Our secret seller shares their sale journey! First up, “deciding to sell”

Selling a business is a lengthy, and often challenging, task. So, we wanted to share absolutely every aspect of the process, including “warts and all”. We asked one of our clients – our Secret Seller – to share their experiences with us.

Below is our first episode in this series, starting with ‘Deciding to Sell.’

The journey of the seller is one of transformation. Our secret seller is running a successful wealth business, but with external pressures she must consider a new reality.

They said: “It’s probably the biggest decision I never thought I would make when it comes to my business – do I sell, or do I build a succession business?

“We are a small IFA firm, going on for 20-ish years, with two independent advisers who work full-time seeing clients, and myself as managing director and a qualified adviser. My role is to run the company, to oversee compliance and to manage the ever-growing support team.

“One of my advisers has always wanted to sell and retire eventually, while the other adviser and myself were both pro-succession and growing our future team. We definitely had no plans to sell!

“Over the years, I’ve been wined and dined at Claridge’s and had dinners out with that large financial services organisation – the one we all say we will never join! – and a few years back I went through a few conversations with some of the agencies to try and gauge what our value was. But deep down, I wanted the company name to continue forever.

“I had visions of the company having its 50th and 100th anniversaries, and people talking about the founders with fond memories and a tear in their eye.

“Over the last eight years, I have been building that succession team with younger advisers coming in to support the older two, and I had been mentoring my replacement (or so I thought) for almost 10 years.

“Then lockdown came, and with it came the sudden early death of a parent, and everything changed: my outlook on life, what I wanted my future to look like, and the way I looked at the business.

“The person I had been mentoring to replace me suddenly realised the enormity of running of a business and that the responsibilities which go with running an FCA-regulated business were actually about to become a reality. I wasn’t going to be working until I was 80, and they wouldn’t be able to hang on my coattails forever.

“I had always thought it was difficult to get the right advisers, but actually it’s even more difficult to get the right people to run your business, especially if you’re not going to be there. I had visions of relaxing 10 years into ‘retirement’ only to be called back to the office because someone had left, and there being no one there to fill the void – not the future I wanted.”

So, what were the options?

“I registered for a webinar with Brian from The Exit Partnership about exiting options and booked a call with him afterwards. Even then I was looking at management buyout options, anything but selling the business, but as we talked, it hit me like a thunderbolt, there was only one route to take – we had to sell!

Get in touch

If you are looking to sell your business and want an organisation that looks after you and every single aspect of the process, speak to Melo. Email hello@melo.co.uk or call 0113 4656 111.


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