Podcast: A Roadmap for Buying a Financial Advisory Business

Katie Bruner, a Managing Partner at SkyView Partners shares the details of an action plan for RIAs and independent financial advisor to discover and acquire a practice in today's highly competitive market.

Visit SkyView.com to request a copy of the roadmap or call 866.567.6282 to get started on your practice acquisition journey.

To listen to the episode simply click play on the audio stream below or listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. You can find The Advisor Financing Forum on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher.

Transcript

Mike:

Welcome to the Advisor Financing Forum, a weekly podcast presented by SkyView Partners. My name is Mike Langford and this week I'm joined by Katie Bruner, a managing partner at SkyView. Katie and I are going to explore an action plan for practice acquisition that was recently published by the Advisory Practice Board of Exchange or APBOE for short as you'll hear Katie tell me.

The action plan or roadmap, as you'll hear us refer to it in our conversation, is titled Find Your Opportunity for Payer, Prospect, Purchase: The APBOE Action Plan to Becoming a Premier Buyer, Finding a Seller, and Closing An Acquisition. You can find it in the media section at SkyView dot com or you can shoot an email to Info at SkyView dot com or call 866-567-6282 and request a copy and someone will get right back to you.

Quick note, this is not just an action plan document that you're going to take a quick peek at and archive on your computer or maybe stuff into your drawer of your desk. We've all downloaded our fair share of white papers over the years and some of them promised to show us the way on some specific area of interest or another.

But this, this is more of a call to action. The M&A environment is incredibly vibrant for financial advisory businesses right now. We're expecting to see thousands of advisors transition out of the business in the coming years and the pandemic is likely to accelerate that process. With rates at historic lows, the timing from a cost of capital perspective is shaping up to be a near perfect environment for potential buyers.

However, as Katie explains, not every would be buyer is qualified or attractive to a seller and, as you'll hear Katie mention, there are about 50 buyers to every seller in the marketplace. You're going to need a plan if you're going to win the deal. That's what the roadmap that SkyView and APBOE have created is intended to help you create and implement.

The eight week program outlined in the roadmap starts with a free consultation with the APBOE team and it outlines each step you'll need to take along the way. Heck, it even includes recommended phone scripts and email templates that you can customize and use to open the door with a prospective seller. It's really good stuff. You're going to love this conversation with Katie and her vision for the program.

Before we get started, please do make sure you like and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you'd like to get your podcasts. Also, if you have a question or a suggestion for the show, please feel free to reach out via Podcast at SkyView dot com or hit us up on your favorite social channel. You can find SkyView Partners on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Someone from the team is always listening. Whatever you need, just hit them up. Okay. Let's get to it with Katie Bruner.

Well, hey, Katie. I'm so thrilled to finally have you on the show so welcome to the podcast.

Katie:

Thank you. I am happy to be here. We are definitely due for a conversation.

Mike:

Exactly. It's really interesting. You and I have known each other now for what feels like a very long time but it's really only been like six or seven months or so that we've known each other and we've had lots of phone conversations and I feel like we've warmed up and we are just ready to crush it on the podcast first time together.

Katie:

Absolutely. Let's do it.

Mike:

Yeah. Let's do it. Okay. The topic for today is helping advisors and RAA firms really think through their readiness for acquiring another practice or another firm. Potentially, and most likely, if they are first time potential buyers.

I thought we'd kick things off with that concept because you shared a report with me from the APBOE, which I have to go check to see what that acronym actually stands for.

Katie:

Advisory Practice Board of Exchange and we fondly call it APBOE.

Mike:

Oh.

Katie:

At SkyView Partners. We call it APBOE dot com.

Mike:

Perfect. That works for me. I like it.

Katie:

I know. It's got a good little ring to it.

Mike:

Exactly. One of the things that I think a lot about is that we're at a very interesting time for the wealth management industry and its history because this is the first generation of financial advisors, as we know them, beginning to retire, right? Prior to this generation, 25 years or so ago, advisors were called stockbrokers for the most part. There was an evolution where they became advisors and now we're seeing the first generation starting to think about retiring and many more will just exit the business in some way, shape, or form.

