One of the next key decisions you must make after deciding to sell your IFA business is whether or not you intend to Sell and Stay or Sell and Go. It is important to consider the implications when deciding as your choice can affect many things, including your personal life and the future of the business. Ideally, you should have a clear understanding of your intentions before beginning the acquisition process as this will help your Broker to ensure you are paired with an Acquirer whose ideal outcomes align with yours. 

Man thinking

Life After Sale

A wise place to start when deciding whether or not to Sell and Stay or Sell and Go is to consider what your ideal life after sale looks like. 

If you are considering exiting from Financial Services after completion, what will you be doing instead of running your business? How will you be spending your time? You need to think carefully about how you will feel about your business carrying on without you and whether or not you are ready to step away. The Acquirer may make changes or run the business in a different way which may be difficult for you to accept.  Your clients may receive a different level of service and your staff may be managed in a different way to how they were when you were at the helm. Consider carefully how these realities affect you and if they are something you are ready to process as you transition to the next stage of your life. 

You should ask yourself the same questions if you are looking to continue advising post sale. You will be stepping away from the centre of the business and your level of responsibility is likely to dramatically reduce. You will need to follow a new T&C scheme and accept new business standards. The upside is that this will leave you with more time to spend helping your clients, however you may find the reduction of managerial say and autonomy tough to navigate. There could be practical changes to your daily working life as you might need to travel to a different office or engage with new people. The perception of you amongst your staff and clients is likely to change. Are you ready for this new role within the business? Knowing your own mind with regards to all these concerns and queries will be instrumental in helping you determine what life after sale will look like for you. 

The Consideration Price

After years of hard work and dedication, you will naturally want the best price for your business! You might already have a rough figure in your head, but have you considered how your decision to stay or go might affect this number?  How much is your business worth and how much value do you add to it? How much will you realistically be pocketing at the end of the deal? If you are considering continuing as an Advisor post sale, think carefully about what salary you will take and how this might affect your overall take-away. If you are seeking a higher salary, the Acquirer might seek to take it from the capital sum, because a premium salary is likely to reduce EBITDA which in our experience could lower the consideration value by 6 – 7 times the salary premium potentially reducing your overall deal. Plus, take home as income tax id harsher than capital gains at 20% / Business Asset Disposal Relief 10%. This may not be a concern if you are intending on staying with the business long term, however if you are only planning to remain for a few more years, you may benefit more by forfeiting the salary for a higher consideration price.

You might be willing to continue on a lower salary instead, however your Acquirer may not be eager to accept this route if they are already resourced with Advisors to take over the servicing of your clients. A happy medium is always possible, but ensure you are keeping the Acquirer’s position in mind as well as your own when you negotiate. A flexible approach is always more successful in achieving a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties! 

Making a Decision

Whether you choose to stay or go after the sale of your business, your decision can affect plenty more people than just you. Consider how your choice will affect your family and the people in your personal life, as well as your staff, clients, and the Buyer.  Being clear about your ideal outcome is key for achieving a successful sale, which is why it is so important for you to know your stance when coming to the market. Deals can rapidly sour if it is revealed in the later stages that your goals and the Acquirers are not well aligned. If you can give a clear ideal outcome to your Broker early on in the process, they will be much better positioned to ensure you and your Buyer are seeking similar successful results. Their sharing of experience of how other deals have had successful outcomes should help with your decision making.

However, this does not mean you should close yourself off to negotiation! In some instances, a Vendor will have made a firm decision on whether to stay or go which is absolutely fine, provided they make this clear from the offset, but being open to the possibilities will likely help to give you more options. Aim to approach all deals with a clear understanding of your own mind and goals, alongside an attitude of flexibility. This will help to maximise your potential options whilst ensuring you are moving towards achieving your successful outcome. 


Deciding whether to Stay or Go can be a difficult decision to make, however knowing what you want to achieve when coming to the market will be instrumental in ensuring you find the right Acquirer for your business. Consider carefully what you want life to look like after the sale completes. How will you fill your time? How will you enjoy having time to do things you previously found difficult or impossible to do? What keeps you awake at night now and how will you feel about the removal of those pressures? How will you feel about any and all changes made to your business? Make sure the decision you make is right for your circumstances and benefits you as much as possible, whilst aligning well with what the Buyer is also hoping to achieve. 

If you are considering selling your IFA business, why not get in touch to discuss your options!

Contact us on IFA Acquisitions or Call Us on 0208 0044 162