How REAG Supports the CEPA and Their Clients Through M&A

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REAG supports Certified Exit Planning Advisors® (CEPAs) with essential expertise to clarify strategies, ensure informed decision-making and deliver successful outcomes.

As you might already know, the exit planning and Value Acceleration Methodology typically comprises three phases: Discover, Prepare, and Decide.  

The Value Acceleration Methodology is fundamental to exit planning and emphasizes harmonizing an owner's business, personal, and financial goals.

These elements work in tandem, propelling business owners from mere success to notable significance. It's important to highlight that REAG stands alongside CEPA®s throughout the entire exit planning process, providing support across all stages rather than solely focusing late-stage support during the Decide phase. It is also important to note: REAG does not directly perform exit planning services. We serve as essential support to CEPAs in their efforts to help business owners clarify strategies, ensure informed decision-making and deliver successful outcomes.  

Pre-Discover Phase: Early Collaboration, Extraordinary Results

CEPAs can rely on REAG’s expertise to glean market intelligence, valuation trends and real-time deal flow information as they prepare for early conversations with business owners.  This information will give CEPAs an understanding of market sentiment, the current lending environment and industry trends prior to having initial conversations with clients or potential clients. REAG also offers a Pre-Discover Checklist which is a list of information to gather and questions to ask to understand the business’ strengths, weaknesses, needs, goals and record keeping at a high level. This is the information that REAG would gather on an initial call so it can be used to guide the strategic decisions that are to come in later stages.  

By equipping CEPAs with valuation data and industry reports early in their client discussions, we empower them to effectively engage potential clients and foster successful partnerships from the outset.    

While REAG will gladly share this information at any point in the exit planning process, using it for “Pre-Discovery” achieves optimal results.  

We understand that navigating client interactions isn't always straightforward. At REAG, we're happy to engage in strategic discussions with you and/or your clients, offering our M&A perspective whenever it's needed throughout the process. 

Building the Foundations for Enduring Success

How does REAG help CEPAs during The Discovery Gate of the Value Acceleration Methodology? Here we will focus on the critical elements of the Discover Gate: The Triggering Event and The Action Plan.  

The Discover Gate or Discover Phase

The Discover Gate encompasses two key deliverables: the identification of a Triggering Event and an assessment of business attractiveness along with personal, financial, and business readiness. This process involves evaluating both present and potential best-in-class values of the business, including comparing actual earnings with ideal benchmarks to quantify the Profit Gap and ascertain the Value Gap. 

The Triggering Event

The Triggering Event is an independent personal, financial, and business assessment correlated to the business range of value. Put simply: the Triggering Event marks the start of the Value Acceleration process, initiating a series of actions. For business owners the Triggering Event marks a significant milestone in taking an unflinching look into the intersection of personal, financial and business factors – all of which are fundamentally linked to the business’s value range.  

The Action Plan

The Action Plan is developed to address these gaps identified by the Triggering Event, outlining a strategic vision for the next 3 to 10 years, with actionable steps broken down into 90-day increments known as 90-Day Sprints. It's important to note that while these activities are critical components of the Discover Gate, they are informally conducted, emphasizing the pragmatic and action-oriented approach taken in this phase.

Cut Through the Noise to Understand Market Dynamics

Whether driven by internal considerations or external market forces, navigating triggering events demands proactive planning, strategic foresight, and often the engagement of experienced advisors to guide companies through the complexities of M&A transactions.  

For CEPAs, based on the results of the Triggering Event, you will then guide your client through a series of various strategic decisions such as,

REAG can help you cut through the noise to better understand how market dynamics will impact the Value Gap and ultimately your Action Plan.   

Building Value with REAG's Expertise

Remember, there are three distinct phases of engagement with business owners before determining whether the owner decides to keep their business and continue to build value or to sell their business and initiate the process of transition of ownership.

During the Discover Gate there are two significant deliverables: The Triggering Event and The Action Plan. Following these two deliverables there are two additional phases: Prepare and Decide.  

Key Expectations from The Discover Gate

  1. Initiate a Triggering Event to establish a baseline assessment of your business's value.
  2. Ensure that all personal, financial, and business needs are being addressed.
  3. Conduct valuations at least annually to track changes in value.
  4. Review and update your Strategic Plans regularly to align with your business goals.
  5. Foster collaboration through workshops with your team rather than traditional meetings to encourage the generation of new ideas and drive value growth. 

Whether your client is considering an exit strategy or aiming for growth, REAG provides comprehensive support. We offer buy-side representation for clients seeking expansion through acquisitions and sell-side representation for those looking to exit. This exit strategy can take various forms, including Leveraged Buyouts (LBOs), Management Buyouts (MBOs), Recapitalizations, and more, all of which REAG is equipped to handle. With established relationships across private equity, family offices, and strategic buyers, along with a robust and flexible process, we ensure the best possible outcomes aligned with your clients' goals.    

If you are ready to unlock the unrealized value of your company, reach out and let’s begin together.