Saul Rudo, chair of Katten's Transactional Tax Planning practice, was featured in a Bloomberg Tax series that highlights the professional and personal lives of tax practitioners worldwide. In a Q&A interview for its "Spotlight" series, Bloomberg Tax explored the scope of Saul's practice and touched on his leadership presence in Katten, including his role as a member of the firm's Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Asked about his position as chair of the Transactional Tax Planning practice, Saul explained that his responsibilities include "recruiting, retaining, and promoting members of this group and leading its business development efforts, as well as working with other practices to coordinate projects requiring that our teams work together." Saul noted that in this capacity, his leadership partner is Kate Ulrich Saracene, chair of Katten's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice.
Serving clients that include middle-market private equity firms, family offices and large closely-held businesses, Saul's practice largely focuses on mergers and acquisitions. In addition to his extensive M&A work, he advises on the business structuring and tax implications of venture capital and start-up transactions, management compensation arrangements, fund formations, and the establishment and operation of family offices. Discussing his area of special interest, Saul pointed to "middle-market M&A deals and restructurings during recessions."
"When businesses structure mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, and management compensation agreements, I try to help them efficiently get to closings while designing deals that effectuate optimal after-tax positions," he told Bloomberg Tax.
Looking back on the tax developments over the past year, Saul noted that the failure to pass the Build Back Better package, including its tax provisions, had the greatest impact on his practice and clients. He explained that the legislation "would have allowed folks to effectuate deals without undue tax friction." And looking to the one tax-related reform he would implement, Saul identified the child tax credit as in need of change.
"I would enhance the child tax credit such that it would permanently make the full credit available to children in families with low or no earnings annually, hopefully securing substantial expected reductions in child poverty," he told Bloomberg Tax.
The interview also covered some of Saul's hobbies and interests outside the firm, including reading various newspapers, watching Law & Order: Organized Crime, and indulging in low-calorie cookie dough ice cream bars. Sharing his love of sports, Saul noted that his dream job outside the tax profession would be as a collegiate basketball coach.
"Men's basketball coach at the University of Illinois – even though my competitive playing career ended when I was cut from the team in my sophomore year of high school," he said. "After this, I went on to play varsity soccer with lifelong friends, some of whom are now clients."
"Spotlight on Transactional Tax Department Chairman Saul Rudo", Bloomberg Tax, June 17, 2022