i t a l  B a n k  N e w s l e t t e r                                      February 2010
President's Corner

On March 1, Alpine will celebrate its tenth anniversary, certainly an appropriate time for us to reflect on the past, and sharpen our focus for the future. Most importantly, we are grateful to our clients and friends who have helped Alpine grow into the solid institution it is today. Your banking and business needs have shaped who we are. And your guidance has helped us avoid the pitfalls into which so many of our peer institutions have fallen.

The new millennium started with much promise - from technology, to the economy, to world politics. For many, though, the reality of the last decade has been terribly difficult -- from the tragic events of September 11, to the economic collapse with which the world continues to struggle. Alpine's appreciation of its clients and friends is only heightened by the context of the last ten years.

So we begin our next decade committed to improving our products and services, to ensuring that throughout our organization, we remember the value of our clients. We plan to re-examine all that we do, and how we do it. We want our friends to know that we do not take them for granted. And we will be sure that this client-centric approach permeates our Bank.

We are also very excited to announce that we will be moving our offices - and even more excited that our move will be within our current building at 680 Fifth Avenue. During the second quarter, we will drop down from the 15th floor to the 7th floor, into a larger, inviting space. We look forward to greeting you there soon!

As always, please feel free to share our newsletter with others who may have an interest in Alpine. Just click on the "Forward to a Friend" button!

All the best for 2010!


David M. Aboodi
President and CEO
estate_planning_imageUnderstanding the Current
State Tax Landscape
By: Sarah D. Wellings-Sullivan & Worcester LLP

The state tax landscape will be volatile in 2010 as states grapple with unprecedented budget shortfalls and federal stimulus funds run dry. Although New York, with the fourth largest deficit nationwide, has not proposed any broad-based tax increases, many states are likely to raise taxes, increasing the importance of state tax planning opportunities. The following summary highlights the tax increases states are most likely to implement and tax saving opportunities that may arise.

Tax Increases

Sales Tax
States will consider an increase in the sales tax rate, as well as a broadening of the base by extending the tax to additional types of property and to services. Increasing the sales tax burden is viewed by many as regressive, because lower-income people tend to spend more of their income on items subject to tax than higher-income people, and as hurting in-state businesses if bordering states have a lower sales tax rate.

Nonetheless, states such as Arizona, Hawaii and Kansas are considering sales tax rate increases, and other states, including California, Massachusetts and North Carolina have already raised rates in response to the fiscal crisis (North Carolina's rate increase is scheduled to sunset in 2011).

Income Tax Rate Hikes
Many states have either already considered or will likely consider an income tax hike in lieu of or in addition to sales tax increases or extensions. As examples, both New York and New Jersey enacted temporary rate increases on high-income taxpayers, while Illinois Governor Quinn is reported to favor an income tax increase of 50% (from 3% to 4.5%) coupled with an increase in the personal exemption amount ($2,000 to $6,000) and Pennsylvania Governor Rendell has been characterized as noncommittal regarding whether he will push for a half percentage point income tax increase, as he did last summer.

Estate Tax Audits and Litigation
Prior to statutory changes in 2001, the federal estate tax allowed a limited credit for state estate taxes paid, and most states utilized an estate "sponge tax" that was limited to the federal credit allowed for state estate taxes. Thus, because the state taxes reduced the federal estate tax dollar for dollar, the state taxes did not increase the decedent's total estate tax liability. When federal law changed in 2001 to phase out the state estate tax credit in favor of a deduction, states responded by enacting stand alone estate tax regimes or tying their regimes to federal law in effect when the credit still existed. As a result, state-level estate taxes are now incremental to federal estate taxes. (While at the time this article was written, there was no federal estate tax in force for decedents dying in 2010, the consensus was that the tax would be reinstated, retroactive to January 1, 2010).

States generally have not indicated that they are considering an increase in estate tax rates, but they will likely attempt to increase estate tax revenues through increased audits and litigation concerning the decedent's state of domicile at death. As discussed below in the domicile planning summary, taking the appropriate steps when moving to a new state can help avoid unnecessary litigation.

