Member Since: 19th Feb 2016
After doing an undergrad degree in accounting (India) and reading for an MBA in finance (USA) - in addition to taking professional exams in Cost & Works accounting and in Banking - I decided that this is all too complicated. So I spent 35 years buying and selling small businesses, and running them.
My full time occupation now is UK Business Brokers where I assist lower mid market businesses (generally £2m - £50m in t/o) navigate their way to an equity event. I act as a first stop advisory on strategy and help business owners find the right business broker, M&A / corporate finance firm or boutique investment bank to fit their individual needs & exit goals - from MBO to IPO. It's a minefield out there!
I maintain the UK's only database / knowledge base on all the talent in this industry - sector specialisations, fees, fee structures, FCA status, cross border transaction experience, awards won, feedback and reputation ...all sorts!
I'm well connected in the world of corporate finance / investment banking / corporate law, and I love introducing people. Let me know if I can open any doors for you or answer any questions you have about my world.
Consultant UK Business Brokers
3rd Dec 2019
Please see my reply to WhichTyler above covering the Code of Conduct.
With respect the directory, *everyone* will be featured. Every firm will have their own page. The ones with relevant qualifications, regulatory approvals, who are members of professional bodies etc., will have the option of paying an admin fee to have their credentials checked and then be allowed to display those credentials on their page.
A points system could be designed to decide order of ranking / presentation.
I did consider using as an input client reviews from a Trustpilot type review section. Review scores could play a part in any algorithmic sorting, but I've decided that reviews are too prone to manipulation. I might however include industry awards in any analysis (though I must admit some of these "awards", too, do seem a tad suspicious).
What would you suggest as good inputs to be considered in any algo sorting?
3rd Dec 2019
All of the above, I suppose.
The first benefit for members is finding clients. There is no national directory, no single source of information on who does what. I've been making a full time living these past few years filling that gap.
My new project will result in making it easier for people who need specific services to find the appropriate expertise, whether it's on exit planning, valuation, deal sourcing or drafting an SPA.
The second is reputation. Business brokers have a bad rap and that's because of a few bad players. I already have a code of conduct drafted, in consultation with people who have crafted such policies in the US and elsewhere. Member firms who sign up to the code will be recognised ...your 'kitemark' if you like.
At some point, yes, I'd like to see some regulation. CF firms stuffed to the gills with qualified accountants and regulated by the FCA are currently competing with all kinds of unregulated, fly-by-night business brokers providing "professional valuations" and taking large advance fees for doing little to no work.
With respect spending the lavish fees I charge, I'll struggle through that myself without any external help, but I'll let you know if I get stuck.
3rd Dec 2019
Was he operating as a limited company and does she have the option of selling the shares?
30th Nov 2019
As others have said, it's a simple matter of transferring the shares from the current shareholders to the old company, and it's a simple transaction in the books of old company.
I know you said that this is a new company, but has it done any trading at all and does it have anything on the balance sheet apart from the £1?
26th Nov 2019
Why did your client not leave the money in the account and have the buyer withdraw it and forward to him as part of the purchase price?
Surely that would be the treatment if he wanted to avail of ER.
Making the accounting entries to deal with this falls on the buyer, not the seller, as it happens post completion.
So what are you going to do now? Treat the £70K as a director loan that was settled at completion?
26th Nov 2019
I posted in another thread some names of brokers who specialise in the buying/selling of accountancy practices:
There are two types of vendors: those on the market and those who are not.
The ones on the market will be with a broker or listed independently on a business for sale portal. I've got a comprehensive list of marketplaces here:
The ones not already on the market need to be identified and approached individually. You can either do that yourself or hire a buy-side broker or deal sourcer to do the leg work. Expect to pay a large retainer or a monthly fee for anyone half decent.
It costs money to find the right deal. Unfortunately, too many people looking to buy a business don't realise that. They're like, er, the small business owner who thinks he can do his own company accounts because, well, how difficult can it be? ;)
23rd Nov 2019
I have extensive data on fees and fee structures in the industry - business transfer agents, business brokers, M&A advisory firms, corporate finance firms, boutique investment banks, all kinds.
Barring the very rare exception, every professional who handles disposals takes payment from the seller. Most take a retainer before even starting work on the mandate. It is almost unheard of for the buyer to pay. Why would a business owner trust the advice of any broker or other adviser who is getting paid by the other party?! The agent's interests wouldn't be aligned with the business owner's interests.
There are buy-side brokers who are instructed by investors / business buyers to do deal sourcing. They are paid by the buyer. They are pretty much the only ones paid by the buyer.
22nd Nov 2019
"However, I know from the client and from experience that the business' market value is around £150,000."
You know "from the client"?
Business valuation is easy peasy, lemon squeezy. As I've advised accountants before, there's a very, very simple formula: Ask the business owner how much his business is worth ...and divide by one gazillion.
22nd Nov 2019
With respect, there are no "normal valuation principles" for a business this size.
How do you quantify the risk? It's off the scale for OMBs / businesses reliant on a couple of founders.
At this end of the market transactions happen at prices dependent far more on personalities, desperation and psychology rather then DCF or whatever. Comps are difficult to obtain unless you've done a lot of transactions yourself.
22nd Nov 2019
In my experience of selling businesses it is generally the seller who pays the agent's fees.
Some industries are exceptions. This industry is one of them and, strangely, it tends to be the case that both parties pay the broker when it comes to selling practices.
The Draper Hinks you mentioned has charged both sides in transactions of which I'm aware.