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SUCCESSION PLANNING

In financial services businesses we often have an innate desire to look after our clients and team. As part of this, most advisers don’t want to sell their client base to the highest bidder as a cost to their relationships and legacy. This leads to succession planning being a mechanism to encourage and engage key staff in your business, and overtime transfer ownership of your business.

Why is succession planning important?

Tim Lane is famous for saying as Partners in these businesses, we’re custodians for the next generation. The ultimate exit for most practitioners is one where there is an interested adviser who wants to buy you out and own the business (or in a larger business, where there is a pool of talent doing this). Weekly, we’re talking to advisers who operate businesses and are looking to either enter or exit shareholders in their business.

 

When to consider succession planning:

  • When engaging key personnel in your business

  • When trying to retain staff, by 'tying' them in with equity ownership

  • When you want a reward mechanism to incentivise staff to grow your business

  • When planning for your own retirement, and creating a pool of potential purchasers of your equity

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Why engage us to help you with succession planning?

At Accru Hobart, we’ve successfully transferred half the business ownership in the last ten years, with two of our valuation partners becoming equity holders. This first hand experience enables us to help your team grapple with the valuation process, and the risks and rewards of practice ownership.

 

How does our succession planning process work?

 

We start with an indicative business valuation, after a discussion with the owner/s about their aspirations with the succession planning process. Following this, we interview the owners about their expectations, and educate along the way if needed. We then meet and interview the incoming equity holder/s. Understanding their drivers, understanding and aspirations is critical to developing a win/win succession plan. From here, we draft our succession plan, discussing with both parties and then agreeing an in-principle plan. Each plan is different, one may be heavily focused on KPIs as release mechanisms, whereas another may have tighter timeframes. As part of our process, we can assist with financing and setting mechanisms for future releases. 

With the labour shortages facing the industry, and the difficulty to attract and retain great advisers, we’re seeing more and more internal succession plans every year. We always tell clients you can never start succession too early, so if you’d like to own a smaller slice of a bigger pie, reduce your risk and maximise your reward, contact us today.

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