Our summary of the independent advisory M&A market, including a look at real transaction data, context to help advisors understand what's driving the data, and an unbiased look at what's really going on out there.
Succession planning is a critical, foundational element in building a sustainable business. Incorporating new talent into your ownership structure is a process that takes continuous planning, evolution, and monitoring. When done correctly, succession planning ensures incredible employee culture, firm growth, and enduring business value. When the brunt of the planning is complete and documented with the help of partners like FP Transitions, firms have to stay focused as they begin executing their plan. Owners and next generation leaders must engage in transparent communication to navigate the inevitable bumps that can occur throughout the planning and execution of a succession strategy. The reality is, we’re all human. Life presents curves, and personal and professional goals can change. These anticipated bumps can necessitate larger course corrections in order to keep your plan on track.
Typically there are three areas where succession plans may need course corrections: if founder/owner plans change, if successor plans change, and if Plan B needs to be activated.
LLC vs. Corporation. Which entity structure fits your goals?
Understanding your specific needs and specific goals is an important first step of the entity-building process. As Rod Boutin, JD, General Counsel at FP Transitions outlined in a recent webinar, “it is important that we build an entity that clearly identifies and promotes your attainment of those goals. Done right, an entity is a tool to align with your goals.”
Topics: Succession Planning, Organizational Structure, Business Growth, Tip of the Week, State of the Market, Exit Planning, Next Generation, Sustainability, Wealth Management, Valuation & Appraisal, Business Operations
Recently, a client told us that since she had implemented a formal continuity plan, her clients have felt more comfortable adding assets to their portfolios now that their tenure with her business is protected. This stability of continuity is an important cornerstone for continued business growth and client retention.
Currently, FINRA requires that member firms have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that is written and can be made available upon request. But it isn't just compliance; having a clear and written continuity plan reassures your clients' concerns about the security of their investments at your practice.
FP Transitions has been helping financial advisors document, implement, and annually update their formal continuity plans for well over a decade. Now through our EMS Grow program, we are able to leverage our extensive network of advisors to help connect you to the right continuity partner for your unique business.
Single owner practices without written, actionable continuity plans and identified continuity partners, are at a disadvantage to larger businesses and firms with built-in succession plans.
As the owner and person that has built a trusting relationship with your clients, you know that it is crucial to protect their wealth as well as your business as a whole. The most challenging aspect of developing a continuity plan, however, is finding the right partner. Of course you want to be discerning when it comes to the person who is going to care for the business you’ve built when you no longer can. Fit is always the foremost consideration.
Searching for the right continuity partner within your immediate community and professional networks can force you into a partnership that isn’t the best match for your clients, or worse, can result in no partnership at all! Now FP Transitions is offering the ability to leverage the most extensive network of advisors in the industry, to help connect you to the right continuity partner for your unique situation.
The Continuity Partner Matching service, available to EMS Grow members, allows you to tap into our team of professional coaches and our network of over 30,000 advisors. We’ll guide you through the selection of interested continuity partner candidates based on specific time-tested criteria as well as your specific requirements.
Once you have identified the right person, business or firm, we’ll help you get the proper documentation and agreements in place to ensure the continuity of service for your clients in the event of death or disability, and help you to protect the value of the business you’ve built.
Please let us know if we can assist you in this vital step of growth in your business, and reassurance to your clients. If you are already an EMS Member, reach out to your representative to see how we can help. And if yo are not an EMS Member, you can find out more about the program HERE.
Topics: Continuity Planning, Webcasts, Multi-Generational Ownership, Organizational Structure, Business Growth, Tip of the Week, Business Value, Client Success, Sustainability, Client Relationships, Business Operations
KPIs, or Key Performance IndicatorsDuring a recent webinar hosted by FP Transitions, several attendees had questions about KPIs. Marcus Hagood Director of Equity Management System at FP Transitions, and Mike McKennon, EMS Consultant at FPT, had previously hosted a webinar on KPIs, and many of those key points are featured in the following post.
