Succession Planning Not Top of Mind for Business Owners

CHICAGO, Nov. 29, 2010 /CHICAGOPRESSRELEASE.COM/ — Transitioning a business to the next generation or to new ownership is a reality that affects most business owners.  Ideally, business owners should begin developing a succession plan 5-10 years before exiting the business.  Many, however, aren’t thinking about it at all.

In a recent Harris/Decima survey of 650 U.S. business owners, conducted for Harris Bank and its parent company, BMO Financial Group, 46% of business owners are thinking about a succession plan, and the vast majority (80%) has yet to identify a successor.  The study also found that:

  • Larger businesses are more likely to have a formal succession plan in place (45% larger vs. 14% smaller).  Larger businesses are also more likely to say having a formal succession plan in place is important (78% vs. 42%).
  • When it comes to succession planning, the vast majority of business owners (80%) have not yet identified a successor for their business for when they retire.

“Succession Planning is not something that can wait until the last minute,” said Erica Kuhlmann, Managing Director and Head of Harris’ Food & Consumer business. “In the end, a well-thought-out plan could be the difference between a smooth transition and a turbulent handover.”

“Stability, wealth preservation, family harmony and peace of mind are four good reasons why it’s never too early to begin a plan. While business owners should probably start planning at least 5-10 years before transitioning control, it’s never too late to start,” said Mike Stanton, Vice President and Wealth Advisor, Harris Private Bank. “The more time you have to plan, the more effective the plan can be.  For example, over time you can transfer ownership shares of a company without gift tax ramifications, and through that transfer, minimize future estate taxes.”

At Harris, providing clients with succession planning counsel and advice is a focus of our business. A variety of succession planning resources and information can be found on the Harris succession planning site:  https://www4.harrisbank.com/vgn/succession-planning/index.html

The online survey was conducted by Harris/Decima among 650 Canadian business owners (400 small, 250 larger) and 650 U.S. business owners (400 small, 250 larger). Data was collected between Sept. 22 and Oct. 10, 2010.  Results were weighted using employee size within region. Small businesses were defined as having between 1-49 employees, and larger businesses were defined as having 50+ employees.

Harris/Decima is one of Canada’s most established names in public opinion and market research, with a 25-year track record of innovation and client satisfaction.

About Harris

Harris is an integrated financial service organization providing more than 1.3 million personal, business and corporate clients with banking, lending, investing and wealth management solutions. The organization is a member of the BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO), which also provides corporate and investment banking services in the U.S. under the BMO Capital Markets name.

About Harris Private Bank

Harris Private Bank offers a comprehensive range of wealth management services that include investment advisory, trust, banking and financial planning to meet the financial needs of high net worth clients. Through integrated teams of experienced financial professionals, Harris Private Bank helps its clients realize their financial and lifestyle goals with solutions that are custom tailored and delivered with the highest level of personalized service. Harris Private Bank is a member of the Harris family of wealth management services.

Harris® is a trade name used by various financial service subsidiaries of Harris Financial Corp.  Banking products and services are provided by Harris N.A., The Harris Bank, N.A. and their bank affiliates, Members FDIC. Brokerage products are offered through Harris Investor Services, Inc. (HIS), a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and SEC-registered investment advisor.  Insurance and annuities are offered through Harris Bancorp Insurance Services, Inc. (HBIS). Investment banking services are provided by BMO Capital Markets Corp. (BMOCMC) and BMO Capital Markets GKST, Inc. (GKST), a Municipal Bond Dealer and member FINRA and SIPC.  Financial planning and investment advisory services are provided by Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc. (HSBSB), an SEC registered investment advisor.  Family Office Services are provided by Harris myCFO, Inc.  Investment advisory services are offered by Harris myCFO Investment Advisory Services LLC (HmyCFO), a SEC-registered investment advisor and wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris myCFO, Inc.  Stoker Ostler Wealth Advisors (SOWA) is an SEC-registered investment advisor. Investment advisory services to institutional clients are provided by Harris Investment Management (HIM), an SEC-registered investment advisor.  Products offered by HIS, HBIS, BMOCM, HSBSB, HmyCFO and HIM, affiliated companies and are wholly owned subsidiaries of Harris Financial Corp.,: Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any Federal Government Agency, Not a Deposit of or guaranteed by Any Bank or Bank Affiliate, May lose Value.  The purchase of insurance or an annuity is not a condition to any bank loan or service. Not all products and services are offered in every state and/or location.

Harris Private Bank is a trade name used by various subsidiary financial service providers of Harris Financial Corp.  Banking services offered through Harris Private Bank are provided by Harris N.A., The Harris Bank N.A. and their bank affiliates.  Member FDIC.

Stoker Ostler Wealth Advisors, Inc. is an SEC-registered investment advisor.  Harris myCFO™ is a brand used by Harris myCFO, Inc. providing Family Office Services, Harris myCFO Investment Advisory Services LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor and certain divisions of Harris N.A. that are national banks with trust powers.  Not all products and services are offered in every state and/or location.  Investment products are: NOT FDIC INSURED – MAY LOSE VALUE – CARRY NO BANK GUARANTEE.

SOURCE Harris Bank


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