As I’m sure has been the case for many of us, this pandemic has given me a chance to reflect. As a consequence, I have come to a very big decision.
My Two Years
In March 2018, I sold a majority of my company, Ovation Finance Ltd to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). After much research, I wrote first The Eternal Business book, then the Eternal Business Programme, as a guide to others.
I’ve made myself available to chat to anyone interested in the EOT. I’ve spoken to many, many business owners, accountants, solicitors, business brokers, and employees. I’ve had hundreds if not thousands of chats, and made many presentations and even key note speeches. I’ve met and worked with loads of fascinating and wonderful people.
I have, however, also given time to people whose values I did not share.
Examples of this latter category include:
- The corporate finance company promoting the EOT as a ‘tax free exit’ and charging huge fees;
- The accountant who told his client the EOT wouldn’t be right for them, rather than admit he didn’t understand it;
- The business owners who just wanted to get cash out tax-free and didn’t care about the future of the business or the employees;
- The owner who shouted at me when I tried to point out that the advice from his accountant could cause significant damage to his business;
- The partner of a large legal firm who refused to pay travel expenses – let alone a fee – for me to travel to across the country to train his team.
I have spoken with many such people. Well, I have made a decision. No more.
My Big Decision
From now on, I’m only going to give time to people whose values I share.
That doesn’t mean only people who think the same as me. I love debate, and I’m always looking to learn. But I’m not interested in the alpha male (and they are almost always male) who is incapable of listening and who is only driven by money.
You see, over the last two years, I have loved working with owners who have embraced the changes needed to transition to an EOT. With accountants who really care about their clients. And meeting solicitors who understand the importance of the cultural change needed and not just focussed on the transaction.
From now on, therefore, I will be focusing my time on these people.
Who I Want To Talk To
So, do get in touch with me if you are:
- A business owner who wants their business to continue beyond them;
- A business owner who wants to exit in a way that looks after employees and clients, yet gives them a fair value;
- Accountants who would genuinely like to know more about the EOT, and to understand when to recommend this route to a client;
- Solicitors who would like to understand how their technical expertise can best combine with the necessary cultural changes.
People who are invited not to get in touch with me include:
- Owners who see an exit solely in terms of the financial benefit to them with no interest in the employees they leave behind;
- Anyone who sees the EOT only as a tax free exit;
- Corporate financiers who lie to their clients about the EOT in order that they can make a large fee for a trade sale;
- Solicitors who say they are experts in the EOT, but aren’t;
- Owners who find it hard to accept advice;
- Piers Morgan.
In short, I want to work with people who see the EOT as a brilliant exit for owners who want to leave a legacy, get a fair value, and look after clients and employees.
Do you agree? Then get in touch, I think we’ll get on!