What's on my mind

So, you are thinking of selling your firm

26th March 2021

The sale of a financial services intermediary business is usually the single largest “capital event” for most owners. There is an old saying: “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”; it is one to bear in mind from the outset. In my experience of working

Preparing for the unexpected

11th March 2021

All firms should have a detailed risk plan in place. Here are the key considerations. Most business owners will have had to deal with occurrences they were not expecting. Examples include the death, disability or departure of colleagues or fellow directors and partners. Others can include legal disputes, IT issues, and

Acquisition rush risks due diligence failures

8th December 2020

Regular readers will have seen some of my thoughts about due diligence before, but I write this against the backdrop of significant deal activity in the sector. There is a rush, in some cases, to complete transactions prior to the next Budget, now scheduled for 11 March 2021, when there

Business during Covid: the six Cs

18th September 2020

The pandemic has been a chance to reflect, but there are issues to consider if you are planning to sell, acquire or pivot Regular readers of my Money Marketing columns will know I have a penchant for lists and alliteration. Set out below are my “six Cs”, as opposed to the recently

Why effective negotiation matters

19th June 2020

The saying: “Act in haste, repent at leisure”, is well worth bearing in mind in any business negotiation, let alone in our personal dealings.  Careful and considered forethought and preparation can and do make a positive difference to outcomes in a commercial environment. Often decisions cannot easily be undone and remade,

Failure to integrate a business brings buyer’s remorse

14th November 2019

As I have frequently said in previous articles in Money Marketing, it is a statistical fact that most financial intermediary acquisitions fail to deliver the value that was expected at the outset of the deal. A commonly quoted percentage is 70 per cent. For the buyer, that means a shortfall

Things buyers and sellers must get right

14th August 2019

There’s lots to consider when advice firms are considering buying or selling a business but without achieving these things any acquisition faces poor odds. The number and pace of intermediary firm acquisitions has, it is widely quoted, never been greater. Two interesting – if true – statistics appear to

How to negotiate the best deal when selling your firm

19th June 2019

Important points to consider when evaluating the suitability of a buyer and comparing offers. Much has been written about what buyers are looking for in advice firms, what due diligence is likely to be required and how to prepare for a sale. But much less is said about

Buyers and sellers adapt to changing times

16th April 2019

Buying or selling an IFA business? Here’s what to consider Over the past five years there has been significant consolidation within the IFA sector. Hardly a day has passed without another deal being announced involving firms across the spectrum. Based on data from merger-and-acquisition advisers, funds spent on larger M&As in

Five challenges to adviser remuneration arrangements

28th February 2019

Successfully implementing change is often the biggest issue for advice firms. Adviser remuneration – in particular, how to successfully implement change – continues to be a challenge for intermediary firms. This article highlights some of the current issues and suggests approaches to address them. 1. Will IR35 affect firms with self-employed

Writing & Speaking

To read the various articles and papers I've written in the recent past, please click here