At the same time, many advisors and RAA firms are scaling up. They're looking to grow through acquisition, they're looking to grow through succession, being somebody who acquires the other advisor's business in one shape, way, or form. What are your thoughts on the landscape for M&A at the moment and what we can expect to see here in the next few years?

Katie:

Well, I think we're going to continue to see the M&A industry and all aspects of it continue to grow. In fact, it's been sort of ironic just even in the last few months with current events and things that have been going on, we've seen a huge uptick in activity and requests for financing, which obviously would indicate a good amount of M&A activity that's going on or interest in M&A activity. I think that's only going to continue to grow as more advisors realize the value of their practice and the fact that they can actually sell it and that people can get financing to buy their practice.

Most advisors, historically, have not sold their practice. They've "retired in place" and just let their business deteriorate or tail off over time as they've grown older and they've never had a real formal exit or succession plan for their practice. I think as financing has become more available to buyers we're going to continue to see the activity of mergers and acquisitions just continue to grow over the next few years. We expect a large uptick in activity and we've certainly seen good evidence of that even in the last few months.

Mike:

You know, Scott and I, Scott Wetzel, for those who are unfamiliar, the CEO of SkyView, he mentioned something to me that I was really actually surprised by, and it lends credence to what you were saying that most advisors retired in place and didn't necessarily have an exit. He mentioned that only 2% of independent financial advisors have experienced a liquidity event in terms of the way that they exit. That was really surprising to me, right? It's such a small number but he also mentioned that in part that's just due to a lack of financing and a lack of infrastructure available prior to now for advisors to exit with a liquidity event.

Katie:

Well, I think that's also due to a lack of education as well for these advisors, not really knowing what all of their retirement options or succession plan options can be. It's a scary thing to think about if you have spent your whole life building this business and then, all of a sudden, are thinking about that retirement plan and going, "Okay. Is my only option to just sell it, turn off the lights, and lock the door and go?"

You know, that's a really intimidating thing for someone who has spent a good amount of time building up this business or practice. Now with the availability of financing, there are so many more options and that retirement glide path can look a lot different for people depending on what their goals are.

Educating advisors that they have these options available to them is really one of the biggest hurdles we face. Now the financing is there, we have options, there's a lot of flexibility that that financing provides but getting the word out to these people that you don't have to retire maybe the way that you thought you did but you have a multitude of options that you can consider is critical for us.

Mike:

I agree. It is really interesting. As you mentioned, a lot of times people think through only one lens and to know that there are more options available to you is often times very empowering.

Katie:

Very empowering for both the exiting advisor but then also for the buyer as well, which is one of the reasons behind this roadmap that we wanted to put out for buyers was to also educate them that you don't have to just go and buy the whole business. You can buy it in pieces. You can do a partial sale. You can schedule the sale. You can do it internally, you can do it externally. There's a lot of different options now for both parties.

Mike:

I'm glad you brought up the buyers. Let's switch gears back to the buyers because the paper/brochure, however we're terming it, starts out with a basic question of are you ready to buy a practice? I guess there's two answers to that or two ways of phrasing that, "Are you ready?" Are you emotionally ready? Are you motivated? Let's get this. Are you ready to buy a practice?

The other obvious interpretation and way to think through this, and I think these are both valid lenses, is are you prepared and ready to be taken seriously as a buyer in the marketplace for another advisor or another firm? Let's talk a little bit about that. How does an advisor or an advisory firm know they're ready to buy another practice or firm?

Katie:

Well, it's a good question. If you ask most of the potential buyers out there, they're all ready to buy a practice or acquire a practice. I think there's less emotional hurdles or less emotional preparation that a buyer has to make in order to enter into that decision that they want to do an acquisition. I think for a buyer, the more critical piece is when it comes down to putting a plan in place, do you have a plan? Is your plan realistic? Are you actually ready, most critically, for what we believe, from a financial standpoint to make that acquisition?

A good portion of the deals we see end up falling apart at some point in the process because the financing is not there or the buyer can't secure the financing that they need. Really, at the end of the day, are you ready to buy a practice? One of the first pieces that you have to have in place is, financially, are you able to make the deal happen? What kind of deal can you make happen with the financing that you are able to secure?

