What Matters Most for RIA Buy-Sell Agreements? In Our Experience…

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If an asset manager’s buy-sell agreement is going to specify reasonable expectations for the value of the firm, what are they? We think there are at least four elements that should be clearly stated in each buy-sell agreement to ward off costly ambiguity. Read this guest post by Matthew R. Crow, ASA, CFA, President of Mercer Capital.

So You Think You Have to Have a Fixed Price Buy-Sell Agreement?

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In this post, I explain why I believe that fixed price buy-sell agreements are not workable for most closely held and family businesses. This is as true for large companies as well as much smaller companies. However, if you or your client insists on using a fixed pricing mechanism in a buy-sell agreement, take the steps recommended in this post to maximize the probability of success and minimize the potential for future disputes. My text for this sermon lies in Chapters 9, 13, 14, 16 and 17 of Buy-Sell Agreements for Closely Held and Family Business Owners.

Announcing the Ownership Transition Bundle

Announcing a new Ownership Transition Bundle for business owners and advisers.

My book, Buy-Sell Agreements for Closely Held and Family Business Ownershas been available since 2010 and has sold thousands of copies.  The book sells for $25 (plus shipping).

My latest book, Unlocking Private Company Wealth, was released in late 2014, and is selling at much higher rate than the buy-sell agreement book.  This new book deals with managing private company wealth in ways you likely have not thought about.  This book sells for $25 (plus shipping).  That makes $50 for the two books.

We are now offering an Ownership Transition Bundle, consisting of both books for only $35 (plus shipping).  As they say on selling TV networks, “But wait, there’s more!”

In addition to both books, you will receive immediate downloads of our very popular checklists, the Buy-Sell Agreement Review Checklist, and the Promissory Note Checklist.  The review checklist is by far my most downloaded resource, so this is quite a package!

If you are interested in ownership transition for closely held and private companies, the Ownership Transition Bundle will tell you a great deal about managing private company wealth in the process of thinking about ownership and management transitions.

The buy-sell book will tell you about the unexpected consequences for ownership transition, often quite adverse, when poorly written buy-sell agreements are triggered.  The free resources are available to help discuss and plan for important aspects of transitions.

Buy it now: The Ownership Transition Bundle.

What is the “Middle Market” of Companies and What Do They Have in Common?

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Use of a term like “middle market” to categorize companies may be helpful to writers in national publications. They are looking at ways to describe the world, as are companies who do business with other companies. However, in reality, few business owners think of their companies as “middle market” businesses. What we know about middle market and larger companies is that each one is defined by its business and markets. We also know that one thing they have in common is that all of them need to work on things like I write about in Unlocking Private Company Wealth that have nothing to do with the particular business they are in, including complex ownership, a need for workable buy-sell agreements, management transition planning and execution, ownership transition planning and execution, and management of private company wealth.

10 Tips on the Role of Valuation in Ownership and Management Transitions

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On Friday, August 15, 2014 I spoke at a conference of the Society of Financial Service Professionals in Orlando. Florida.  It was the first time I have spoken before this group whose members include many financial planners–all of whom have at least one and many of whom have more than one professional designations.  I attended […]

Is There Life Insurance Associated With Your Buy-Sell Agreement?

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If there is life insurance associated with your buy-sell agreement, it is critical to be sure that the language in the agreement and any related documents specifies its treatment precisely. Life insurance can be used as a funding vehicle to acquire the stock of a deceased owner. If so, the life insurance is not treated as part of the purchase price. Alternatively, life insurance can be a corporate asset (corporate-owned life insurance, or COLI), and proceeds are part of value. The two different treatments provide different, perhaps dramatically different results for selling owners and remaining owners when buy-sell agreements are triggered by the death of an owner.

Do You Know What Will Happen if Your Buy-Sell Agreement is Triggered?

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Buy-sell agreements are ownership transition plans in disguise. Few business owners think about their buy-sell agreements in this light, but if your agreement is triggered, either through the death of a shareholder or otherwise, then ownership will change hands. Your buy-sell agreement is really ownership transition on autopilot. The real question is whether you, the other owners and the company will land safely when a trigger event occurs or if some or all of you will crash and burn. This short post addresses a simple question: Do you know what will happen if your buy-sell agreement is triggered?

Do You Ask Enough Questions?

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If you employ a questioning attitude, you can expand on what is known in many ways, to achieve what would otherwise have been unknown. And the previously unknown builds on our knowledge and ability to learn and do more. The example presented in this post is pretty simple, but powerful. You can do similar things by asking questions about what you see and hear and then comparing what you learn with what you already know or can infer.