TRANSITION TALK

Ryan Grau CVA, CBA

Ryan Grau CVA, CBA
Ryan is VP of Business Valuation Services and a G2 Partner at FP Transitions. He is an industry authority on value and valuation for investment advisory, wealth management, and insurance-based practices and businesses. As the leader of the FPT Business Valuation Services team he works with business owners and their teams to perform appraisals and other analysis of their businesses to help them understand the drivers of value within their unique businesses and how it affects their overall strategy.

Recent Posts

Estimating Value Based on Recurring Revenue

Posted by Ryan Grau CVA, CBA on Jun 7, 2021 2:18:00 PM

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Recurring revenue is one of the most important single determinants of value. Revenue produced through management fees, trails, or renewals is ongoing and reasonably predictable. Transactional revenue is more elusive and difficult to predict. While this isn’t cutting edge news, it is important to understand that recurring revenue is more predictable and presents less risk of future earnings when compared to transactional revenue. As such, when a portion of revenue is generated from transactional revenue, buyers will require a higher rate of return (discount) when compared to other market alternatives that provide more certainty.

Rule of Thumb?

It is important to understand the difference between an adjusted pricing multiple based on the specific characteristics of the business being valued versus a “rule of thumb.” A rule of thumb for the financial services industry is that businesses sell for two-times gross recurring revenue and one-times non-recurring revenue, or that they are worth five-times Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA). Often sellers approach us asking if the offer they have received based on a rule of thumb is sufficient or fair. This question cannot reasonably be answered without understanding the revenue characteristics of the practice.

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Topics: Business Growth, Revenue Strength, Business Value, Multiples

Components of a Deal

Posted by Ryan Grau CVA, CBA on Jun 12, 2019 6:00:00 PM

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Whether you are buying or selling, it is important to understand what is being bought and sold and what expectations both the buyer and seller have of each other. Absent these details, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine if an offer is fair. After all, “fair” is a relative term. The question of fairness would be easy to answer if all deals were done the same way, but the reality is they are not. Nonetheless, there are still common attributes to most deals that can shed light and aid in understanding the underlying terms. This in turn helps both buyer and seller assess the reasonability of an offer. 

WHAT IS BEING BOUGHT AND SOLD?

The sale of many, if not most, financial service businesses are completed as asset sales as opposed to stock sales, where all ownership rights are transferred to a third party. In an asset-based sale, both buyer and seller receive more favorable tax treatment when compared to a stock sale. Since financial services businesses are primarily relationship-based, providing mostly intangible services, what is being sold in an asset sale is rights to a future benefit stream—namely, revenues. However, given the intangible nature of the assets, there is no certainty that a buyer will receive the same amount of revenue from the clients as the seller did. This is why the ability to leverage the seller’s goodwill (the primary asset being bought and sold) to establish proper deal terms that create a shared risk, shared reward scenario become important. 

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Topics: Business Value, Deal Structure, Buying & Selling, Trends in Transactions Study, Transactions

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