Mike:

That's a great transition into the concept of purchasing power. As the paper outlines using a trademarked purchasing power, all one word, methodology, that gauges the credit worthiness and the readiness of a buyer's ability to acquire another wealth management practice, it kind of, to me, feels a little like the concept of getting pre-approved before you buy a house, right? If you're going to go out and you're seriously shopping for a house you need to make sure you're pre-approved. You have purchasing power if you're going out into the marketing place. What goes into the concept of purchasing power, as you said, the financial readiness for an advisor or for a firm when they're going out to be taken seriously in the marketplace by sellers?

Katie:

It's super important. It's funny that you use the analogy about home buying and getting pre-approved. I remember when my husband and I bought our first home or were entering the market to buy our first home almost 20 years ago and we had no clue what we were getting into when we first did that. We didn't know how much we could afford, what kind of house we could afford. We knew that we wanted to buy one and we knew it was the next step that we wanted to take and what we wanted to do but we really did not financially prepare for that transaction until we were already in the process.

At the time when we were looking, the market was hot. There were a lot of buyers out there. The home prices were jumping up significantly. We lost out on a few of the houses that we wanted to initially purchase because we just weren't ready. The concept behind purchasing power is very similar to that but really we wanted advisors to take that stressful piece out of the equation when they were going into the acquisition process because it can be such a linchpin for a lot of people who were in the middle of a deal and can't get the financing that they need or can't secure it.

Purchasing power is a platform that helps buyers gauge their credit worthiness and their readiness to buy a practice and at the end of the process they'll get a score between one and 10 that gives them an indicator of how ready they are for the conventional commercial financing process. It's very similar, like you said, to going through a pre-approval process at a bank for buying a home. Very similar to that.

At the end of the day, these advisors are not familiar because conventional commercial financing is newer to the marketplace, it's a financing option, they're not really familiar with what that process entails or what they need to do to prepare for it.

Mike:

Yeah. It is really interesting. In our conversations we've been having over these last several months we've really talked a lot about that, how this is really a new concept for the marketplace, right? That, traditionally, there has been seller financing, has been one of the avenues that people have gone about using in order to acquire another business. Now there is legitimate business financing, commercial financing available through SkyView as an example.

How does the team at SkyView advise advisors, advise advisors, I like that, and RAAs when they reach out to explore financing for acquiring a practice because there is obviously a lot of moving parts. It's like any other major event out there that there's also likely to be a little bit of apprehension/nervousness on behalf of the buyer, especially if it's their first acquisition they've ever made and they've most likely never applied for business financing via traditional commercial loan because, well, it didn't exist before. How do you walk them through things and set their mind at ease so they can proceed with confidence?

Katie:

I think from the buyers' perspective when it comes to preparing for the financing process, it's pretty cut and dry. It's pretty factual. I mean, one of the most important things that they need to do is they need to know what the bank is going to ask for and what the bank is going to look at when they go in this process. Essentially, how the bank is going to judge their practice and them as a potential borrower from that institution.

One of the things that we do is we walk them through that process of exactly what the bank is going to need from them from a documentation standpoint. They're going to look at your credit score. They're going to look at how long you've been in the business. They're going to look at your FINRA record. They're going to look at your tax documents. They're going to look at your revenue over the last three, four years.

We're very clear with them on what that process will look like and then, obviously, we walk them through that process from start to finish and we act as their advocate in the process on behalf of the potential borrower.

Mike:

Yeah. That's really important. Anybody who has ever applied for a loan, the lender wants to help you get the funding. That's how they make their money. Number one.

Katie:

Sure.

Mike:

We want to find a way to fund you and we want to make sure that the funding is successful because we also want to make sure we get paid back, right? As a business loan, we want to make sure that your business is stable and has the ability to repay the loan that is taken out. We want to make sure that we set you up to make a good quality acquisition if that's the purpose of using the funds, right? Make sure that you're not going to go out there and spend like a drunken sailor, that you're also buying something good.