Planning Considerations

Retirement Planning
Individuals considering retirement can avoid mistakenly moving to a state with a high tax burden through careful research of the overall tax burden imposed by a state. States and municipalities impose a wide array of taxes in addition to the income tax, such as property, sales/use, gas, meals and liquor taxes. When combined, the overall burden can be surprising. For example, in the New England states, Massachusetts is generally perceived as tax heavy, and individuals often consider retiring to Vermont. Yet, in recent years, Vermont has been ranked in the top 10 states having the heaviest tax burden in the country, measured as a percentage of income, while Massachusetts has been ranked about 23rd. This generally results from the comparatively high property taxes imposed in Vermont and Vermont's use of graduated rates ranging from approximately 3.5% to 9%.

Domicile Planning
An individual can reduce his or her state income tax burden by permanently moving (i.e., changing domicile) to a state with no or a low income tax. States generally tax residents on 100% of their income, including income from intangibles, such as stocks and bonds, with a credit for taxes paid to states of non-residence, while they tax non-residents only on income earned in-state. Thus, an individual with substantial income from intangibles could effectively make such income nontaxable at the state level by changing domicile to a state that does not impose an income tax.

Most states will treat an individual as a "resident" if the individual has evidenced an intent to remain permanently in that state with no intent to return to the former place of residence. This "common-law domicile" principle is a facts and circumstances test that generally looks to the location of the individual's social center as evidenced by the state in which the principal residence and other property such as motor vehicles are located, state of voter registration, the state issuing the individual's driver's license, the location of place of worship, the location of club memberships, and the location of family members, to name a few. Many states will also treat an individual as a resident if the individual has a permanent residence in-state and spends more than half the year in-state; this is referred to as "statutory residency."

An individual who has permanently moved to a different state may need to be certain not to meet either test to avoid the former state of residence continuing to treat the individual as a resident. Given the current economic climate, high net worth individuals who have recently moved out of state will likely face increased income tax audits and, if evidence of the shift of residence is not sufficient, potentially costly litigation.

Planning with Trusts
An individual often can reduce his or her state income tax burden through planning with trusts. This planning opportunity arises because states generally tax the "passive" income of a trust only if the trust is a resident of that state, but inconsistent definitions of residence among the states create the situation where a trust might not be a resident of any state. Further, trusts can sometimes be established so as to "reside" only in a state that imposes no income tax.

Although many states will likely increase tax rates and expand the tax base to deal with budgetary woes, there are planning opportunities and defensive measures that may present themselves depending on your particular goals and circumstances. Contact your tax advisor to determine which opportunities you may want to explore.

Sarah D. Wellings is an associate in the Tax Department of Sullivan & Worcester LLP, resident in their Boston office. She is a graduate, with great distinction, of Shimer College, and of Boston College Law School, magna cum laude.

Meet the People at Alpine Capital Bank:

Michael Serrao

Michael Serrao is Assistant Vice President at Alpine Capital Bank, and has been with the Bank since its inception in 2000. Michael handles a wide range of responsibilities at the Bank, with much of his time devoted to information technology strategy, implementation, and support. Most recently, he has been involved in strengthening the Bank's data redundancy and disaster recovery programs, as well as the introduction of Alpine's online bill payment product. Michael also handles much of the Bank's office management and procurement, including interfacing with vendors. Finally, as the Bank prepares to move its office space, Michael has taken on various infrastructure tasks related to construction, security, and data.

Michael's career in the banking industry spans 15 years, and his joining Alpine Capital Bank was a reunion of sorts. In 1994, Michael joined The Berkshire Bank, where he worked for David Aboodi, Alpine's President and CEO. Michael worked his way through the ranks at The Berkshire Bank, covering a diverse range of responsibilities from private messenger, to banking operations, to mortgage origination. He also played a critical role when Berkshire opened its first branch in Brooklyn.

