Jeff Williams Shares Grand Wealth Succession Planning Story with MiBiz Readers

Even as Grand Wealth offers succession planning and related wealth management advice to Michigan business owners, we’ve also modeled that same advice into our own practice. Grand Wealth founder and managing principal Jeff Williams, CFP®, CIMA®, AIF® CPA/PFS, was featured recently in a September 12th MiBiz column, “Grand Wealth Management provides key lessons in succession planning.” In the piece, he shares our firm’s not-so-secret strategies for succession planning success.

Jeff’s key advice? Start planning early for your company’s future. He points to Grand Wealth’s succession planning practices to illustrate the advantages. The transition has been possible due to Jeff’s early vision for the firm’s future. “Ultimately, it goes back to really wanting to have the firm continue and to have the same people that are here now carry on the firm after I retire.”

Hoping to avoid ever having to sell the firm to an outsider, succession planning has been integrated into our hiring practices. As Jeff describes it, “I began early on to find others that not only would want to work here, but would want to acquire ownership and be a part of management.”

Over the years, Jeff’s early vision has translated into selling ownership shares to three employees across various areas of the business. Firm principals now include Jeff; senior advisor Steve Starnes, CFP®, MBA; senior advisor Anastasia Wiese, CFP®, JD; and office operations manager and chief compliance officer Janelle Anderson.

Again, the emphasis is on early planning. Jeff observes, “If you don’t start transferring soon enough, it gets too expensive for people to buy all at once, and oftentimes you’re left with having to sell to a larger company or go the M&A route.”

The advice seems simple enough. But industry data suggests few family or individual business owners actually plan for their exit accordingly. By identifying succession goals and following a few sensible strategies upfront, business owners can dramatically improve their expected outcomes when they’re ready to retire.

To learn more, read Jeff’s article here.