Advisors in search of successors have new optionNews added by Benefits Pro on July 24, 2014

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Marlene Satter

Almost one-third of advisors are at that age where the siren song of retirement is getting louder.

Among those between the ages of 55–64, many are already looking — either for a way to exit the business altogether, or for a younger advisor with whom they can partner who will succeed them when the time comes.

See also: Third of advisors will exit in next 10 years

Now those pre-retirees have a new marketplace available, where they can list their practices for sale. Sellers pay no fee to list, while potential buyers pay a nominal subscription fee.

The new marketplace is the result of an alliance between back-office support firm Concert Advisor Services and Succession Link, that provides an online marketplace for buying and selling financial advisory practices.

“We are more interested in providing a cost-effective marketplace — a more casual environment where buyers and sellers can be introduced,” said Phillip Flakes, Succession Link’s cofounder and CEO, in a statement. “So far we’ve had great success in doing this.”

See also: Almost half of financial advisors don’t have retirement plans

Felipe Luna, co-CEO, director and founder of Concert, is aiming to help along that marketplace. “Often selling advisors think the value of their practice should be derived from a 2x annual revenues formula, and this can be totally unrealistic.”

Flakes agreed that the formula selling advisors are so focused on at present doesn't take into account several other important factors, such as the firm’s operations, client base, investment choices, efficiency or profitability. “It’s important to get the valuation right, and it helps to have some idea of that value prior to starting negotiations," he said.

Succession Link is working toward that end by providing sellers with a business valuation tool that is derived from a proprietary formula. The tool provides advisors an initial idea as to the value of their business, without them having to pay for a full-scale appraisal upfront.

See also: Four tips for succession planning

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