Michael enjoys being the "go to guy" at Alpine - in a small organization, individuals are often called upon to help out fellow employees. Michael's rich experience in all areas of the Bank makes him a favorite target of such requests. Michael's other interests include his young family, home improvement, and automotive repair.

buildingsCurrent Trends in New York City Commercial Real Estate, or How to Take Advantage of Today's Tenant-Oriented Market
By: Gary Kamenetsky

Not surprisingly, the leasing pendulum had swung heavily to the tenant's side in 2009, but it has recently begun to swing back to the landlord's advantage, particularly in Midtown. Still, there remains an abundant supply of available space, meaning that tenants still have opportunities to secure the right space at low, long-term costs. Net rents, which take into account landlord concessions, such as work allowance and rent abatement, have fallen 40 percent from their peak, as landlords reached for the limited number of tenants willing to commit to new space. However, increasingly during the second half of 2009, tenants and landlords came to closer agreement on pricing, as we saw an increase in leasing velocity.

Market Overview
According to CBRE Research, the Manhattan office leasing market ended 2009 with net effective rents "bouncing along the bottom," as the bid and ask spread between landlords and tenants narrowed, concessions and tenant improvement allowances leveled off, and availability and absorption rates began to stabilize.

The Manhattan market endured its worst year since 1991, seeing net effective rents drop 40 percent or more from their peak. For example, three tenants (American Securities Capital Partners, Sagent Advisors and Market Axess) took advantage of below market subleases from UBS at 299 Park Avenue, securing leases ranging from $46 per sq. ft. to $61 per sq. ft., along with $60 per sq. ft. work allowances and ample rent abatement. Similarly, Downtown, Beacon Insurance, United Healthcare, AT&T and Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith secured space at 77 Water Street at $31 per sq. ft., with large work allowances. However, after July 1, the sublease space in the market began to be withdrawn or absorbed, as companies have become more confident in their business futures, their space needs and pricing certainty.

Overall Manhattan 2009 average asking rents saw a year-over-year decline from $67.20 per square foot to $49.01 psf. But from November to December 2009, the overall Manhattan asking rent dipped by only 16 cents, a slower drop than from October to November, when it dropped 73 cents.

Despite the challenging year in the market, Manhattan leasing totaled 16.79 million square feet in 2009, a modest 4% decrease from 2008, when 17.56 msf was leased. During the final seven months of 2009, Midtown produced 8.7 million sq. ft. of leasing, more than 1.2 million sq. ft. per month on average, including 1.6 million sq. ft. in December alone.

The largest market, Midtown, saw similar slowing declines in average asking rents, dropping from $78.89 psf in December 2008 to $56.02 psf at the end of 2009, but down only four cents from November to December 2009, a smaller decline than the 83-cent drop from October to November of last year.

While there is still a large amount of excess space to be absorbed, we continue to see sublease space being withdrawn from the market by companies that expect to begin hiring again in the future. At present, we know of major financial services and technology companies in New York who are hiring new employees and seeking additional space. Nonetheless, we all know that the Manhattan office leasing market won't recover in earnest without a further sustained increase in employment.

What Should YOUR Office Leasing Action Plan Be?

Our Research indicates that if history is any indication, rents will bounce along at these relatively low rates in 2010, as landlords continue to pull back their concession packages to more normal levels (six months rent abatement and $45 per sq. ft. work allowance). Taking into account inflation, rents are at historic lows. Bottom line: If you are trying to catch the bottom - you may have already missed it.

So, what is a tenant to do? If your lease is due to expire within the next two years, you are in luck: Determine your operational and size needs; engage the market, and negotiate the best terms. Above all, offer your current landlord the opportunity to match the operational, size and financial deal you have found-if you are satisfied with your current space, that is.

If your lease is not due to expire, talk with your real estate professional - he/she should be able to make constructive suggestions that will help you to benefit from today's tenant-friendly market.

When looking for opportunities look for a landlord who is motivated to secure a tenant, but also one who is financially strong enough to close the transaction and remain so for the long-term. Seek a landlord who has the reputation and wherewithal to maintain the building and who will not fill the building with less-credit worthy tenants.

