Sell to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT)

Giving your team the opportunity to buy the business via an EOT could be a very attractive exit route.

An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is a form of indirect business ownership where the shares are owned by a trust fund, for the benefit of the employees. This means profit from the business is shared among the employees, to an agreed formula.

For owners, this is a way of ensuring their business continues beyond them. Their earn-out comes from the future profit of the business – which means ensuring a smooth transition to an employee ownership culture, preferably before the sale, is very important. There are certain tax advantages when selling to an EOT, and as the earn-out is linked to profit, the payment term could be longer than via an external sale. With the business continuing with the same staff and culture, there is much less risk of ‘leakage’ of clients and the accompanying income which should be of comfort where a longer earn-out term is set.

An EOT sale should be considered for owners where legacy is important, and those who have a strong management team in place and want to look after their employees. It does, however, best suit a business of a certain size, that allows it to continue without the owner, and where the owner has some time to prepare the business for a sale to an EOT.

How we help

Understand what you want

We can’t help you achieve your objectives without understanding them. So that’s exactly where we start. This means we’re both working in partnership towards meeting your goals.

Making the right choice

You only sell your business once. You’ve got to get it right. We’re independent, and we work for you, so we’ll give you an unbiased and honest list of potential options. We may encourage you to speak to a range of types of buyers for that reassurance you are making the right decision.

Maximising value

Putting the hard work in now pays off when due diligence starts. We’ll prepare you for the process ahead, provide time for improvement and help you to make the best first impression. This will instil confidence in buyers, open doors and improve value.

Acting for you, not the buyer

When it’s appropriate, our Partner Route means we represent you and not the buyer. This option can open up a wider range of opportunities and means we can negotiate all aspects on your behalf. Remember too, we never take a fee from both parties.

A partner through the process

We’ve been in your shoes and know how stressful the process can be. Our knowledge of running a regulated business, as well as the acquisition landscape, means we are perfectly placed to remove the pressure on you and deal with the inevitable bumps in the road, so you can get on with the day job.

Building your team

We’ve built up a strong network of professional connections who can help you build and exit your firm, all with significant experience in this regulated space. From outsourced suppliers to legal and tax experts, these are all at your disposal. As you’d expect, we never take any fees for making an introduction.

We’ve been in your shoes

Victoria Hicks and Brian Hill have been in your shoes. Over the past few years, they’ve both successfully exited their advice businesses. Now, their mission is to help advisers, planners and wealth managers do the same by providing help, insight and support that sellers haven’t previously had access to. At the same time, the pair want to enhance the profession they care greatly about and which provides such value and education to clients.

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