Succession Planning

What Are Your Goals for Exiting the Practice You Built?

Typically clients tell us they would like to make sure their employees are rewarded and their future with the business is assured. Exiting Financial Advisors also care deeply about their clients and they want to make sure they are properly served. Oftentimes, Financials Advisors choose to transition slowly into the next phase of their lives and have flexibility with their work schedules. And obviously, financial considerations are an important part of the plan.

What Should You Begin Creating Your Exit Strategy?

This question is much like the, “When should I begin saving for retirement,” question Financial Advisors frequently get asked of their clients. Six years is typically the rule of thumb for most transitions, but there are many factors to consider. Just as young investors can afford to have a little more risk with their investment choices, young business owners should develop an understanding of how to build a business with maximum potential value at the time of their exit. Likewise, more mature investors typically lean toward protecting their nest egg. The business owner who is closer to retirement should focus more on protecting, planning, and positioning to successfully fulfill succession goals.

Finish Well sm

What does Finish Well mean to you as a business owner? It means creating a succession plan that allows you to monetize your business on your terms, including working and transitioning as you would like for the time frame you would like. It also means making sure that your clients are well taken care of. And, it means that your time and efforts on your clients’ behalf will be respected by the new owner.

 

​With all of this in mind, for you to finish your career on your terms you need to find a buyer who will work with you and with your clients to make it happen. However, what if the best buyer-solution can’t be found within your current Broker Dealer network; then what?

 

​It used to be that transitioning clients to another platform meant working with new products, repapering of client accounts, and learning new technology. BTS’s Finish Well program takes those concerns and solves them by finding a buyer for your practice who can do the heavy-lifting on those items allowing you to focus on introducing the custom-created succession plan to them, versus what might have been the easiest but not the best path of choosing another Buyer/FA in the same Broker Dealer.


BTS can help you locate that Financial Advisor/Business Owner who fits your criteria and will work with you to help your clients and your employees (when applicable) transition, and with those who have the infrastructure and financial means to help you and enable you to finish your career your way.

How can BTS Assist in Your Succession Planning Strategy?

It’s about listening. How can you possibly help others if you don’t listen? Yet, most firms don’t. Our process is built around talking with you and learning about your business, your goals, and your expectations. Our program is created to meet those needs and to present options to stimulate your thinking and help crystallize your vision.

Please contact Dennis Leininger, President, at dennis@btsplan.com to arrange a free consultation and begin the process of planning your future transition.

Continuity Planning

What is the Difference Between a Succession Plan and a Continuity Plan?

A continuity plan (CP) is a document that provides direction and specific instructions for the business and business owner’s loved ones at such time the owner is no longer able to participate in business operations, or if their participation is potentially on hold any reason. The CP should address communications and operating contingencies for disruptions in business operations and disaster recovery.

Entrepreneurs build their businesses through their vision, laser-like focus, commitment, and hard work. Every single day. Their businesses thrive because they create success. But, what happens to the business and its clients and its employees when they are suddenly gone? What is the plan to protect the value of the business for owners’ families? A Will transfers ownership. The Buy/Sell section of the company’s Operating Agreement only sets the terms of a sale as it defines a qualifying or triggering event. What about the actual perpetuation of the business that protects the clients, employees, estate, and the value of what the business owner(s) built?

A meaningful CP should accomplish the following:

  1. Name who will run or perhaps purchase the business in your absence

  2. Designate who your loved ones should consult with during the transition (your contingency team)  

    • CP consulting contact

    • Continuity partner  (designated manager or buyer)

    • Broker Dealer contact

    • Attorney

    • CPA

    • Insurance agent

    • Banks

    • Information technology firm

  3. Instructions for obtaining a valuation 

  4. Communication to your contingency team

  5. Templates for communicating to your clients (compliance approved by your Broker Dealer)

  6. Guidance on communicating to and reassuring employees

  7. A list of all service providers with contact information

  8. A checklist for your successor to follow to reach out to providers and how to interface with your contingency team

  9. Create a plan for communicating with clients including order taking

  10. Outline continued funding options

  11. Site options for temporary operations should your facilities become unavailable to you

  12. Annual review of your CP with your continuity planning consultant with distribution of updates to your contingency team

 

BTS consults with business owners to guide them through the decisions necessary to create a meaningful plan or adapt their Operating Agreement & Buy/Sell Agreement to accomplish the FINRA requirements of providing for the continuity of their business and operations in the event the owner can no longer participate in their business.

To discuss your potential needs for a CP, contact Dennis Leininger, President, at dennis@btsplan.com.