top of page
  • Rebecca Frosch

Full vs. Partial Buyouts: Deciding Your Practice Transition Path

Transitioning a financial advisory practice is a pivotal moment in an advisor's career. Whether prompted by retirement, a desire for a change, or strategic planning, the decision to sell or transition a practice involves careful consideration of various factors. One crucial aspect is determining the type of buyout—full or partial. In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of both options, helping advisors make an informed decision based on their unique circumstances and objectives.

If you're ready to discuss your practice transition, contact us today!

Understanding Full Buyouts

A full buyout involves selling the entire financial advisory practice to a buyer, typically a successor advisor or an acquiring firm. This comprehensive transfer encompasses client relationships, assets under management (AUM), and often the brand and reputation of the practice. For the selling advisor, a full buyout can provide a clean break (although there options to sell and stay) and a lump-sum payment, offering financial security for retirement or other pursuits.

Advantages of Full Buyouts:

  1. Clean Exit: Advisors looking to retire or move on to new ventures often prefer the simplicity of a full buyout, as it allows for a clean and swift exit from the industry.

  2. Immediate Financial Benefit: The seller receives a lump-sum payment, providing immediate financial benefits. This can be particularly appealing for those looking to secure their retirement funds promptly.

  3. Successor Continuity: Full buyouts facilitate a seamless transition for clients as they continue their relationship with the new advisor. This continuity can be essential for maintaining client trust and satisfaction.

Considerations for Full Buyouts:

  1. Client Transition Planning: Ensuring a smooth transition for clients is crucial. Advisors should work closely with the acquiring party to create a comprehensive plan for client communication and retention.

  2. Valuation and Negotiation: Determining the fair market value of the practice and negotiating favorable terms are critical steps in the full buyout process. Seeking professional assistance in business valuation can be beneficial.

Considering a full buyout? Check out a recent offer here.

Understanding Partial Buyouts

In contrast, a partial buyout involves selling only a portion of the advisory practice, allowing the selling advisor to maintain some level of involvement and ownership. This type of transition is often more gradual and can be structured in various ways, such as selling a percentage of AUM or client relationships.

Advantages of Partial Buyouts:

  1. Continued Involvement: Advisors who are not ready for a complete exit but still wish to reduce their workload or responsibilities may find partial buyouts appealing. This allows for a more gradual transition into retirement or a new career phase.

  2. Flexibility in Structure: Partial buyouts offer flexibility in structuring the deal. Advisors can choose to sell a specific percentage of their AUM, select client relationships, or even create a phased plan over several years.

  3. Mentorship Opportunities: Selling a portion of the practice can create mentorship opportunities, fostering a smooth transfer of knowledge and expertise to the acquiring advisor.

Considerations for Partial Buyouts:

  1. Succession Planning: Advisors opting for partial buyouts should carefully plan for the long-term succession of their practice. This involves identifying and grooming potential successors and developing a timeline for the transition.

  2. Client Communication: Clear communication with clients about the partial buyout is crucial. Clients need to understand how the transition will impact them and what changes, if any, they can expect in their advisory relationships.

Considering a full buyout? Check out a recent offer here.


The decision between a full or partial buyout is a significant one for financial advisors, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It ultimately depends on individual goals, timelines, and preferences. Full buyouts offer a clean break and immediate financial benefits, while partial buyouts provide flexibility and the opportunity for a more gradual transition.

Advisors should carefully assess their practice, consider their long-term objectives, and seek professional advice to navigate the complexities of practice transitions. Whichever path they choose, a well-planned and executed transition ensures the continued success of the practice and the satisfaction of both the selling and acquiring parties.

Ready to Discuss Your Practice Transition? Contact Us Today!

If you're considering a full or partial buyout and need guidance tailored to your unique situation, our team is here to help. Contact us for a confidential consultation and let's navigate your practice transition together. Your future success starts with the right decisions today.

55 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

What is a Broker Protocol Firm?

Broker Protocol is a key element in the financial services industry that facilitates the smooth transition of financial advisors from one firm to another. Established in 2004, it was designed to provi

Bringing Success to Your Succession

In our on-going consulting work, we find more and more financial advisors want to position themselves to successfully: • Buy a practice • Sell a practice • Bring on a protégé From a demographic perspe


bottom of page