Press Release

Smooth Transitions: Bank of the West Report Helps Small and Mid-sized Wholesalers Create an Exit Strategy
San Francisco | Jan 26, 2016

Provides Guidance for Small and Mid-Sized Wholesalers Preparing to Transition Their Businesses

Bank of the West announced today the publication of Smooth Transitions: Three Steps for Wholesaler Succession, a paper by Kristin Nelson, head of Private Business Owner Solutions at Bank of the West Wealth Management Group. The paper highlights ways business owners may navigate toward their desired succession plan.

Over the next 15 years, the youngest of America's Baby Boomers will turn 65 and waves of wholesaler business owners across the country will get ready to cash out. As wholesalers begin to consider a succession plan, the paper provides considerations to help them choose a path suited to their legacy planning and retirement income goals.

The paper, a collaboration between Bank of the West’s Small and Mid-Size Enterprise Banking Group and Wealth Management Group, integrates business banking and wealth management solutions to help address the needs of business owners transitioning their businesses.

“With this paper, the goal is to put informative content in the hands of our customers as they prepare to transition their businesses,” said Michelle Di Gangi, executive vice president, director of Small and Mid-Size Business Banking at Bank of the West. “Kristin’s team, together with specialized teams of business bankers and wealth managers at Bank of the West, are working to provide customized solutions for our clients no matter what stage their business is in – whether they’re just starting out, growing their business, or on the road to retirement.”

Business owners considering a transition might consider these three simple steps:

  1. Have a Candid Family Conversation: Many small and mid-sized wholesale businesses are family-owned, and may want to consider entrusting the business with a family member. Financial and succession topics are sometimes difficult for families to address, but discussing succession is a necessary first step to determine if leaving the business in the hands of the next generation is a viable option. Consider having someone from the outside moderate a candid family conversation. A wealth management firm that offers family governance can guide families through these conversations to get to the best solution.
  2. Weigh Succession Options: Business owners have three primary choices when thinking about succession planning: transferring the business to family members, selling the business to current employees or partners, or selling the business to an outside party. With the help of a trusted financial professional, business owners can ensure they know what questions to ask themselves so they may set –and reach—their business transition goals. Financial professionals can assemble a team of succession planning experts, such as an accountant or a lawyer, as needed.
  3. Know Business's Value: To prepare for a transition, it is necessary to have an accurate sense of what the business is truly worth. Too often, business owners overestimate the value of their business by focusing on annual revenue rather than future earnings potential. Working with a financial advisor to arrange a valuation is often the first step to assess a business's value. There are also do-it-yourself options for business owners who prefer to take this process on themselves.

“Getting started is often the hardest part of planning for business succession,” Kristin Nelson said. “Most business owners are not even aware of the technical or personal questions they need to ask before making an informed decision. Bank of the West’s team of experts helps business owners pinpoint and address these questions and understand their options, surrounding them with the guidance and resources necessary to reap the benefits of their life's work.”

Bank of the West recently unveiled Private Business Owner Solutions, which provides a coordinated, team approach for business owners as they manage their personal and professional affairs. As a small business evolves through its lifecycle, the complexity of the balance sheet drives different needs, while personal wealth management needs may also shift. Private Business Owner Solutions creates a holistic view to support these dynamic changes.

To read the full whitepaper, Smooth Transitions: Three Steps for Wholesaler Succession, visit: http://gowe.st/BizSuccession.

Visit the Bank of the West blog at blog.bankofthewest.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Bank of the West:
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $74 billion in assets as of September 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.

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Media Contacts:

Michele Rene Scott
415-399-7202
michele.scott@bankofthewest.com

Julia Mellon
212-584-5474
Julia@blissintegrated.com

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