It's the same way we go back to the home loan analogy where there's an inspection that's made, make sure that the home passes an inspection, that there's an appraisal that's made, making sure that you're buying something that has the underlying value befitting of the loan that's being taken to acquire it. I think it's really smart that you're helping prepare the advisors.

Katie:

Right. I think it's important that they understand too, to your point, exactly that going through this process there's definitely a qualitative as well as quantitative aspect that the banks are looking at. They want to understand your business. They need to know it's a good business. They need to know it's a viable long-term business. They will look at all of those different aspects.

Our job at SkyView, again, because we're advocating on the buyer's behalf with the bank, our job is to put together the information in a light that allows the bank to really look under the hood of the practice and make sure that it's a quality practice that they want to lend to.

Mike:

How far in advance should a buyer have their financing approved and in place? Obviously, business transactions, typically, are happening like emergency style, "Oh, there's a practice for sale. I got to buy it this weekend before somebody else ..." Again, I guess using the house analogy for the last time, but you mentioned that there was a hot market when you were buying your first home and you felt like you were under-prepared in looking at it.

Katie:

Right.

Mike:

However, that type of scenario ... I'm sure it does happen but because [crosstalk 00:19:36].

Katie:

It does.

Mike:

Yeah. You're buying a ... I'm sure it does. I'm sure there's plenty ... How far in advance? Let's just talk about that concept. Is it common for it to be a scenario where like, "I need your offer and you need to be ready within a week"? Is it something where it's like, "It's going to take a month" but you still would need to get ready? What are your advice and guidance for advisors and firms in terms of how far in advance they should prepare?

Katie:

It really does entirely depend. We do ... Ironically enough, we do have folks that come to us and, typically, they already have a seller in mind. They already have a deal that might be partially or even midway in process. We do get that occasional deal where they come in and they say, "Okay, we need to close in two months" or, "We need to close in a month." That's not typically how it happens, though, or typically how it comes to us.

Usually, if we're talking about somebody who is using this action plan that we're going to talk about here, if we're talking about a buyer who is going to use this action plan, they most likely don't have a deal identified yet or they may not have a seller in mind.

The important part for them is to go through that purchasing power to see how prepared they are for financing because if they're not prepared then we want to work with them and help them make changes or identify places that they can work on and change to become better prepared and become a stronger buyer.

That might be a process where somebody could come to us and say, "I'm looking to acquire something in the next year." We can walk them through this. We can get them purchasing power verified and start working with them on that score to improve that score and put them in the best position possible a year out. It might be six months out.

Obviously, with any type of financing that you're securing, similar to this conventional financing that advisors would want to secure, as you get closer to closing the deal, the bank is going to want to see, for example, updated statements. If you come to us now and you don't do a deal for a year and a half, we're going to have to ask you for that information again and we're going to have to verify that it's still accurate.

Mike:

[crosstalk 00:21:51], right?

Katie:

Right. Exactly. Something major hasn't changed. You know, they will have to provide that when it gets real close to when they're going to close a transaction. When it comes to this action plan, in particular, and just getting a sense for a buyer where they are and on that scale of one to 10 on the purchasing power scale, they can do that any time from six months to maybe a year out from when they're planning on actually acquiring.

Mike:

Okay. Yeah. It gives you a feel for it, right? If you're doing business planning and you're ... Here we are, halfway through 2020 at the time of this recording, if you're thinking about buying another practice before the end of the year, start preparing now and if you're thinking about buying one in 2021, start preparing now.

You mentioned this briefly during the last segment there that if there's some things that an advisor or a firm needs to improve or work on, you help guide them through that so that they're ready. What are some of the common things that you see that might make an advisor or a firm not 100% ready to go and that they can improve those things? What are the things that they can do to improve their chances of securing financing and making sure they're in the right mindset or business stance, if you will, to acquire another practice?

Katie:

A couple of the things that jump to mind, for me, at the forefront that we would maybe work with someone on could, for example, be taking a look at their investment strategies. One of the things that we look at very closely are their investment portfolios so whether they ... Do they have an investment strategy? What does that strategy look like? What are their model investment portfolios look like?

