Owner Transition Options: How Platinum helped three owners to plan for their personal and business futures

A financial services provider with broker/dealer capabilities had grown over the past 25 years, with positive operating performance year after year.

Situation

A financial services provider with broker/dealer capabilities had grown over the past 25 years, with positive operating performance year after year. The three owners, who were very active in the business, individually considered selling it and taking early retirement. They called on Platinum to help them look objectively at transition options.

Challenges

  • The owners were growing weary with the demands of managing a larger, more complex business.
  • The business had neither internal nor external leadership support to continue growing if the owners all took early retirement.

Solution

Platinum helped the three owners articulate personal and business goals. One of the owners spun off a services division, which allowed the core business to continue with a more single-minded focus on their unique skills for serving producers and clients. For the owners of the core business, which now was smaller and less complex, Platinum helped to develop a controlled growth strategy. This was followed by a structured succession plan to groom three, high-potential internal candidates for future leadership of the core business. During this process, all three owners rediscovered how much they loved their work, yet the two core owners needed some time away from the business for rest and reflection. And, succession candidates needed time to develop leadership skills and deliver business results.

Results

After five years, one of the internal candidates has earned new responsibilities as a leader and owner. Continued growth in revenue and bottom-line performance was the catalyst for another more rigorously structured succession process for five high potential managers that included coaching, case studies and professional development. One owner of the core business took a transition sabbatical and returned with more energy and commitment for continuing the growth, and plans to retire in another four years when the new leadership will be in place. Another owner is planning a sabbatical for next year, and will step away when new leaders/ owners are in place.

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