You wouldn’t embark on a long, winding road trip without a map — yet, this is what many business owners seem to do when it comes to long-term goals and succession planning.
For Martin Karcz, a Portfolio Manager with Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, planning is essential for any business owner wanting to have peace of mind about their financial affairs.
“Peace of mind usually comes from the fact that they have a plan, a road map,” says Karcz. “And on that road map, there are different occurrences in life – marriage, children, retirement, not to mention unexpected events like an illness or life changing event.”
When creating a road map, there are various pit stops one must consider says Karcz — a stop for accounting, one for tax planning, and others with specialists who can help guide a business successfully.
And that’s where an investment management company like Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management comes into play.
“When people come to us, they not only want to have an appropriately structured portfolio and financial plan– they need us to look at other moving parts that are also big components of financial well-being,” says Karcz.
“Clients come to us because they want to have peace of mind about their financial affairs and to enjoy life to the fullest.”
Seeing the big picture
Canaccord Genuity, one of the largest independent investment dealers in Canada, is a full-service firm that focuses on areas like wealth management, investment banking and financial planning.
Helping clients look at the big picture is where the company excels — which is critical for ensuring a smooth transition during a business succession.
That means that when it comes to a business transition, there are a few key questions that need to be answered even before any planning takes place - like what are the goals, timelines and aspirations for the future for the company and for the business owner.
“It’s the bigger questions that an accountant or lawyer wouldn’t ask. Questions like what do I want for my future, for my family, and how do I envision my business in five years or ten years.”
He helps clients figure out how to plan — the basics of where to start — and the types of questions they need to ask accountants, lawyers and other specialists moving forward.
“Accountants and lawyers need to be very granular and very detailed. What we offer is another perspective - a big picture perspective that we developed by helping clients from a variety of different businesses find solutions to their succession issues.”
The story behind the numbers
Focusing on the big picture means looking beyond what’s on the screen and looking at the client’s unique overall circumstances.
“As a Portfolio Manager, I look at numbers every day but behind those numbers is somebody’s future and perhaps multi-generations of wealth,” says Karcz.
“For us, it doesn’t stop with the sale of the client’s company, it continues for their lifetime and for generations to come. The sale of a company is just the beginning.”
Anne Jackson, a Wealth & Estate Planning Specialist at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, specializes in some of the details that come in the later stages of a business transition strategy, such as providing estate and tax planning solutions.
“The strategy can be quite complex, or it can be quite simple, depending on the structure of the company but planning is the key to all of this,” says Jackson.
For those looking to transition a business, Jackson emphasizes, exit strategies are a progression. That means having a strategy with a one year, a five year and a ten year outlook.
“If somebody decides to sell their business without having a well thought out plan, he or she could pay a very high penalty for not being prepared.”