We have a full-time staff member who analyzes just the investment piece of every practice that could be a potential borrower for one of our banks. There might be some things there that we need to look at or change or tweak to make them stronger from that standpoint. It might be taking a look at their staffing and their office structure, the efficiency of their staff. Do they have too many staff for their practice? Do they not have enough staff for their practice?

It could also be just taking a look at the investment mix of their practice. It could be potentially too high on the transaction or commission side and not enough advisory business, which the bank will look at, how much advisory business a practice is doing. Obviously, when they're using the cashflow as the collateral of the loan they're going to favor a higher advisory mix in a wealth management practice. Those are just a couple of the examples of things that we can look at and work with an advisor to help put them in a stronger position as a potential buyer.

Mike:

The one that surprised me the most out of those, it was the investment strategy one. The reason for that is the other two, the staffing composition of the firm and the revenue source of the firm commission versus advisory fee, those make sense from a business loan perspective. It's like, "Okay. How does your revenue look? How does your expense structure look? Are you too over-weighted from a staffing perspective and, therefore, you need to get more profitable or more stable revenue?" Same thing, is your revenue stable? Is it predictable? The investment strategy one surprised me a little bit ... If I dig into it a little deeper it makes sense to me but can you explain why that's so important?

Katie:

Oh, absolutely. I think the last few months and what we've seen in the market has been a testament to why we look at that so carefully. When market downturns happen, we need to stress test the investment portfolio that a wealth management practice is using because, obviously, the revenue of their business is tied to that investment mix and if things happen in the market or we see downturns in the market we need to stress test their portfolio to make sure that they can still support whatever loan payments they're going to be making depending on the size of the loan that they have out. It's really important for us to look at that investment mix.

Mike:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Now let's assume the buyer is ready, right? They've taken your guidance, they've prepared themselves and for all intents and purposes they've secured their funding and they are ready to start exploring acquiring another practice. What are some of the etiquette for lack of a better phrase or the things they should avoid doing during the process to make sure they don't scare off potential sellers, if you will? To make sure that things go smoothly during their buying process.

Katie:

Yeah. That's a great question because I think that buyers don't have enough education on how to approach this process. I mentioned earlier these wealth management practices are businesses that sellers have spent a significant portion, typically, of their life building and creating and they're not really, typically, usually ready to just give all the goods out of the gate.

If a buyer doesn't approach the process in a careful, methodical way, it can be very off-putting to a seller. For example, if a buyer wants to know too much information about their practice right out of the gate. We find that it's much more effective for a buyer to offer more information about their practice and their goals and what they're looking for before asking too many intimate questions of the seller and their practice. We go through a lot of that in the action plan.

For example, once you've had initial conversations and you're starting to have followup calls or meetings with people that you do find a connection with or that seem to be a viable opportunity or match for you, what are the right things to say? What are the wrong things to say? What do you want to avoid?

We put a lot of that in this plan and those are some of the good nuggets that other firms aren't putting out there. You could say they're some of the secrets to the sauce and we're actually putting it in this plan for buyers so that they know.

Mike:

Yeah. It's always important to remember, at least from my perspective, in any business dealing that we're in relationship-based businesses and very few businesses are as relationship heavy as the advisory business, right? The clients become almost like family members in many ways, they're treated as such. The advisors develop a lot of emotional connection to those clients, a lot of emotional connections to the staff if they have a staff, and they want to feel like handing you the keys is basically putting their clients in really good hands and so it's really important that you develop that relationship I think and let them know that you're the right person to take on that, what is, frankly, a very heavy responsibility.

Katie:

I agree. It's a very heavy responsibility. I think there's a lot of hesitation on the seller's part to pass that responsibility off to anybody. It's hard to let go of that responsibility, especially if it's one that they've had for a long time. The conversation it's almost like a dating scenario. You go out on your first date and there's certain topics and certain questions that you probably want to save for later. Having these initial conversations between a buyer and a seller, it's not that different.