Tenants seeking renewals will have less leverage with their current landlords, but when pressed, landlords will acquiesce as they strongly prefer to renew tenants to avoid down time, larger work allowances and marketing expenses. Historically, companies that renew leases pay a premium for the convenience of not relocating; in 2010 they should continue getting a discount that reflects the savings that the landlord realizes from their decision to stay.

I strongly recommend using a broker to negotiate with your landlord. A highly experienced and professional broker active in this market brings credibility and leverage to the negotiations. Such a broker can show the landlord what the competitive buildings are offering new tenants and prevent the landlord from throwing in non-market lease terms. Using a broker allows the tenant to maintain its good relationship with the landlord.

It is an opportune time to be a tenant. Don't sit on the sidelines.

Gary Kamenetsky's expertise covers the leasing of commercial office space throughout New York on behalf of both tenants and owners. Having worked in CB Richard Ellis' brokerage, consulting and agency divisions, Mr. Kamenetsky understands the unique perspective of tenants as well as owners, representing some of the most notable companies in New York City, as well as institutional and private owners throughout the United States.
frameTalk About Art: Art and Value
By: Mara Miller and Viviane Silvera

How to Look Into an Art Object

In our last Alpine newsletter article, we considered how to look at art or a work of art. Now we would like to go a step further, and look into the object or work, delving deeper into the making of it: Who made it? When and where was it made? Of what material or materials is it created? In what condition is it? And, perhaps most complex: Is it "authentic," what it purports to be? What's it worth (current market value; ultimate or "intrinsic" value)?

The human eye is still of the utmost importance. The more one looks at art, reads about art, talks about art, and thinks and feels about art, the more one begins to develop one's own standards and goals for understanding and evaluating art.

But objective standards also matter hugely. And any viewer can acquire them.

Who made it, when and where: Auctioneers, art reference books, gallerists, and, most particularly these days, internet art reference sites and services are the chief resources to know about.,,,, and are all good locators, by artists' names, of who, when, where, and of what. Google itself, and specifically, its "images" search engine is also an excellent helpmate in the process of identifying a work of art by a particular artist. For works of American art, it is hard to beat the Smithsonian American Art Museum's web site ( and its "search the collection" database or its historical Inventory of American Paintings and Sculptures before 1945, also accessible online.

Condition/Conservation and Authentication: Your eyes will tell you a lot, and with the help of a blacklight, which in the dark will make visible any tears, scratches, in-painting, and restoration in an artwork that are not visible to the naked eye, one learns a lot and very quickly. During the preview sessions of auctions, visitors may ask the floor assistants to let them see the artwork off the wall, examine its backing, provenance labels if any, condition reports, and even remove works from their frames (where such can be done safely), so as to examine condition, conservation, and signatures/dates more closely. You may have to wait your turn behind the regular large collectors, but in all the major auction houses, you will always be granted a request for a closer viewing and scrutiny of any object. Catalogues raisonné, in the cases of world-famous artists for whom such works have been compiled, are in some instances the "last word" in authenticating a particular work of art. The caveat to remember here, though, is that the information put into the catalogue is only as good as the person doing the research and inputting it. In some cases, the "person" is a foundation (Andy Warhol Foundation; Alexander Calder Foundation, are examples); in other instances the "person" can be an art historian or simply a gallery's or dealer's research staffer. Signature reference books and signature online databases are also of great help in seeing one through the early stages of learning how an artist did or did not customarily sign and date his or her work. Signature books - easy to use, alphabetized by artist names - can be found in public and university libraries that have large art sections, plus there are internet signature searching engines, some free but many for a fee, that are efficient, accurate, and tremendously useful as well. is one such service that charges by the day (approximately five dollars), or for one month, or for six months' usage, for signature, auction prices, and monogram searches. For highly valued artworks or for estimates of conservation and restoration costs of an art object, the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the Intermuseum Conservation Association, and the Art Conservators Alliance are three good starting points. Experienced gallerists who deal in a certain type of work or a certain artist's work can also be expert recommenders of good conservation practitioners.

