NAIFA LA Meeting: Selling a Planning Practice: The Relationship between Revenue Multiple and Revenue Size

The owner’s financial service business is required to meet industry compliance, as well as the owner’s retirement, needs to exit successfully. To do so, they often rely on appraisers or financial intermediaries to facilitate the exit or succession transition. The research results suggest that using specialized financial intermediaries favored sellers but not buyers. Financial statement items alone did not provide a complete picture of the fair market value. Industry adjustments such as the quality of a practice’s clients, the quality of the team, and the quality of the platform tend to reside only within specialized financial intermediaries.

Learning Outcome:

  • Practice Types and Transfer Channels
  • Rules of Thumb for Selling Multiples
  • Proper Planning Business Model To Get The Most Out Of Your Practice

Measurable business results:

  • Understanding the components of what makes planning practice valuable



Dr. Chia-Li Chien is an assistant professor and director of the financial planning program at California Lutheran University. She is also a succession program director at Value Growth Institute, a succession consulting practice dedicated to helping business owners increase the equity value of their firms. Before her private consulting practice, she held several senior management positions in Fortune 500 companies, including Diageo, ABB, CIGNA, and RSA Insurance Group. Dr. Chien is a frequent speaker about succession and retirement planning at national conferences and has published three books, including her most recent publication, “Enhancing Retirement Success Rates in the United States.” She publishes research on succession and retirement topics in a variety of academic and practitioner research journals. Dr. Chien serves on the boards of various national financial service associations. She holds a doctorate in financial planning and is a CFP.