Portland, Ore. (June 17, 2020) – Succession Resource Group (SRG) is excited to announce the sale of Delaware-based RIA, Lovett Advisors to Pennsylvania-based RIA, Bluesphere Advisors LLC. This sale represents over $109 million in assets under management (AUM), negotiated and closed amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Kim Lovett, President of Lovett Advisors began by having SRG complete a market-based valuation to better understand her practice’s value as she prepared for the sale of her RIA. Kim then chose to partner with SRG, utilizing their no-cost Seller Advocacy Program to represent her for the sale of her company.
Ms. Lovett had a specific criterion for her buyer – a team with a CFP® on staff, custodied with TD Ameritrade, would retain her team and lease, and someone that valued her post-sale involvement to help continue to grow the business.
With Lovett’s criteria defined, SRG identified and screened more than 48 qualified RIAs. Utilizing SRG’s 9-Steps to Success Process and having ongoing conversations with Kim at each stage, SRG selected five “elite” candidates that met her criteria. SRG worked with the buyers to prepare and submit offers on March 5, 2020. Despite conditions at the time, the average of the five offers was 5.0% over asking and an average down payment of almost 80%. By March 13, 2020, following thorough deliberation, Kim selected Sanjay Pawar of Bluesphere Advisors, highlighting their similar processes and philosophies. Bluesphere’s offer was also very competitive, offering Kim a 3.14x revenue multiple or 7.00x earnings, and 100% cash down. Sanjay Pawar stated, “Bluesphere believes that great client service and building relationships is the only way to retain clients and that is how I have been successful with my previous acquisitions. Kim built a great practice and with her staying on, this acquisition is a no-brainer!”
Within days of due diligence, volatility in the market ensued due to the coronavirus pandemic – resulting in the biggest drop in the stock market since 1987. There was a drop in billings nearly industry-wide, increased workloads servicing their respective clients, and reduced financing options as lenders altered their loan programs and tightened their underwriting criteria.
Lovett shared, “After COVID-19 fear facilitated an economic shutdown and market turmoil, I initially found myself feeling defeated. However, with time spent soul searching and looking again at defining my intentions, I knew I needed additional talent, experience, and perspective now more than ever; we agreed to continue. SRG excels and bringing the right people to the table in any environment!”
With perseverance and collaboration, Kim and Sanjay were able to renegotiate a deal, resulting in a slightly lower 2.82x revenue multiple or 5.75x earnings, 100% cash down, retention of the lease and staff, and a minimum two-year employment contract for Kim, all key to ensuring a successful client transition.
Kristen Grau, Executive Vice President of SRG, said, “Sellers are a commodity at this size, even during the pandemic. Kim built a successful practice focused on financial planning as the foundation, with well-defined processes, and high net worth clients. While recent market conditions created instability for advisor M&A, Kim and Sanjay were diligent and adapted to changing circumstances.”
About Succession Resource Group
Succession Resource Group is an award-winning Portland, Oregon based consulting firm specialized in helping advisors nationwide with valuation, M&A, succession, and practice management solutions. With decades of combined industry experience, SRG brings a unique combination of skills, resources, and expertise to help advisors.
Succession Resource Group
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