What's it Worth? Auction houses often have one day a month or in a quarter on which the public can bring, without appointment, works of art to be examined and evaluated. The auction house specialist will not give you an appraisal but rather will tell you more than you know already about the specific work you bring in, and will tell you whether it is something the auction house would be interested in including in a sale, which level sale (from Fine Art down to House Sale), and at what estimated price range. In order to have a private appointment with an auction house specialist, one should write or call the department and describe in detail the art object about which you are inquiring, how you came by it, and what you know about it. The specialist will then get back to you if he or she is interested in examining the work first-hand. Christies and Sotheby's are the two premier auction houses in the U.S. and with worldwide offices, auctions, and specialists; Phillips de Pury & Company is a third, but for modern and contemporary art; William Doyle in New York City is a next-tier auction house dealing in paintings, sculptures, furniture, rugs, antiques, furnishings, et al (and with regular public appraisal days); Skinner in Boston and Freeman's in Philadelphia are also fine outlets for artworks; and Swann's in New York City is particularly expert in photographic works and books.

Appraisers are often the way to go if you are seeking an object's evaluation for insurance or deaccession purposes, and the Appraisers Association of America is an international organization that lets you access for free and online its database of credentialed appraisers throughout the world. Art galleries that deal in important art historical works are usually also quite helpful in doing the research for you about the market value - current and in historical trend - of particular artists' works. And, again, for a reasonable fee, anyone can sign on to such services as,, or to search the auction price histories of artworks and particular artists.

In the end, though, determining the value of a work of art is in large part deciding on its value to you. Do you value it enough to pay a certain price for it? You can research its market value to the nth degree. But then you must add into the equation what the work means to you, and on levels that are not always entirely quantifiable

Mara Miller is an independent curator of 19th through 21st century art and the owner of 511 Gallery and 511 Projects in New York City and Lake Placid, N.Y. ( Viviane Silvera is an exhibiting painter and drawing artist, trained at the New York Academy of Art, who is also Director of On Art, a practice of conducting tours of museums, galleries, artists' studios, and private collections throughout New York City (

Online Bill Pay to Expand at Alpine

Last year, Alpine began offering basic online bill payment services through the Bank's secure web site. In the first quarter of 2010, Alpine will be offering a second and more sophisticated online bill payment system for those clients that need extra functionality to accommodate their bill payment requirements.

For example, clients that use paper checks today may have an assistant or bookkeeper preparing checks for signature. With our new online bill payment product, these clients can have the assistant or bookkeeper enter the payment information online for approval. The principal receives an email notification that payments are waiting for confirmation, and then logs on to release the payments. This process effectively creates a dual signature opportunity for bill payments.

Additional features include:

(1) Multiple users for a single account, and the ability to set permissions and limitations for each user's activities. Users need not have access to the Bank's primary web site to have access to the bill payment site;

(2) E-Mail Notifications of activity on the bill payment site, including recurring transactions, transactions exceeding certain thresholds, new payees, and online activity summaries;

(3) Reports, including processed payments, payment changes, and payees added.

If you are interested in the enhanced online bill payment product, please let us know by contacting Tashana Smith at 212-328-2489.

confusionChanges In Powers of Attorney Law
Cause Confusion
By: Paul Richard Karan

Powers of Attorney have long been used for a wide variety of commercial and personal purposes. Simply stated, a Power of Attorney ("Power") is an instrument used for a person (or an entity such as a corporation, partnership or limited liability company) to designate another person (or entity) to act for him, her or it. The person granting the Power is called the principal or donor, and the person to whom the Power is given is called the donee, the agent or the attorney-in-fact. By action which the vast majority of attorneys familiar with the use of Powers considers ill-advised, the New York State Legislature drastically revised the rules for the execution and use of Powers, effective September 1, 2009.

The impetus for the changes arose from situations where elderly or incapacitated persons were convinced to give Powers which were then used by the agent to make gifts or other transfers of the principal's property in a manner inconsistent with the principal's intentions.

