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About SRG

Succession Resource Group is a boutique succession consulting firm based in the Pacific Northwest, serving clients across the country. SRG was founded by David Grau Jr., MBA in 2012 after nearly a decade of helping advisors with valuation and succession planning. SRG's team of experts leverage their industry expertise, combined with best-in-class resources, to help advisors, agents, and accountants manage the equity in their businesses...

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2 min read

Secrets to a Successful Succession

Feb 27, 2020 11:44:43 AM

Great article from Matthew Halloran on succession planning. He makes 10 good suggestions for buyers/sellers to be thinking about, here is a quick summary:

  1. Start your successor search early.
  2. Hire an experienced broker to help.
  3. Make sure your successor can sell.
  4. Hire a transition coach.
  5. Buyer, be ready and willing to pay a fair price.
  6. Develop a well choreographed transition plan so the next 18 months following closing goes smoothly.
  7. Buyer, have your elevator pitch ready for the seller's clients.
  8. Keep the seller's key staff, cut the rest.
  9. Build incentives for the seller's staff after closing.
  10. Fire the less desirable clients.

To read the complete article, click here.

I agree with him on almost all of his point with the exception of #3 and #10.

#3: For advisors with smaller books of business I agree...but for larger businesses, trying to find a successor based on sales ability alone will undermine your succession plan. First generation practices - you have to be able to sell to build your business and survive. However, when looking for a successor to continue building your legacy after you're gone, you often need a different skill set than the one that got you to where you are today. When you've built a large business, your successor doesn't have to be a great sales person, they have to be a great CEO. Granted, being able to sell doesn't hurt, but it is not the number one trait advisors should be looking for in a successor --- you need someone who can lead. Too many advisors want someone just like themselves to run their business, and they end up with someone who is just like them...a great sales person and terrible at running a business.

#10: Before you fire any clients, consider a partial book sale of your "less desirable" clients to a junior advisor. Your "C" clients are another advisors "A" clients, which allows you to monetize a portion of their book and at the same time, know that their clients are going to receive even better service after the partial book sale.


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David Grau Jr.

Written by David Grau Jr.