Most independent financial advisers will think about selling their client list at some point in their career. However, selling a list is often much harder than many imagine. For one, you’ve built a trusting relationship with your clients, and it’s often difficult to let them go. Selling your client list also has many implications that you need to be prepared for. This is why selling an IFA list is not something you can do on a whim. Here are a few tips to get the most value out of your client list.
Where to Start
The first step is determining your business’s actual value. If you plan on retiring, then it is very important that you don’t sell yourself short, as it will have an influence on your post-retirement income. This is why you should consider working with a market professional that will make sure that your valuation is accurate. The final valuation you come to will depend on things like income, your company’s overall structure, number of clients, and even factors like where you’re located. But at the end, your client list will be the most important aspect as it is your main asset.
Know Your Highest Value
During the valuation stage, you’ll eventually find a range in which you can realistically sell your firm. However, it’s important that you set your highest value as well, as you’ll be able to use that as part of your negotiations.
There are various formulas to calculate highest value, but usually, it will be at around 2 ½ times your annual revenue for a lower-tier firm or four times for a higher quality one. The price to earnings ratio can also be used to get sustainable income. This will give an idea of how many years it will take for the deal to start paying for itself. It would also be a great idea to speak with other advisers in your area and get a sense of what the current going value is where you are.
Find the Right Buyer
Now, it’s time to start looking at buyers. Ideally, you want to work with a buyer with whom you have a good relationship. This will help the transition go more smoothly. They will have more trust in you and vice versa, which will facilitate the whole process.
Another thing you could do is work with an intermediary that will be able to connect you with prospective IFA buyers. Services like retiringifa.co.uk can connect you to buyers fast and allow you to choose the best deal for you. They will be able to look at your profile and will personally sell it to potential clients. What makes their service so great is that they will shop your list to businesses that are more likely to pay top money for it, like cash-rich firms and those with expansion plans.
Selling your IFA is not a simple task, but there are things that you can do to accelerate the process. Make sure that you follow our advice, and don’t be afraid to seek professional help if needed.