The Current M&A, Succession Market for Retirement and Wealth Management Firms
I am doing more work helping retirement firm, RIAs, wealth managers and other business owner sell their firms or find a long-term strategic partners. Let me explain a few things about the process, based on my work and experience.
The goal of the process is to assure the owner, and often other principals and employees, income for the years, and decades, to come.
That is usually dependent on both the stability of the current revenue sources and growth. The growth will likely come from the owner and principals spending more time on delivering the highest value services they offer. They can probably best assure the stability of current revenue and freeing up time to deliver their best value by partnering with another firm where you can off-load the day to day operations and acquire more efficient business processes, like better technology, etc..
There are firms with larger businesses and younger leadership, that have a longer time horizon and are willing to make investments in better business processes and growth and geographic expansion.
My job is to find potential acquirers or partners who are solid, have a sound long-term strategy to optimize money to themselves and you for the life of the relationship and have proof they can execute. While pretty much all firms say they are acquirers and partners, the truth is that very, very few have good strategies and a record of execution. My job is to screen, filter and vet the potential firms BEFORE you talk to them.
After you are introduced to a firm and it’s principals, my job is to shepard and guide the discussions and due diligence and get the best terms for you that I can – based on your priorities.
Everyone I talk to has executed an NDA and you can get a copy of each one. From your perspective, it is hard to think thru your options and ideas without having information on how this process and the market works. There are two ways for you to get more information to help you think thru about your options and make decisions one is to talk to some of my current and past clients, who have been thru a similar and successful process.
The second is to start to talk to some potential partners. You can do that anomalously and protected by NDAs and with no obligations. My experience is that any discussions go on for many months and often longer than a year and it is a slow, careful, detailed process. With most firms rarely is it a fast-paced competitive, auction process. Usually, there is a good fit with just one firm.