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A|E Consulting Services, Inc.

Ownership Transition Planning, Company Valuations & Strategic Planning

American Society of Civil Engineers

Seminar:  Ownership Transition Planning, Company Valuations & Strategic Planning

Seminar Benefits

You will learn:

  • Strategic trends and directions now being taken by design firms
  • How to develop a well designed strategic plan that fits your firm, including how to focus on critical issues that will result in:
    • Attracting and keeping more talented employees
    • Performing more sought after projects
    • Prospering in spite of the inevitable economic downturns
    • Working with preferred clients
    • Presenting more options when owners retire
  • What constitutes “value” and techniques used to value firms
  • Legal environment of company valuations, what to expect, how to identify “hidden” assets and liabilities
  • Key elements of the “due diligence” process when buying, selling, joint venturing, and merging a firm
  • Typical terms and conditions when firms are sold to third parties
  • Structuring your firm for improved profitability
  • Types of business entities and how best to use them
  • How to develop an ownership transition plan for your firm including:
    • Developing multiple options for ownership transitioning
    • Developing key employees into qualified owners
    • Developing the Buy-Sell Document and what it should and should not contain
    • Funding issues for both retiring owners and new owners, and how they can be effectively addressed
  • How to put it all together, increasing your firm’s success and profitability

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand what strategic planning is and its importance
  • Learn a step-by-step process for developing a strategic plan
  • Understand various methods for establishing the “value” of an engineering firm
  • Know how to develop an ownership transition plan and preserve options

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Attendees’ achievement of the leaning outcomes will be assessed through a series of case studies and follow-up discussions.

Special Features

  • Case studies are used to learn from the experiences of other firms
  • Extensive handouts are included as part of the course materials

Who Should Attend?

This seminar is designed for owners, potential owners, and managers of firms who want to better understand how to develop effective strategic and ownership transition plans. This seminar will also benefit those who want a better understanding of how to value a firm and the process of buying and selling professional service firms.

Registration Fees*

$1,325 Members | $1,555 Non-Members

Summary Outline

Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Strategic Planning

  • The process: Where are we [versus the competition]? Where are we going? How do we get there? Also, long-range visioning techniques and the development of mission and vision statements
  • The strategic planning retreat: how it is conducted, what it should accomplish, strategic plans and the entrepreneurial perspective, and what a good planning system avoids
  • Translating the strategic plan into strategic initiatives and the annual operating plan

Ownership Transitioning

  • Why firms develop ownership transition plans, typical ownership transition scenarios, recurring themes of management transfer, and options added with a properly structured ownership transition plan
  • Process of developing an ownership transition plan: defining objectives, developing criteria for ownership, identifying potential new owners, growing your own – developing business talent, ownership transfer schedules, valuation approaches discussion, develop reward distribution policy, test assumptions and financial modeling, evaluate funding and financing of stock/ownership transfers, establishing shareholder return expectations, determine agreement provisions, and identify the steps for implementation
  • Elements of a Shareholders’/Members’ Agreement
  • The “Golden Rule” for internal transitions
  • Overcoming inadequate funding and other topics such as ESOPs, deferred compensation plans, and serial redemptions
  • Understanding the type of business entities: sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited liability companies, and S & C Corporations

Company Valuations

  • Reading and understanding financial statements
  • Valuation considerations: What creates value? Getting a company ready to sell
  • Why sell?
  • Who buys?: including when it makes sense, the due diligence process, what successful acquisitions typically include, and developing the selling plan
  • Valuing a firm: the legal environment, appropriate and inappropriate methods to determine Fair Market Value
  • Approaches used for valuations: Adjusted book value plus future earnings capacity, capitalization of historic income, discounting projected future earnings, and publicly traded company approach
  • Introduction to formula approaches
  • Looking beyond the numbers

Tying it all together…how to increase your success and profits

Purpose and Background

This seminar gets to the heart of how to develop and operate a successful engineering business. The more effectively a business plans and executes its plans, the more successful and profitable a business tends to be. Presented are practical techniques used to develop viable strategic plans, how to highlight the essence of the plan so that the key elements can actually be remembered, and how to translate the strategic plan into an operating plan. Methods are presented on how to overcome the inertia associated with implementing the changes that need to be made to enjoy more success.“Value” issues typically surface when developing a strategic plan. Understanding what comprises “value” is critically important for owners, potential owners, and managers of professional service firms. The purpose of this seminar goes beyond the traditional means of determining the Fair Market Value of a firm, to include critical issues such as the education of potential buyer/investors regarding what creates value, how “human capital” enters into the equation, company structuring issues, and off Balance Sheet items. The better owners/managers understand what constitutes “value,” the greater is their ability to increase the value of a firm.Ownership transition planning always plays an important role in a viable strategic plan. Attracting and keeping talent, along with providing an exit strategy for retiring owners are mission critical elements for successful firms. This seminar examines how to develop an ownership transition plan that fits your firm, and then how to implement the plan. Creative means that may possibly enhance the transitioning process are discussed including the use of deferred compensation programs, Limited Liability Companies [LLCs], ESOPs, and serial redemptions. Participants will also learn the “Golden Rule” of ownership transitioning.

Hotel Information 

San Francisco, California
September 12-13, 2013
Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf
(415) 771-9000

To register click on ASCE Website: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/item/id/78160/q/n=1&c=79&t=2116&t=2120

Manhattan, New York
November 14-15, 2013
Sleeping Rooms
Radisson Martinique on Broadway
49 West 32nd Street
New York, NY 10007
(212) 736-3800
Seminar Location
The Concierge Center
780 Third Avenue, C-2
New York, NY 10007
(212) 735-0072

To register, click on ASCE Website: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/item/id/123945/q/n=1&c=79&t=2116&t=2120