Courageous Conversations at the Heart of Succession Planning


Courageous Conversations at the Heart of Succession Planning

It was such fun to join investment industry veteran Mike Ross and host Ryan Ross with the Just Build Wealth podcast and their audience to share how essential courageous conversations are for effective succession planning and my passion for supporting firm owners and their successors as they plan for and navigate the journey of succession.

Give a listen here  Just Build Wealth Podcast – Laurie Nichols .

I hope you’ll gain some helpful insights and be inspired to begin having those courageous conversations regarding your aspirations for a successful succession event and creating a meaningful legacy.

Ryan Ross’s takeaways from our conversation

 “In this episode, we spoke with Laurie Nichols, a succession and transition coach for independent wealth managers and professional service firms. We begin the discussion with how she got into the investment industry starting her career as a CPA and her and her partner’s experience selling their RIA.

Most wealth managers like the idea of having a succession plan.  Doing the work to create one is something else. Making the time to plan is a common challenge.

This is where Laurie Nichols steps in as an experienced guide and coach.  She knows the pitfalls and mistakes that can be effectively navigated when there is an open mind and heart.

Laurie believes this all begins with one “courageous conversation” at a time.  Engaging with your business partners and essential team members helps you align on where you’re going and how this will impact clients and employees.

We discuss how important it is to encourage and prioritize talent development within your firm.  To be clear: clients and financial planning strategies are the lifeblood of the business.  But if there is no talent to service clients, not only with the firm suffer in the short run, you will limit your succession options and potentially the value of your business in the long run.

We conclude our conversation talking about how to jumpstart planning and how to find Laurie if the time is right.”

Episode Highlights:

(01:41) Intro to Laurie

(03:30) Becoming an RIA inside Bank of America.

(04:46) RIA M&A Transactions actually work?

(07:09) What are the key value propositions of an RIA?

(09:27) most of your assets are on two legs.

(10:37) Triple win in succession planning.

(14:11) When is a “courageous conversation” needed?

(17:33) Succession planning  vs. a sale

(21:05)  Being niche vs. being general when exploring a sale

(23:25) How do you balance find a successor with the speed of the decision?

(30:57) Creating a succession plan

(35:45) Needed documents in succession planning.

(38:35) Getting your business valued – are  people surprised?

(42:54) What Laurie is looking for in clients.

(46:16) When people should come to Laurie

(50:07) The Final 4 Questions

Are you ready to have courageous conversations but not sure where to start?


Let’s connect to find out if you’re ready for a personalized action plan so that you too have a clear path forward: a success plan for today and a succession plan for tomorrow.

Together we’ll determine what you really want for your legacy so that you and your business thrive on this phase of your journey… starting right where you are.

Schedule a Call


Other resources:

Click here to download our complimentary report– “5 Questions Business Owners Never Ask and Should, to Create a Succession Plan that Works ” 


Jumpstart Your Succession Planning with a Power Pause – Laurie Nichols