“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
Feb 3, 2016 Anita Venkiteswaran, WealthManagement.com
One of the most common misconceptions regarding succession planning is: “I’m young and healthy. I’ll think about succession planning when I’m closer to retirement.”
This mindset could not be more wrong! You can’t anticipate what life has in store for you. More importantly, you don’t know what you may possibly be missing out on by not planning. Below is one such real life example from a partner I’ll call Harry.*
Following a disagreement on the path forward for their RIA, Harry split from his partner to establish his own firm in a small town in New Jersey in 2011. The split was amicable, and Harry took a few clients and about $100 million in assets. In the first couple of years, Harry experienced great growth—he gained new clients, had complete freedom on how to service them and had flexibility with his time.
At the age of 45, he finally felt like a true entrepreneur. He hired a part-time assistant to help with administrative duties, but he kept his operations lean and built a very profitable business.
All was going well, until he was diagnosed with cancer. It had progressed significantly and was discovered fairly late. There was still a good chance for a full recovery, but he suddenly found himself being kept up at night by two questions:
- What happens to my clients if something happens to me suddenly?
- What happens to my family?
Harry was right to worry about these things—his assistant Tom couldn’t service Harry’s clients, so Harry would be failing to fulfill his fiduciary duty. Furthermore, he wasn’t properly safeguarding the financial future of his family.
So, Harry did something a lot of advisors do. He spoke to his friend Bill down the street who managed an RIA with $400 million in assets; Bill agreed to service Harry’s clients in the event Harry no longer could. What Harry didn’t take into consideration was that while Bill had a team, Bill still managed over 400 client relationships himself and lacked the physical capacity to actually take on Harry’s clients. More importantly, Bill didn’t have the capital to pay Harry’s family anything close to fair market value for his business.
Fortunately, Harry made a full recovery, but his clients were worried. Harry even lost a couple of referrals because he didn’t have a good answer for them in the “What if…” scenario. Finally, he realized he needed to take concrete steps to protect his family and clients.
He conducted a search for a firm that would match his ideals and philosophy. After meeting almost twenty firms through recruiters and headhunters, he finally found a firm that was the right fit for his clients and for him. He established a relationship with the firm’s founder and senior team members and did his due diligence on their numbers and culture. The deal they offered him was attractive, but what was more attractive was the fact that they were backed by a well-respected investor in the space who had the necessary capital to support the transaction. The more Harry got involved in the process, the more he was convinced he made the right decision.
In fact, Harry started off the process thinking he would sell and walk away, but the firm he chose greatly appealed to him. He realized he could actually make valuable contributions as a team member, even though this was a much larger firm managing over $1 billion in client assets. He ultimately merged his firm with this firm and became an equity owner in the larger business.
- How did his clients take it? Every single client was relieved that Harry now was part of a firm that thought like him and would step in for him if needed. He received five additional referrals in the first month after his transaction. Since he no longer had the responsibility of running his back office and compliance processes, he could center his efforts around providing the best and most creative solutions for his existing and prospective clients.
- How did his family take it?With the backing of a new firm to handle his back office and compliance needs, Harry had more time to spend with his family. He also received a fair value for his business at predominantly long-term capital gains, securing his family’s finances.
It has been almost a year since the transaction, and the merger could not have gone smoother.
What can we all learn from Harry’s experience?
- Your succession plan should be a robust one, not just with any RIA down the street. Choose a firm that is aligned with your values, has the capacity to take on additional clients and has the capital to appropriately compensate you.
- You never know what life has in store for you, so don’t wait until it is too late to think about a viable continuity plan for yourself and your clients.
*All names and locations have been changed to protect privacy
Anita Venkiteswaran is a vice president at Focus Financial Partners where she is responsible for business development and acquisition activities.
This article first appeared on WealthManagement.com.
Phoenix Commercial Real Estate and Investment Real Estate: investors and Owner / Users need to really know the market today before making a move in Commercial Properties or Investment Properties in Phoenix / Tucson / Arizona, as the market has a lot of moving parts today. What is going on socio-economically, what is going on demographically, what is going on with location, with competing businesses, with public policy in general — all of these things affect the quality of selling or purchasing your Commercial Properties, Commercial Investment Properties and Commercial and large tracts of Residential Land in Phoenix / Tucson / Arizona. Therefore, you need a broker, a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) who is a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry and who understands Commercial Properties and Investment Properties.
I am marketing my listings on Costar, Loop-net CCIM, Kasten Long Commercial Group. I also sold hundreds millions of dollars’ worth of Investment Properties / Owner User Properties in Retail, Office Industrial, Multi-family and Land in Arizona and therefore I am working with brokers, Investors and Developers. I am also a CCIM and through this origination ( www.ccim.com ) I have access to marketing not only in the United States, but also international. Click here to find out what is a CCIM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCIM
WHY PHOENIX ARIZONA : ???
Feel free to contact Walter regarding any of these stories, the current market, distressed commercial real estate opportunities and needs, your property or your Investment Needs for Comercial Properties in Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona.
Kasten Long Commercial Group tracks all advertised apartment communities, including those advertised by other brokerages. The interactive map shows the location of each community (10+ units) and each location is color coded by the size (number of total units).
Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS
I am a successful Commercial / Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years. If you have any questions about Commercial / Investment Properties in Phoenix or Commercial / Investment Properties in Arizona, I will gladly sit down with you and share my expertise and my professional opinion with you. I am also in this to make money therefore it will be a win-win situation for all of us.
Please reply by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on my cell 520-975-5207
Walter Unger CCIM
Senior Associate Broker
Kasten Long Commercial Group
2821 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 600
Phoenix , AZ 85016
Delivering the New Standard of Excellence in Commercial Real Estate
- Commercial Real Estate Scottsdale
- Commercial Real Estate Phoenix
- Commercial Real Estate Arizona
- Commercial Investment Properties Phoenix
- Commercial Investment Properties Scottsdale
- Commercial Investment Properties Arizona
- Land Specialist Arizona
- Arizona Land Specialist
- Land Specialist Phoenix
- Phoenix Land Specialist
- Land For Sale Phoenix
- Land for sale Arizona
- Commercial Properties For Sale Phoenix
- Commercial Real Estate Sales Phoenix
- Commercial Properties Phoenix
- Commercial Properties Arizona
- Commercial Land Specialist Phoenix
- Commercial Land Phoenix
- Multifamily land Phoenix
- Retail Land Phoenix
- Industrial Land Phoenix
- Land Commercial Phoenix
- Land Retail Phoenix
- Land Industrial Phoenix
- Land Multifamily Phoenix
- Industrial Land for sale Phoenix
- Land Industrial
- Investment Real Estate
Disclaimer of Liability
The information in this blog-newsletter is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.