Mike:

Now let's switch gears to financing through SkyView Partners. Scott Wetzel and I had a conversation in which he mentioned that seller financing, which many buyers may be thinking of as that's the way they're going to acquire a business or have been thinking that way prior to conventional financing through SkyView was available ... It's not as attractive when you really start to peel back the onion, is it? For the seller, number one, because they're taking a lot of risk but definitely for the buyer there's some challenges as well. What are your thoughts on why the commercial financing through SkyView should be seen as more attractive versus seller financing?

Katie:

Yeah. I do think that Scott is right when he said that as far as the attractiveness or even really just the popularity of using a seller note is waning. I think it's for multiple reasons, Mike. First of all, you're right. There's risk on the seller when you are using the seller note.

There's also a term issue too for the buyer. The term on a seller note is, typically, somewhere around four to five years, which means a larger monthly payment for a buyer versus conventional financing where we can stretch the term out seven, 10 years, so a longer repayment period on the loan and that also means a lower monthly payment for the buyer.

One other thing, though, that I think is probably less talked about but just as important is when you enter into a seller note, you have a relationship with the seller, a financial relationship with the seller that you're tied to for the period of that seller note versus conventional commercial financing where the seller can get cash at close and that financial relationship doesn't exist. If a relationship continues between the buyer and seller going forward, it's a proactive choice on both parties for business purposes and not financial purposes.

Mike:

I hadn't thought really about that relationship piece but we were talking about how important relationships are in terms of the approach to acquiring a business but it's also once the deal is consummated, it's really important that that relationship is strong but, like you said, doesn't get dragged out too long because the person who is selling is looking to get out, right? They're looking to leave the business.

Katie:

Well, they might be. They might be. They might want to stay on a little while too, which is fine, but, again, it's a proactive conscious decision on the buyer and seller's part as to what they want that relationship to look like post-sale. It's not a relationship that they have to be in because they're tied financially together but it's a relationship that they either want to be in or may not want to be in.

Mike:

Right.

Katie:

Going forward. They get to decide and it's their choice and they can design what that role or relationship looks like post-sale in a very methodical manner.

Mike:

That makes a lot of sense. I try to imagine myself in that position where if I had a seller's note, I'm going to be here for the next four to five years, and if the market is not doing well or if I start having some ... If my payments are getting a little lower because what I'm starting to look at it like, "I wouldn't have done it that way", the management is not the way that I would have done that, I'm going to start getting a little cranky after a while like, "I'm supposed to be out of here. I got to go."

Katie:

You're right. Even in a seller note, that doesn't necessarily mean the seller stays on but, again, you still have that time between the buyer and the seller financially.

Mike:

That's funny. You mentioned the longer term. What are some of the other aspects of financing through SkyView that an advisor or a firm should be aware of structurally?

Katie:

Conventional commercial financing has just opened up a world of opportunity and choices and flexibility for both buyers and sellers. This financing has allowed, in particular, for various deal structures that can accommodate any type of legacy plan that a seller wants to put in place.

For example, again, I said in the very beginning about how scary it would be for some advisors to just turn off the lights and shut the door and leave. Conventional financing allows for both buyers and sellers to craft some very creative and innovative deal structures that might be a full sale. It can also accommodate partial sales where maybe a seller sells 30% of the business at one point and then decides to sell the rest later so, therefore, they would experience a liquidity event, maybe you could call it a pre-retirement liquidity event, and then decide to sell the rest of their business later.

It can also accommodate for tranche sales, which would be scheduled sales, so potentially selling 20% of your business, 20% of your business two years later, 20% four years later, and on and on, until the whole business is sold off. Conventional financing has really allowed people to get very creative with how they exit the business.

Mike:

It's interesting. I've had the privilege of spending a lot of time with leaders of large financial advisory firms over the years. The one common denominator for most, they grew the business through acquisition at some point along the way and that makes sense, doesn't it?

At some point in time, organic growth slows and scaling the business to the next step will either require a huge amount of investment in hiring, in infrastructure expansion or maybe buying another business or merging with another firm could be more efficient and effective. It makes sense that most people choose the acquisition or M&A route.

If you find yourself thinking about growing through acquisition make sure you swing by SkyView dot com and click the get pre-approved button on the top right-hand corner or call 866-567-6282 or shoot an email to Info at SkyView dot com and someone will get right back to you and help you get started with your acquisition exploration. Okay, now back to Katie.

