Expert: James Rainbow, Schroders
Facilitator: Sara McLeish, EY
- Agreed that whether you plan to sell / stick around / build a succession plan internally….. everyone needs a plan! And it is remarkable how financial planners so often fail to do business planning! It is estimated that just over 10% of advice firms have a succession plan in place, even though it is crucial to have a documented plan in place.
- Noted that an acquirer would pay more for a business if the owner has planned to make themselves redundant….
- “Grow your own” talent is challenging – with graduates there are very significant costs, and often a poor retention rate and/or an unwillingness to take on responsibility or step up
- Widespread interest in selling the business within the next 5 years but a number wished to step back from a leadership role and/or have a less active role but stay involved in the business or the industry for a further 2-5 years…. The idea of an “overnight retirement” looks a little outdated
- All agreed on the importance of cultural fit with any potential acquirer or partners – agreed that many proposed deals abort on grounds of cultural mismatch, and that negotiations can be very time consuming and distracting so it is important to identify cultural alignment or mismatch asap
- In terms of succession planning, retention and leaving a legacy – agreed that creating the right kind of culture, vision and levels of staff engagement is key. A number of methods for engagement around the room including annual trips abroad for staff and partners, and also a questionnaire to ask staff how they would like to be recognised and rewarded (e.g. share options, variable pay, training and development etc)