The legislation dramatically changes the required form of a Power, the manner of execution, the effectiveness and the consequences of the use of the Power. Although numerous organizations have proposed substantial changes and even repeal to the legislature, it is uncertain as to when, if ever, the dysfunctional legislature will see fit to adopt any of these changes. The legislation applies to Powers executed in New York after September 1, 2009. It does not apply to or invalidate any power executed prior thereto. While, on its face, the legislation applies only to Powers executed in New York, it remains to be seen as to whether a New York resident could validly execute a New Jersey, Connecticut or other Power solely for the purpose of avoiding the New York requirements.

The new form is much longer than the prior form, must be initialed in several places and requires the signature of the agent in order for it to be effective. The requirement for execution by the agent may well prove to be the most troublesome of the changes as it is often impractical or impossible to obtain the signature of the agent at the same time that the principal executes the Power, and until the agent executes it, it is not effective.

Another serious concern is that, if the principal desires to authorize the agent to make almost any gift or other disposition of the assets of the principal without consideration, a separate form known a Statutory Major Gift Rider must be executed simultaneously with the form. The proper execution of this form requires not only the signature of the principal before a notary public, but execution before witnesses in the manner required for execution of a Will.

The law now provides that execution of a Power revokes all other Powers, even where that result may be unintended. For example, a person may have previously given a Power to be used for some specific commercial purpose, but the execution of the new form will revoke the prior Power, even if that was not intended.

While many lawyers who are regularly involved in estate planning and routinely have clients execute Powers, many other lawyers (and non-lawyers including clients) who may not regularly use Powers may be unfamiliar with the changes and the present execution requirements. Should you desire or need to give a Power, appropriate advice as to the correct form and manner of execution should be sought.

©Paul Richard Karan, Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Past Chair of the Trust and Estate Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and Chair of the Trusts and Estates Department of Todtman, Nachamie, Spizz & Johns, P.C.
Oak RoomThe Oak Room

The Oak Room, a New York landmark and iconic meeting spot within The Plaza Hotel, is re-introducing elegance to Manhattan by providing an ideal option for the uptown crowd that wants to see and be seen. The Oak Room caters to city power players with a fresh seasonal menu and updated atmosphere. The Oak Bar serves as an informal gathering place for New York's luminaries, with distinctive cocktails and a separate bar menu along with the classic view of Central Park South from its windows.

Eric Hara is the Executive Chef of The Oak Room. Chef Eric has reinvented classic American cuisine for this legendary restaurant, bringing his dedication to fresh, seasonal ingredients to one of New York's most memorable dining experiences.

Visit his website at to learn more about this awarded chef and his cuisine.

The Importance of Minimizing Turbulence
By: Justin Frankel & Jeremy Berman

Much has been written about how the past 10 years was a lost decade for equity investing, but wise investors should focus on determining what factors led to this, and how a portfolio can be built to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Passively holding stocks does not automatically lead to good long-term performance. The higher expected return of equities is called the risk premium because they are risky assets. Timing the entry point and managing exposure to volatility are important components to successful long-term investing, but only one of these can be reliably implemented.

To illustrate this point, we selected three different possible entry points: the beginning of 2000, the 1st recessionary low point in September 2002, and the peak in October 2007. We then compared the returns of the S&P 500 from those inflection points through the end of 2009 in two ways: price performance, and the return after taking out the best and worst performing months in each year. We took out the best and worst months of each year to see if avoiding the worst of declines led to a higher probability of success, even if it meant giving away some upside. Not surprisingly, while timing does matter, it is only perfect in hindsight. Since it is nearly impossible to pick tops and bottoms consistently, managing volatility is just as significant and easier to accomplish.

On a price return basis, if you had invested $100 on the first day of the 2000s, you would only have $76 by the end of the decade. Eliminating the worst month in each year, even if it meant trading away the best month, would have left you with $88, cutting your loss in half. Had you been prescient, and waited for the bottom in September of 2002, you would have ended with $137. By making the same tradeoff (avoiding the peaks and valleys), you would have ended with $152. Lastly, had you been unlucky (or unwise), and begun investing in October of 2007 near the peak, you would have ended with $72. Again, avoiding the big ups and downs would have left you significantly better off with $85. In each case, the numbers clearly support the idea that trading away some upside returns for some downside protection leads to a higher probability of success. While it certainly would have been best to time the market perfectly, oracles are in short supply these days. It is easier to systematically focus on the risk side of your portfolio, leading to more consistent and higher returns.

