The Sell and Stay® approach to selling a financial services business was developed by the professionals at FP Transitions to fulfill the preference of many sellers to gradually exit the business by giving up their ownership obligations while continuing to service clients and earn an income. This arrangement can be customized in a hundred different ways, but often entails an owner selling the majority–or all–of their ownership to a third-party buyer and remaining as an employee of the business for a set number of years (typically 3-5) before fully exiting.
Buyers who are open to this type of transaction not only access a larger acquisition pool, but can enjoy other unique advantages as well. You, of course, enjoy all the benefits of a traditional acquisition: immediate growth, available financing options, expansion into different areas and niches, and economies of scale. In addition, the acquisition can help you tackle some other areas of your long-term growth strategy through:
- Client Continuity and Retention
- Turn-key Practice / Office
- Talent Acquisition
- Reduced Training Costs
- New Competencies and Service Offerings
- Institutional Knowledge
Client Continuity and Retention
In a Sell and Stay® the former owner of the business remains as an employee. As a buyer, this means the acquired clients are more likely to stay with your business post-sale. The transition of service is gradual as clients continue to work the team they’re used to and get to know you and your staff. By the time the seller is ready to full exit, the clients should experience no discontinuity in service or trust.
As a buyer, acquiring a business with an existing office, producers, and support staff means that you’ll have to put less strain on your existing infrastructure to service the influx of new clients and assets. Sell and Stay® deals often have the benefit of acquiring an office space, technology, and staff as part of the arrangement. This allows for more efficient production and less disruption of service as you won’t have to take the time to either set up shop in a new area or work to transition clients to your existing office and team.
A good team takes time to build, and often, the biggest roadblock is finding the right talent. The unique nature of this type of acquisition means that you’ll be adding at least one–if not more–experienced professionals to your team. This is especially beneficial to buyers who wish to increase personnel as part of their long-term growth strategies.
Reduced Training Cost
In acquiring a new team member–or members–through a Sell and Stay® acquisition you won’t have to start from scratch in training them. Not only will they already have advisory experience under their belts, but they’ll know how to work with this group of clients and the existing technology in the practice. There may still be training required to bring them up to speed with your preferred business practices and processes, but the core of the role and responsibility will already be there.
New Competencies and Service Offerings
As you gain these new team members, your business gains their focused expertise and professional designations as well. This can be especially beneficial if your long-term growth goals include expanding the services of your business to include other specialized areas like accounting, insurance, retirement plans, etc.
A seller who stays on as an employee of your acquired business brings with them years of experience which is especially valuable when it comes to their history with this unique client-base, team, and practice. As the new owner, you can tap into this institutional knowledge to better service the acquired clients and work with your new staff. You’ll learn much more working with the seller over the period of their employment than you would through a traditional sale.
All of these benefits allow a new owner to continue post-closing operations leaps ahead of where they normally would with newly acquired clients and assets. Sell and Stay® acquisitions aren’t for every buyer, but the extremely versatile nature of these transactions allow buyers and sellers to craft a successful deal that meets the needs of all parties.