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An Interview with UBS: the Title Partner of the 2022 Exit Planning Summit
by Colleen Kowalski on February 4, 2022
The Exit Planning Institute is honored to once again have UBS serve as the Title Partner for our Exit Planning Summit. UBS was the Title Partner of the 2019 Summit in San Antonio, Texas, and was eager to partner with EPI again for our first in-person conference since!
We spoke with UBS advisors to learn more about their continued commitment to the exit planning community. We were eager to what advice they offer to owners and what they are most looking forward to at the Summit.
See what Chris Cua, Associate Director of the Business Owners Segment, and Greg Merrill, President of the EPI Southeast Michigan Chapter and Private Wealth Advisor with The Shantz Mantione Group of UBS Private Wealth Management, had to say about the Exit Planning Summit.
Who is UBS?
As the world’s largest wealth manager, UBS Global Wealth Management provides comprehensive advice, solutions, and services to wealthy families and individuals around the world. Clients working with UBS benefit from a fully integrated set of wealth management capabilities and expertise. This includes wealth planning, investment management, capital markets, banking, lending, and institutional and corporate financial advice. Clients have access to a wide range of products from the world’s leading third-party institutions that complement UBS’s own offerings.
How long have you been a part of the exit planning community?
Chris Cua: I have been a part of the exit planning community since 2018 when I joined the Business Owner Client Segment team at UBS Wealth Management USA. I then earned the CEPA credential in 2019 in Dallas, Texas.
Greg Merrill: As soon as I joined my team, The Shantz Mantione Group, in 2016, I instantly was involved in the exit planning community. But my involvement grew exponentially when I completed the CEPA program in 2018 and officially launched the Southeast Michigan Chapter in February 2019.
What role does UBS serve in the exit planning community?
Chris Cua: Our role is to educate and advise business owners on their personal and financial plans so that they can operate their business with confidence and help them feel fully prepared when pursuing an exit. UBS is committed to addressing key considerations and opportunities before, during, and after the sale, with insights and resources to help owners build value, to help them choose the right exit strategy, and to develop a financial plan with the proceeds that result from a monetization event.
Greg Merrill: Being the largest wealth manager in the world, UBS has a significant amount of resources, capabilities, and intellectual capital as it pertains to business owners. It is my team and I’s role to bring awareness to, educate, and deliver this information in a way that helps change the statistics we hear about in the exit planning community.
Tell us a story about one of the most significant exit planning engagements you have worked on with a business owner.
Greg Merrill: My favorite part of every exit planning engagement my team and I work on is helping the business owner and their spouse (if applicable) realize the difference between their “number” and what their business is worth. Their “number” is the after-tax proceeds needed from a liquidity event in order to accomplish their personal financial goals. We do this through our long-term cash flow planning process.
In my most significant exit planning engagement, the business owner had been contemplating an exit for a while but could never get comfortable answering the question: “How do I make a living when my paychecks stop?”. We were able to take him through our process looking at his long-term cash flow plan with three scenarios reflecting different sale prices of his business. This process educated the owner on what his “number” and the minimum sale price needed to achieve it was and ultimately provided him with the comfort level to proceed with the sale process. At the end of the day, the business sold for more than he ever expected, but without going through the cash flow planning process to determine his “number” he would still be contemplating selling the business at all.
What motivates you to help business owners transition successfully?
Chris Cua: It is no secret that running a business is hard work, and it takes blood, sweat, and tears to successfully arrive at an exit. Some business owners dream about their exit but there are many mistakes and lessons that can get in the way. It is motivating and rewarding to help them avoid common pitfalls, navigate their journey, and realize their ultimate dream.
Greg Merrill: Early in my career it was very apparent to me how business owners are often overlooked and therefore underserved by their professional advisors until they are in the midst of exiting their business or unfortunately after they already sold when it’s too late to do any real planning. The variables that determine whether a transition is successful or not are easily addressable…this is what motivates me to provide the needed resources and intellectual capital for business owners and their professional advisors to address these variables well in advance of a transition and increase the odds of it being successful. Launching the Southeast Michigan Chapter is one way of accomplishing this.
UBS has served as the Title Partner for the Exit Planning Summit in the past as well. What made you want to partner with EPI again on this year’s Summit?
Chris Cua: UBS is excited to return to the Summit this year because of how much we align with EPI’s mission. Hundreds of UBS Financial Advisors have earned their CEPA over the last several years and many of our advisors are deeply engaged in the exit planning community, working with their fellow CEPAs and business owners to help “change the outcome.”
Helping business owners through the pandemic was our focus in 2020 and 2021, so we’re very excited to get back together, learn from each other and help business owners this year.
What is one piece of advice you would give an advisor like you who wants to establish themself as a leader in the exit planning community?
Chris Cua: As an advisor, find an industry you are passionate about and become fully committed to helping business owners that fall into this niche.
Greg Merrill: Be a team player. It is impossible to be an expert in everything. Embrace a client-first approach and find others to work with who share that mindset.
What are you most looking forward to at the Summit this May in Scottsdale?
Chris Cua: I am looking forward to the camaraderie of the community and the opportunity to advance my skillset.
Greg Merrill: Something I take pride in is being able to have a bench of professional advisors across the country for any need a prospect or member of our client family may have. With that said, I am most looking forward to the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals to expand my network and ultimately allow me to provide the resources needed for any client or prospect I interact with.
The 2022 Exit Planning Summit
We are excited to welcome hundreds of Certified Exit Planning Advisors Sunday, May 1 – Tuesday, May 3, 2022, to Scottsdale, Arizona. The Summit is a conference where top advisors, their teams, and business owners come to build deep relationships, share unique experiences, and uncover innovative solutions for their business.
The Exit Planning Summit is the coming together of the CEPA Community. The best CEPAs from around the world collaborate with their supporting partners and colleagues that are all helping business owners to create more significant companies. CEPAs will develop new or further current relationships, learn best practices, and advance themselves as advisors. Advisors will leave the Exit Planning Summit not only galvanized to accelerate their practice but with the tools and connections to do so.
Learn more about the Exit Planning Summit and register to reserve your spot today!Register for the Exit Planning Summit!