Overall, I expected to experience some ongoing issues, but can honestly say that they have been so few that I have had nothing to complain about. I have received all monies due with payments made on time. AFH’s buy out process is very efficient and professional and four years on I am happy in retirement knowing that my clients are being looked after by the team at AFH.
Johnson Birkett Limited was a generalist IFA practice, established in 1989. Directly authorised with the FCA, I operated as a Sole Trader until the company was incorporated in November 1997.
Based in Sheffield with two back-office staff, I was the sole IFA in the business offering financial advice to around 500 private clients. I had reached the point that I felt I needed to consider my future options. I started to talk to potential acquirers, and was introduced to Dawn Walker-Bennett at AFH.
Looking back at the process and the alternatives at the time, I am very glad I went down the route with AFH. Some companies I spoke to wanted me to join them and hand over the clients over a period of time, meaning I would have to continue in the industry for a year or so, which I did not wish to do.
I liked the sound of the AFH proposition and felt this was a company that I could trust to take good care of my clients. This was extremely important to me as I retained the ongoing liability for the advice I had provided, so I needed to feel confident that the clients would continue to be serviced and looked after. A further consideration was security of staged payments and how much I would get paid overall. Selling to a PLC made sense and added that security to the deal.
The deal was reasonable and was in-line with what I expected to receive at the outset. The transition was completed smoothly and the whole process during and after the sale of my business has been painless, with my need for involvement minimal.
In the main, my Clients have been happy with the transition, with just a couple of clients that dropped off, which is to be expected with a new practice. There was only one client who didn’t get on with his new adviser, and Dawn quickly changed the adviser without any questions or fuss. Following completion I received a few calls from clients with minor issues, but again, these were dealt with efficiently for me, without need for my involvement, by AFH.