Meet Exit Partner Steve McLean – bringing people together to create masterpieces

Just like an orchestra requires intense collaboration and teamwork, it’s important that a buyer and a seller work in harmony during the sales process, too.

As one of our exit partners, Steve McLean plays a crucial role in helping both parties do just that.

Having worked in the arts sector before turning his hand to brokering, Steve understands the importance of working collaboratively and seeing a process through from start to finish.

He says: “While working backstage in theatre production, I got a huge buzz from working with people on an idea and bringing it to fruition.

“I still have that same buzz now, helping sellers and buyers work together to achieve the best possible outcome for both parties.

“When you’re buying or selling a financial advice firm, it’s like you’re in an orchestra. Whether you’re playing a solo or sitting in the string section, you’re all collectively working towards a masterpiece.”

Steve’s time in the arts sector helped him realise what really motivated him – working together to solve problems and achieve goals

“I was studying psychology, sociology, law, and history at college. However, my tutor said that while he saw something in me, he felt I wasn’t taking the right path. And it was David who suggested I focus on something completely different – the arts.

“It turned out he was right. I did well and went on to study Contemporary Art at university.

“After that, I had a year of performing and even toured Europe as part of a theatre company. But, truth be told, I was never super-comfortable performing in front of an audience or a camera.

“So, when I was unexpectedly offered an opportunity to move behind the scenes and work in production, I jumped at it.

“It was while working in theatre production that I realised just how much I loved problem-solving and working with others who were motivated to make the impossible happen.

“I absolutely loved working with a team to achieve our goal.”

The drive to offer something more

“I’m really proud of how I was able to help others both during and after my time in the arts.

“I helped designers win Vogue Italy awards, worked with BAFTA award-winning documentary makers, and boosted interest and inquiries into disadvantaged children by 400% for Birmingham City Council.

“While I enjoyed my time in the arts sector, I needed to do something bigger and more meaningful in a different way.

“I was travelling to international conferences and producing exhibitions to encourage stronger cohesion between communities.

“Then I was invited to work for a legal firm and use what I had learned to help clients who had lost their investments.

“Following the success of these projects, I was asked to work closely with independent financial planners to help them exit. I bought into the idea of advocating on their behalf.

“It was daunting as I didn’t know much about independent financial advice but I knew I would be instrumental in helping them secure a deal that was meaningful (both in enterprise value and great client outcome).”

The hunger for a more collaborative experience

“Fast forward 5 years, that firm decided to take a different direction, so I felt it was time to embrace yet another challenge.

“I wanted to help more people and hungered for a stronger collaborative experience, which is what drew me to Vicki and Brian. I saw that they were the very best, had great credibility amongst their peer financial planners, and truly understood and cared about the profession.

“No goal was too great, and they had an unmatched drive to achieve get the best results for their clients. I wanted that, and I wanted to learn more about the independent financial adviser experience, too.”

Paying it forward

“Back when I was at college, my tutor said he wanted to find a way to help me get to where I wanted to be, and I now want to pay that forward.

“I have been gifted so many things in my life, I’ve been so fortunate. Now it’s my turn to do the same for others.

“For me, as well as Vicki and Brian, it’s about the greatest satisfaction of helping our clients get the best possible outcome.

“It’s not about the pounds and the pennies. It’s about helping the people we know need the help.

“Our clients are often great at running their firm but they’re novices when it comes to M&A. We’re here to help buyers and sellers create something to benefit everyone.”

Exit right with our new webinar series

We’re excited to reveal that we’ll soon be bringing you a new webinar series, Exit Right, that will break down the boundaries between buyer and seller! Participants will be immersed in the sales process, from concept of sale right through to completion.

And Steve’s going to be playing a vital role in driving this.

He says: “We want to make easy-to-digest episodes and give people the tools to create a blueprint for their exit.

“The Exit Right series is critical, giving owners the opportunity to understand more about themselves, their business, and the market, in a safe environment.

Our helpful six-part webinar series starts on 10 November, so keep your eyes on our website for further updates soon.

Get in touch

If you’re looking to sell your business, we’ll provide you with honest and comprehensive support throughout.

We’ll help you find the right buyer for your business, give you the peace of mind that you need, and help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Email or call 0113 4656 111.


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