The first step of the process is for us to understand your initial thoughts on exiting your business, so we will usually set up a telephone call to discuss the type of sale you are considering, and the timescales you would like to work towards. After this, we will arrange a face-to-face meeting to discuss your plans in more detail.
With most of our acquisitions, retiring advisers prefer to completely handover and exit from the business but another option you may wish to consider is selling the shares of your business to us and joining us as an adviser.
This allows you to continue advising clients but without the legislative and regulatory burden that comes with owning your own business.
If you decide you are ready to sell, we will conduct a preliminary due diligence assessment, after which we will discuss a fair and equitable price for your business and make you a formal offer. Should you wish to proceed, we will enter into Heads of Terms, setting out the key terms of the deal, including an exclusivity period.
At this stage we will carry out a comprehensive legal, financial and compliance due diligence review of your business which will typically take 4-12 weeks.
Our lawyers will then draw up a contract for your lawyer to review and provide any comments. This can be an iterative process but should not take longer than a month to agree.
At this point we will devise a client integration plan including the content and timing of client communications, your desired level of involvement, and a timeframe for us to meet with your clients.
Before we proceed to exchange, we will need a complete client list including contact and policy details so that initial data migration can take place.
Once the due diligence has been completed and the contract and integration plan agreed, we will decide a date for contract exchange, when the following documents will be signed:
• Purchase Agreement
• Consideration Deed
• Warranty Deed
• disclosure letter
• settlement agreements
• novation paperwork (if applicable).
Following exchange, we will begin to integrate your clients, and finalise the completion process. We will work closely with you and your back office system to ensure that all client data is transferred to us in a safe and compliant manner, guiding you through every step of the process. Our Data, Marketing and IT teams will be on hand to support you throughout.
FCA change in control or deauthorisation
If your business is directly regulated, we will make a joint request to the FCA for a change in control, or deauthorisation so that we can appoint your company as an Appointed Representative of Attivo Financial Services.
Completion typically takes place three months from the date of exchange but can be quicker subject to FCA approval. At this point we will begin the novation process for each provider.
Our standard payment terms are either two or three payments over a 24 month period: the first on completion, typically followed by a payment on the first completion anniversary (and second if applicable).
Keeping you informed
We know that exiting your business is a big decision so we stay in regular contact with you before, during, and after the sale. We will schedule in quarterly review meetings for the first year following completion to update you on client integration.
“A few years ago I decided I still wanted to give advice to clients but the regulatory and legislative burden of running a financial planning business was becoming too demanding, so I worked with Attivo Group to establish my business as an Appointed Representative of Attivo Financial Services. In 2018 I decided to sell my company’s shares to Attivo Group and joined the company as a Financial Planner. For me, being able to give advice without the burden of running my own business is the best of both worlds.”
“I had run my financial planning company in Milton Keynes with a business partner for several years. With my partner having stepped back, the changing regulatory environment, and the fact I was approaching retirement age, I decided it was time to exit the business. I met with Attivo Group in October 2017 and worked closely with them for 12 months to establish the right deal structure, including a handover period so that I could introduce my clients to them. Completion took place in October 2018 with an excellent retention rate.”
“In 2016, I felt it was time to sell our business and enjoy retirement as I was in my sixties and had provided financial advice for over 40 years. I was introduced to Attivo Group in the April and quickly realised they had the knowledge, experience and client focus to provide our clients with the service they were used to. Due to the structure and tax position of our firm, I wanted to sell the firm’s assets rather than the shares and Attivo Group was happy to accommodate this. Over the subsequent months we progressed to Heads of Terms and completed the sale in October 2016. I didn’t want to be involved in the integration process, other than working in the background to ensure a smooth transition, as I felt this demonstrated the confidence and trust I had in Attivo Financial Planning and their high client retention rates are testimony to their ability.”