Investors have received this lesson before, but have not been paying close enough attention. A recent study done by finance professors Lubos Pastor and Robert Stambaugh (University of Chicago and Wharton respectively) titled, "Are Stocks Really Less Volatile in the Long Run?" found that "stock volatility is greater over long horizons than short horizons, thereby making stocks less appealing...than conventional wisdom would suggest." Managing volatility is one of the major problems of asset allocation, and cyclical volatility is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Investors are always facing an unknown future. The oil shocks of the 1970's were unexpected, and prognosticators in 1999 did not predict the terrorism, war, and market shocks that took a successive toll on our investment psyche this past decade. It is hard to see earnings and valuations driving the market in the same way as in 1982, as only nominal economic growth over the next decade is expected. As Bill Gross wrote, "the future of investing will depend on the long-term future of the global economy." The only way to deal with future unknown unknowns is to create a careful hedge around your portfolio and seek active management strategies that can outperform in range-bound markets.

Justin Frankel & Jeremy Berman have over 20 years of combined institutional experience trading, building, and marketing structured investments and equity derivatives. They are the founders and managing partners of Wavecrest Asset Management, and recently managed different components of the structured investments business at Morgan Stanley. They believe a disciplined approach to risk-managed investing leads to smoother returns and less volatility, and manage both a hedge fund and separate accounts based on this investment philosophy.
handwith100billsWhat Customers Need to Know

With all the uncertainty in today's economy, we frequently get calls regarding FDIC insurance coverage at Alpine. The FDIC's web site has comprehensive information about deposit insurance. You can visit the site at For a simple summary, please visit

The standard FDIC insurance coverage amount is currently $250,000 per depositor per bank. This limit is temporary for all accounts (other than IRA's) through December 31, 2013. At that time, deposit insurance will be reduced to $100,000 per depositor per bank.

At Alpine, we have opted in to the FDIC's Transaction Account Guarantee Program which is in addition to and separate from the standard $250,000 coverage. Under this program, all non-interest bearing transaction accounts, as well as NOW accounts with an interest rate less than or equal to 0.50%, are fully guaranteed by the FDIC for the entire amount in the account. This coverage is currently scheduled to expire June 30, 2010.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many withdrawals am I permitted each month on my money market account?

Federal Reserve Regulation D sets forth limitations on money market account transactions. A depositor is permitted to make no more than six transfers and withdrawals, or a combination of such transfers and withdrawals, per month from a money market account. Until recently, only three of the six withdrawals could be made by check. Recently, however, the Regulation was amended to permit six withdrawals by check. Further, certain transactions are not counted toward the six transfers and withdrawals - for example, some transactions made by mail, messenger, ATM, or in person are not restricted. If you have questions about your money market account, please feel free to call us.

Can I put a stop payment on a bank check?

A bank check is drawn directly on Alpine Capital Bank, not on your account with Alpine. Generally, Alpine must honor a bank check when it is presented for payment.

A stop payment may be placed in the event of a lost or fraudulent bank check. Alpine will require an affidavit regarding the disposition of such bank checks and an indemnification, and may require the posting of collateral security.

If you request a bank check and do not use it, you MUST return it to Alpine. Please call us with any questions.
Green Banking...Sign-up Today For Electronic Notices

Did you know that you can view your transaction notices and statements online instead of receiving paper copies? In addition to being "green," electronic information will cut down on all of your banking paperwork.

All you need to do is contact Tashana Smith at or 212-328-2489 to sign up.

Shortly thereafter, you will begin receiving daily e-mails with your account balance and transaction information. When your monthly statement is posted online, you will also receive an e-mail from Alpine. Simply logon to Alpine's web site to review your statement.

Electronic delivery will replace the transaction notices and statements which Alpine would otherwise mail to you. Please note that there are some risks associated with email. Alpine will not transmit your full account number in these e-mails.
Alpine Closing Box