TRANSITION TALK

Surviving Deal Fatigue

Posted by FP Transitions on Jun 28, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Surviving Deal Fatigue

Despite the continued surge of wealth management M&A activity, one surprising fact remains: most of these market participants are engaging in a transaction for the very first time.  While there are aggregators and larger RIAs that will continue to build up their business through strategic acquisitions, the majority of today’s deals spark from a mutual attraction either from aligned competencies, or complementary competencies, that allow both firms to amplify their growth and sustainability.   

According to James Fisher, Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at FP Transitions, “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.”   

Regardless of experience, it takes a lot of patience, communication, time, and expertise to navigate the entire deal process. For firms going through this, on any side of the table, negotiating and documenting the transaction can often be more time consuming than anyone anticipated, creating the perfect environment for an all-to-common problem: deal fatigue.  

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Topics: Selling Your Practice, Acquisition, M&A, Business Value, Deal Structure, Buying & Selling, Mergers

Top 6 Ways to Grow Your Business

Posted by Christine Sjölin on Apr 11, 2022 2:30:00 PM

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Business growth is a never-ending, and ever-changing objective of all business owners; financial planners included. While the lingering social effects of the pandemic and the challenges of upscaling during the Great Resignation/ Reshuffle can make the task-at-hand seem insurmountable, there are still tangible ways that you can steer the course of your enterprise. Here are a few tips to help grow your financial planning business.

1. Invest in Human Capital
Most advisors have built their business from nothing into their single most valuable asset. Finding talent can be a challenge these days, especially with unemployment settling into lows not seen in over 50 years. Data from FP Transition's Valuation Database has indicated that businesses with multiple professionals accumulate assets at a higher rate than sole practitioners. As your business matures, it is imperative to invest in the next generation of talent, to keep the engine running while you begin to enjoy the reward for what you’ve built.

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Topics: Acquisition, Multi-Generational Ownership, Business Growth, Tip of the Week, Revenue Strength, Enterprise Strength, Business Value, Buying & Selling, Next Generation, Talent Recruitment, Building Your Team, Client Trust, Business Operations, Trends

2022 Trends & Predictions from the Experts

Posted by Doug Kenck-Crispin on Dec 7, 2021 4:09:57 PM

2021 is just about behind us, and 2022 is knocking at the door. What are the 2022 trends in the financial planning advisory space that we consult? We had an opportunity to ask our experts what they see in their respective crystal balls...

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Topics: Selling Your Practice, Acquisition, Multi-Generational Ownership, M&A, Business Value, Deal Structure, Financing, Bank Financing, Buying & Selling, State of the Market, Mergers, Tax Regulations, Building Your Team, Valuation & Appraisal, Transactions, Trends

Leveraging the FPT Open-Market Advantage

Posted by FP Transitions on Aug 31, 2021 1:34:12 PM

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.

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Topics: Selling Your Practice, Acquisition, Business Value, Buying & Selling

Debunking Five M&A Myths

Posted by FP Transitions on Aug 20, 2021 3:47:30 PM

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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.

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Topics: Selling Your Practice, Acquisition, Buying & Selling, State of the Market

Aligning Ownership Priorities for Success

Posted by Kem Taylor on Jan 28, 2021 2:17:34 PM

Succession Blog Aligning Ownership Priorities

In our more than twenty years’ experience helping businesses design and implement internal succession plans, we’ve seen that each generation—G1, G2, and G3—can, naturally, have their own distinct points of view and priorities. These differences are common and normal. By acknowledging these differences and communicating with each other, teams can adjust their expectations, align their priorities, and see their transition plans work out to the satisfaction of everybody.

But how do you align different priorities within your own ownership team? Below are three examples of how to facilitate this alignment. These examples are not of particular clients, but are taken from a conglomeration of advisor situations over the years.

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Topics: Succession Planning, Acquisition, Business Growth, Next Generation

Buyer Benefits of a Sell and Stay® Transaction

Posted by FP Transitions on Jul 22, 2020 10:59:00 AM

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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
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Topics: Acquisition, Deal Structure, Buying & Selling, Sell and Stay™

The Four Greatest Opportunities for Financial Advisors

Posted by FP Transitions on Jul 16, 2020 7:27:21 AM

Four Opportunities for Financial Advisors

Today’s Independent financial advisors face an endless array of challenges and opportunities. Identifying challenges before they arise is key for finding solutions and developing strategies for tackling the issues that present the greatest opportunities for improvement and growth.

The four biggest opportunities are:

  • Balancing Growth and Profitability
  • Recruiting and Retaining Talent
  • Creating Business Sustainability
  • Growth Through Mergers and Acquisitions

Balancing Growth and Profitability

Growth and profitability are inextricably linked and balancing the two within a single practice is the difference between building a one-generational practice and a multi-generational, sustainable enterprise.

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Topics: Compensation, Succession Planning, Acquisition, Business Growth, Mergers, Talent Recruitment, Sustainability, Enterprise

Preparing for Success in the M&A Arena : Pre-Qualifying for Bank Financing

Posted by Kem Taylor on Jun 10, 2020 1:59:16 PM

Preparing for Success in the M&A Arena

Acquiring a wealth management practice brings immediate growth and is an alternative to spending money and time on marketing to find new clients. That’s why there is currently an average 75-to-1 buyer-to-seller ratio. If you’re going to succeed in this arena, you need to stand out from that crowd. If you don’t have the cash on hand, one of the best steps you can take is to become prequalified for a conventional or Small Business Association (SBA) loan.

Twenty years ago, most acquisition deals consisted of a down payment of around 30% with the balance seller-financed through an earn-out arrangement. As fee-based practices became more prevalent, buyer demand increased. The combination of recurring revenue and increased demand pushed values higher and, in time, strengthened the underlying deal terms as well. Gradually we witnessed a shift to the use of performance-based promissory notes in place of earn-out arrangements. And, in the last seven years or so, the landscape changed yet again when the availability of bank financing entered the picture. This has afforded younger, smaller buying firms the opportunity to compete financially with larger, more established firms.

A place to start accessing this financing is to prequalify for a loan. A bank will review your finances and give you an estimate of how much they will lend to you. A bank’s prequalification tilts the acquisition playing field in your direction; you can knock out 90% of the competition. Sellers like the security prequalification brings to the transaction. In addition, you’ll be ready to move quickly if there’s a new opportunity or if a seller has a short time horizon.

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Topics: Acquisition, Bank Financing

Monitoring the Health of Your Business with Annual Checkups

Posted by Mike McKennon on May 28, 2020 10:57:46 AM

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Completing an annual valuation on your business is the financial service industry equivalent of undergoing your annual physical. I’ll turn 55 this year and I have resigned myself to the fact that prescription medications have officially become their own food group and an annual physical is no longer optional. My annual pilgrimage happens to take place in the spring tucked neatly amongst the sporadic appointments to see specialists for knees, elbows, near sightedness, far sightedness, rotator cuffs and something about my lumbar.

Now, the key word here is annual. If I had my cholesterol checked 10 years ago and then never again how am I going to know if what I am doing is working? An annual examination provides a historical record of your overall health including your vital signs enabling you to make changes in order to perform at your best. The good news is that, unlike my annual physical, your valuation results should get better as your business matures.

Your business is a living, breathing entity. Just like the investments you make on behalf of your clients, it needs to be nurtured, protected, and developed in order to realize its maximum value. It’s important that your valuation be updated annually. The monetary value of your practice is just one of many pieces of information to be gleaned from a professional business valuation.

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Topics: Acquisition, Business Growth, Business Value, Exit Planning, Continuity, Benchmarking