Knowing the KPIs
The industry is flush with discussions of KPIs. Surely, you’ve heard the term before, or perhaps seen these indexes described as performance metrics, key variables or key success indicators. At FP Transitions, we use the term Key Performance Indicator; but ultimately, the data these terms convey is the same. KPIs are a unit of measurement leveraged to help you determine where your business is at, where you want to go, and will ultimately provide you with a road map of how you should proceed on your journey.
Wealth management firms seeking rapid growth are increasingly turning to mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) as a solution. As such, we are seeing a lot of M&A activity involving firms with multiple owners, staff, and even real property. Many practices are looking to be acquired or merge with a larger business to spur growth, to benefit from economies of scale, to offload compliance and day-to-day operations, to increase bandwidth and offerings to clients, or to assist with the retirement of one or more senior owners/partners, among other reasons. Given these complicating factors, negotiating and documenting these M&A transactions can often be more time consuming than the parties expect, which creates the perfect incubator for deal fatigue.
Deal fatigue is a condition during negotiations when one or more of the parties begins to feel frustrated, hopeless, irritated, or even angry about the pace of the transaction. Deal fatigue–at some level–is almost impossible to avoid in a complex transaction, but if caught early and prepared for it can almost always be successfully managed. If not, deal fatigue is one of the surest ways to destroy a transaction. The key is to know the causes and signs of deal fatigue as well as the tools to minimize its negative impact.
Causes of Deal Fatigue
There are of course many causes of deal fatigue, but some of the most common ones that we routinely see are:
Deal fatigue is typically correlated with the time it takes to complete an M&A transaction. Typical transactions take about three months. Parties can get frustrated if they feel like they’re being rushed, while others may feel frustrated if the process starts to feel too drawn out. Striking a balance between the two is important.
When it's time to sell your financial advisory practice, knowing the value of your business is just as important as finding the right buyer. But as you begin exploring your options, determining who will be the right buyer to take over your business often takes center stage. The FP Transitions® Open Market will not only locate a new owner who is a good fit for your clients and investment style, but also help you obtain the most value from the sale.
Benefits of the FP Transitions Open Market
Tapping into an open marketplace has benefits for both buyers and sellers. Buyers have access to a larger pool of acquisition opportunities with the potential to meet their strategic goals. This includes those outside of their already established network and area, allowing them to expand their reach. And sellers gain access to a large number of qualified buyers in order to find the best possible buyer for their business.
During our 2021 Mid-year Market Update, in addition to up-to-date transaction data and trends, our experts, M&A Director James Fisher, JD and CEO Brad Bueermann, explored some myths and misconceptions about the current M&A marketplace.
The problem with misinformation is that as a buyer you may find yourself discouraged from exploring acquisitions or mergers as a growth strategy or from inquiring on businesses that could be a great fit and expand your reach. As a seller, misinformation can lead you to compromising your fit criteria or from exploring a wider pool of buyers.
The following are the top five misconceptions we hear from advisors and from other market participants.
MYTH: Reported transaction data shows a complete view of the industry M&A marketplace.
No current reporting of annual M&A transactions–including ours–encompasses activity across the entire industry. Even if data is being reported based on publicly advertised transactions, many are private and not publicized as larger M&A deals tend to be. Details and terms are often kept confidential regardless, and, as the old adage goes, "the devil is in the details." So, comparing the data and transaction activity across firms participating in M&A can be tricky.
We're pleased to announce that FP Transitions was named one of CFO Tech Outlook's Top 10 Valuation Service Companies of 2021, recognizing FP Transitions' efforts and placing our team at "the forefront of providing Valuation consulting services and transforming businesses."
The publication accolades were accompanied by an article: "FP Transitions: Providing Comprehensive Valuation Services," featuring our Ryan Grau, CVA, CBA, Partner and VP of Business Valuation Services. The full text of which can be viewed below or by clicking here.