Katie:

As far as rates and conditions for conventional financing, you're looking at a fixed rate, which is a key differentiator from other types of financing such as an SBA loan, which does not typically have a fixed rate, you're looking at a seven year term. We also have the flexibility to do a 10 year amortization.

What that means is the term of the loan is seven years but your monthly payments are structured so that it looks like it's a 10 year term. You have no out-of-pocket expenses with SkyView's financing. No out-of-pocket expenses for the advisor. There's an origination fee, typically, of 2% on the loan but that can also be rolled into the final loan amount as well. Again, that's why we say no out-of-pocket expenses because that fee can be rolled into the loan as well.

Mike:

Yeah. That should put an advisor's mind at ease that they're not about to have to roll in and write a big fat check in order to get this process started.

Katie:

Exactly. We like to say that they can come to their closing day with nothing but a pen in hand. Because there are no out-of-pocket expenses.

Mike:

There you go. You don't even need pockets. You can come just with a pen, wear pantsless ... Put pants on. Wear pocketless pants. That's better.

Katie:

Yes. Please do wear pants.

Mike:

Please wear pants. I want to make sure we direct people as we wrap things up here. Obviously, we want people to come to SkyView dot com to check things out. The report here is on the ... If you go to SkyView dot com slash Media and you scroll down there you will find the APBOE launches a roadmap for buyers on how to acquire wealth management practices right there. It's easy to find. Go ahead and click on that. A nice really easy to digest guide. There's a corresponding blog post that goes along with it. You can click into it and get the full PDF version so you can print it off and have that at the ready as well.

What was the genesis of creating this roadmap/action plan for buyers and how is it going to better prepare advisors and firms for the process?

Katie:

Well, Mike, there's definitely no shortage of financial advisors out there who are looking to acquire practices to grow their firm. When it comes down to the actual steps that they need to take to not only find a deal but win a deal, a lot of them don't have an executable game plan for how to make that happen.

We decided that what we really wanted to do was put a plan out there that had implementable very clear concise steps that an advisor should take to really achieve three goals, which would be how they could find sellers, how to find sellers, prospect sellers, how to identify a deal that will be a successful transaction for them and then finally taking them through the actual financing process as well.

We wanted to create a plan that a first-time buyer or somebody who has already been through the process has a place to start and has a defined game plan for their acquisition strategy.

Mike:

All right. I think that's a perfect way to land this plane. You nailed it. Speaking of landing the plane, Katie actually had to run off and get to the airport. She was flying down to LA to go to the SkyView LA offices. The weird thing was we wrapped up recording, we were still talking on our recording service, and I forgot to do the closing of, "Hey, Katie. Thanks for joining me. Have a good one. See you. Bye" type of thing.

Well, out the door she went. We didn't capture that part but listen, Katie is going to be back many more times on this show so no need to really say goodbye, right? Thank you for joining Katie and me for this exploration of the roadmap to practice acquisition for your business. I hope you found it interesting and maybe a little motivational as well. You know what they say, there's no time like today to start planning for tomorrow.

Huge thanks to Katie Bruner for joining us as well. This was her first ever podcast appearance and you'd never know it unless I told you but, anyway, she was a total natural so I really loved having her on the show and, as I mentioned before, I think you're going to see Katie on the show many more times in the future.

Before I let you go, please make sure you zip over to SkyView dot com and get a copy of the road map from the media section or give the team a ring, 866-567-6282, or shoot an email, Info at SkyView dot com. It's a really smart asset to have and get started working on because you never know. You might just all of a sudden see a business you'd like to buy and you'll have the road map for doing so.

Lastly, please share this episode with your team or other advisors in your network. This is a fantastic resource that every individual advisor and firm ownership team should have, right? Lots of activities about to happen. We want to make sure that everybody is informed and on the right path. Rising tide mentality, right? We are going to grow this thing. Okay. Until next time, please stay safe, wear a mask, and be nice to each other. We're stronger together. Okay? Have a good one. We'll see you next time on the Advisor Financing Forum Podcast. See you. Bye.

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