Tanya: There are 12 different driving forces and we like to look at the top 4 for each person. And it’s kind of where you start to see whether someone values doing a lot of research versus making their decisions based on intuition, or whether they value collaborating, or whether they value doing things the way they’ve always done versus thinking outside the box. It’s kind of just these different trade-offs of what values people bring in. So we kind of like to see how they line up.Read More
In June 2018, I was interviewed by Michael Kitces for his Financial Advisor Success podcast. The full interview, at 90 minutes, is here: www.kitces.com/77. I am making some "bite size" passages of the interview available here.Read More
On June 19, I was a guest on the Michael Kitces podcast, "Financial Advisor Success" The whole interview was 90 minutes long, so I am going to publish some bite-size snippets from the transcript. The full podcast and transcript are here: www.kitces.com/77Read More
“Measure what is measurable and make measurable what is not so.” – Galileo
For new partners, either starting a new venture or merging their businesses, few conversations are as difficult as discussing what the equity split will be. So, like any potentially messy conversation, it is often avoided. The default is to go with an even split or a split that ensures control to a specific founder.
When we see partners in serious trouble, with businesses that are in jeopardy because they can no longer work together, it is often because there is a sense of unfairness about contribution, compensation or control. Often this can be traced toRead More
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Whether or not he was correct about families, Tolstoy’s philosophy does not seem to hold true for business startups. In fact, the opposite is true: startups can succeed for a variety of reasons, but most fail for the same reason: poor relationships among co-founders. Studies suggest that the majority (62%) of failure in start-ups is attributable to irresolvable conflict among co-founders. This is unfortunate not only because some great business ideas never come to fruition, but also because it is preventable.Read More
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility” Leo Tolstoy
In our practice, we have come to believe that there is very little incompatibility in behaviors that cannot be adapted for. For some partners, getting along and approaching problems similarly comes more easily. Others may have behavioral traits that require them to work a little harder. Forewarned is forearmed; with the correct understanding, it is possible to makeRead More
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
Assessing the behaviors and motivators of our clients and creating an overlay of the styles of all the partners in the business has always been a part of our practice. We now have a new report that provides even more integration of the comparison of two business partners. It addresses three main areas:Read More
"Those in the game are blind to what those looking on see clearly." -Chinese proverb
Recently a professional who had gone through the breakup of his partnership a few years ago came to us for help before embarking on a new one. “I did not realize how hard it would be on my own,” he admitted. “In retrospect, I think we could have worked it out.” He confessed that he just didn’t know how to approach the issues that led to the breakup.
We advise those who are considering a partnership to be clear about their objectives; partnerships are a long-term solution and forming one to solve a short-term business problem is a recipe for failure. The opposite is also true: it is aRead More
"It will be of little avail if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read or so incoherent that they cannot be understood." - James Madison
What is a “Partnership Constitution”?
One of the advisors we interviewed for our white paper commented that he realized post-merger that a lot of discussions he had had with his potential partner during their transition period had not been captured in writing: big ideas, small ideas, as well as the vision of what the firm’s culture would be. A lot of important decisions were addressed in the firm’s Operating Agreement, of course. But some of the ideas that emerged during their lengthy pre-merger discussions went undocumented.Read More
"If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got." - Henry Ford
The recently released Aite/NFP white Paper “Alpha Acquisitions: Maximizing the Return on your Practice Investment” analyzes post-acquisition success among 100 financial advisor transactions. The paper introduces the term “alpha acquisitions” to describe transactions resulting in “highly-satisfied” principals who say they would do their transaction again. The study also identified a middle tier (45%) of “near-alpha’ principals who were “satisfied” and would “probably” do the deal again, the remaining 30% or “non-alpha” were not satisfied and would not do the deal again.Read More