Business succession

What’s your next move? With succession planning, it’s important to think a few steps ahead.​ 

Planning your company’s succession is a major undertaking that you should not underestimate. One that requires time and patience. With our comprehensive, cross-sector knowledge, we guide you through various aspects of succession planning.

Why succession planning is important

Where do you stand with regard to your succession planning?

Please take a few minutes of your time to find out where you stand in relation to your business succession and what you should concentrate on next.

We advise – you benefit

Comprehensive and individual advice
We advise you in each phase – from the initial talks through to implementation and transfer of the undertaking.
Cross-sector know-how
Each year we support more than 200 succession processes with transaction values of CHF 1 million to CHF 200 million.
Broad network of specialists
We connect you with our 70 experts in areas such as taxation, financial planning and real estate.

Talk to us about your business succession

Our team of experts will be happy to assist you with:

  • Actively supporting you throughout the entire succession process
  • Finding the right buyer for your company
  • We optimize the purchase price to best suit your needs

Tips for the successful handover of a company 

What kinds of business succession are there?

Succession within the family

A family buyout is influenced not just by business but also family dynamics. If, for example, several family members work in a company, you need to think about how everything will be divided and also consider family members who aren’t involved in the company. 

In addition, you’ll want to set a deadline for when responsibilities, management and ownership should be transferred by, while at the same time ensuring that your own future is secured.

Succession within the company

When management employees become partners in the business (management buyout), communication with employees, clients and suppliers is key. During the transition phase, it’s also important that the future working relationship between the existing and new owners is clearly defined.

External company sale

You want to ensure the long-term success of your business if you sell your company externally. To do this, you should carefully consider a potential buyer’s personality, their level of trustworthiness as well as their technical and management expertise. Clarify the financial aspects at an early stage and whether succession planning should take place gradually or in one go.

What are the phases of succession planning?

Preparation & evaluation

Every succession situation is unique and requires a structured approach that is tailored to your needs. Depending on the succession option, the average planning period can take anything from four to twelve years:

  • Family buyout (FBO): succession within the family requires a planning period of approx. 12 years on average.
  • Management buyout (MBO): when employees are designated as successors, the planning period can take approx. 7 years on average.
  • Merger and acquisition (M&A): a company that is sold externally requires a planning period of approx. 4 years on average

You should address this at an early stage. Make a start on your succession planning 5 to 10 years before the planned handover.

Sales process

After you have set the terms of succession as a shared mission, the actual sales process takes place. The sales transaction can be completed in a step-by-step process or over a period of several months.

We help you:

  • prepare a fair and realistic company valuation
  • identify and contact external potential buyers where necessary
  • invite the key interested parties to a due diligence, conduct negotiations and successfully conclude the sales process.

Handover & completion

When handing over management, a businessperson officially resigns from the company. As soon as the succession planning is initialized, you should start developing a vision of your own future, to ensure a successful start to the next chapter in your life.

What else do you need to consider?

12 common stumbling blocks

There’s no avoiding it: every succession planning process will face at least a few challenges along the way. Our clients always come with their unique set of circumstances, and as a result we’ve become experts in helping them achieve smooth transitions and peace of mind. Take a look at the PDF we’ve put together on 12 common stumbling blocks for you to be especially prepared for.

Past transactions and company valuation

Crafting a succession plan can be one of your best investments. We help you navigate the succession planning terrain and consider which path best suits your business, family and goals. Take a look at how we’ve guided other companies with their business succession transactions and find out how we can support you with a company valuation  ̶  whether buying, selling or handing over.

More business guidance

Benefit from our free guides, publications and newsletters that include useful information and countless tips on corporate finance. They offer a range of essential information, practical examples and up-to-date news.