Following on from last week’s blog, this week we’ll be covering a useful topic for those involved in or those who will be involved in IFA acquisitions “a lawyer’s top tips for sellers” which was taken from our recent YouTube video “Top tips when selling an IFA Business: Part 1” which is part of a wider collaborative series with prestigious UK law firm Herrington Carmichael.

To discuss this topic, Gary Venner CEO of IFA Acquisitions asked Alex Canham Partner at Herrington Carmichael “What are your top tips for sellers?”

Alex  “For a seller,  getting your house in order before you sell is key, and that can cover a range of things. I appreciate everybody’s got their day job to do, so saying ‘Hey, I’m going to take two weeks out to prepare for sale’ isn’t viable. But what you can do though, is talk to your existing network and Advisors, whether that’s your Compliance Consultants, your Accountants or your Lawyers. Getting a pre-sale pack together is helpful. I know that it sounds very grand, but actually all it is, is really just being able to lay your hands on basic information. So, making sure that your accounts and management information (post your annual accounts) all of that interim monthly data is available, making sure that any key contracts and things with key Advisors or staff are signed and are enforceable. There’s nothing worse than when you’re looking at a business where we’re acting for the buyers and you see that a key Advisor who looks after a large proportion of the recurring revenue has no signed contract! So little things like that that seem obvious but actually can make all the difference.”

Gary added “I’d love to say that that’s never happened but we know that it does on a regular basis!”

Alex “Exactly! So, I think if they can go through and do that process over a period of time and that can be done at any stage. It’s good business housekeeping anyway, let alone if you’re going through a sale process. So, if there is the opportunity to do that, I’d certainly recommend they do. I think for sellers, when you get into the sale process, it’s about trying to manage expectations in terms of your time and availability. A lot of sellers will be Advisors, they will be Directors, they will be shareholders and they will have a life – unsurprisingly! A transaction process is actually quite intensive; a lot of Acquirers particularly if they are an established acquirer, will have a team of people around them. So they will have Acquisitions Directors, they will have Lawyers, they will have Accountants and all of these people that are looking over the business are requiring stuff from you. So, what I would say is being very clear in terms of how quickly you can get this information to people when asked. Being clear in terms of if you can delegate things appropriately to either fellow shareholders, Directors, Lawyers, Accountants and other Advisors that you work with, make use of them. It will save stress and delay throughout the whole process.I think being able to make the buyer aware of the limitations on your time and when you can dedicate some time each week to looking at transaction bits that’s quite useful if you can make it work.

Gary concluded “I would agree with that and I think it’s ‘don’t bury your head in the sand’ basically and be upfront about how you can work together to make that information available always really helps.


Much like last week, we hope this blog has highlighted how those looking to sell their IFA business can benefit from the use of industry experts to smooth out that acquisitions process.

If you want to discuss anything from todays blog, please contact us for a free, confidential and no pressure chat:

Herrington Carmichael disclaimer

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.

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