No More Scary Stories

I recently had the privilege of being with a very talented group of financial service professionals at the second Succession Planning Roundtable meeting, as they shared their SCARY stories of succession and exit.


OKIMG_9026Yes, very scary. As financial service professionals, they tend to see the good, the bad and a lot of ugly when they work with business owners through major life events. Selling a business to a third party, estate planning, actually leaving the business, turning over the day to day to a son or daughter, are all major life events that if not done well, can have disastrous consequences. Every one of the 30 people in the room had clients who had experienced disaster. We heard about

  • A business not properly covered for risk and liability at purchase, creating a costly outcome for the buyer, followed by a lawsuit against the seller.
  • Business ownership in the estate plan split evenly between a son running the business and another who is disengaged, owner passes away creating all kinds of issues around business influence, asset value splits, and more.
  • Son or daughter not prepared to run the business and owner/father becomes ill. No plans in place to sustain business. Business struggles and nearly goes under.

I could give you a hundred stories. Unfortunately, this group sees them every day.

And yet I marveled as I listened to these very caring, wise, experienced professionals describe the advice they had offered as they anticipated these risks, and the hoops they jumped through to save the client time, money, stress, legal/tax woes, once they were invited in to help.

With these kinds of resources at my fingertips – business attorneys, financial advisors, risk advisors, estate planning attorneys, M&A experts, investment bankers, business brokers and me -- I’m starting a new section of The Donnelly Report bi-weekly newsletter. If you are not a subscriber, click here to register. This section, called ‘Dear Abby’, will answer your most pressing questions about succession and exit. Baby boomer owners will remember Dear Abby. I certainly do! I’ve received many pressing questions over the years because of her legacy. I hope you will write me with questions you have about Succession, Exit, Leadership and Legacy.

Your questions will be handled with the utmost level of confidentiality and with complete anonymity. Email your questions to me. I’ll tap into this razor sharp group of resources and get you an answer.

The Succession Planning Roundtable was started to facilitate networking, relationship building and learning from each other so we can support the massive number of owners that will be exiting their business in the next 15 years. If you want to learn more about this stellar group of professionals at the Succession Planning Roundtable, let me know. Meetings are open to all and are free!