Elaine Gwinnett

"If they say they are going to do something, they do it."

I’m Elaine Gwinnett, and I run a company which I sold on at the end of May last year, 2021.

Why did you choose to work with Melo?

Their professionalism when I was dealing with them. When I first approached them and said that now the time is right, that I want to sell my business and walk away, they put together a portfolio of potential buyers, which we went through. And they arranged meetings as to whether the type of business I had would be a good fit with theirs.

And once I decided on a particular firm to go with, they gave me all the support. And they were basically go-betweens for the two firms, helping to make sure that my clients were going to be looked after properly, which was very important to me.

What was the hardest part of the sale process?

The hardest thing for me was when we’d gone quite a long way down the line with one particular buyer, and then we found that various things weren’t forthcoming. So with Vicky’s input, we decided that we wouldn’t continue with that particular buyer. And she found another one for me to converse with within a week, 10 days.

How did Melo make you feel during the sale process?

They gave me a lot of reassurance that what was important for them was a good outcome, not just for the buyer, but for me, who’s going to be passing over very close clients from my own client bank that I’ve nurtured over several years. And it was the hand-holding that gave me the reassurance that they were the right people to deal with.

How did you prepare emotionally for the sale of the business?

I was fortunate because I had a time aspect, that I wanted to complete within a certain time period because of personal commitments. And so I realised that I needed to detach myself from the relationships that I do have, or had, with my clients.

And that’s where Vicky came in, because she was very supportive. And because she’s previously been in the industry, she understands. And I think it’s different from a female point of view, and from a male point of view, and she gave me a lot of support and reassurance throughout.

What advice would you give to other people thinking about selling their business?

Probably to actually meet a couple of brokers initially, get one that you feel comfortable with. And then check them out as regards their knowledge and the contacts that they have, and whether or not you can feel that they’re going to act for you and your best interests.

And they certainly did an ‘exit partnership’. You know, I walked away more than happy and more than content that my clients were going to be looked after.

How did Melo help you after the sale of your business?

I was still getting the support from Vicky as to making sure that everything went smoothly. She was liaising between the purchaser and myself, and making sure that everything was in order from that point of view.

And that was reassuring, more than anything, to know that I wasn’t just a done deal and they put me aside. It was the after-sale service that was still continuing.

How did you feel on the day you completed the sale?

Relieved, more than anything. Relieved that everything had gone through timely, and that all the boxes had been ticked as regards the regulatory requirement, and from a personal requirement as such. So yes, I was ready to celebrate.

What was the best thing about working with Melo?

They kept me informed, weren’t frightened of letting me know that there might have been a hiccup on the other side or something like this. And if there was a hiccup on the other side, “Okay, how can we address this?” What can we do to help overcome any issues that have been raised, and you know, to kind of keep calm and get there, and, you know, to focus on the end goal?

Would you recommend Melo to other advisers?

I definitely recommend Vicky and Melo. The process from start to finish probably was about 18 months from when I met the first potential buyer. But when all that fell through after about nine months, which was quite frustrating, once we found a buyer that had everything ready in place, the whole procedure took six months. And that was rather sweet, in as much that we now were working to better timescales from my perspective. So yes, if they say they’re going to do something in the timeframe, they do it. They under-promise and over-deliver, which is important.

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