Hands shaking

Exit Planning and Succession Advisory

Primary contacts: Joseph A. Bruce, CPA Mary D. Richter, CPA George E. Adams, CPA John A. Kohler, CPA, CEPA

Schneider Downs’ Exit Planning and Succession Advisory Services are multi-disciplined, fully integrated and holistic exit planning and succession solutions that are customized and designed for business owners by business owners.

Exit and succession planning is one of the most important strategies you will need to implement throughout the life of your business, and whether you are ready to start today or in 10 years, it’s never too early to begin the discussions.  Schneider Downs is uniquely qualified to provide you with ideas, options and innovative solutions to meet whatever objectives you have in mind.

We will help you address common obstacles to exit planning, explain why exit planning is important and a good business strategy, help to assess owner and business readiness, identify deal killers and apply the value acceleration methodology ™, along with identifying the solutions that best fit your objectives as well as understand the underlying tax, cash flow, estate, business and family considerations.  We utilize a proven, industry-leading framework developed by the Exit Planning Institute and the ExitMap software solution to fully customize and develop your exit and succession planning experience.

ExitMap Assessment Widget Logo

Our Exit Planning and Succession Advisors are comprised of advisory professionals from five practice units—assurance and tax advisors, business advisory, technology advisors, corporate finance and wealth management—to deliver seamless, fully integrated exit and succession solutions. Download our Exit Planning and Succession service overview to learn more or contact us today to get started.  

Our experts include:

  • Certified exit planning advisors
  • CPAs
  • Attorneys
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary professionals (CEPA)
  • CFAs
  • CIMAs


So whether you are unsure of your next steps, are looking at a buyer, private equity or public offering or thinking of transitioning to family, key management, gifting to individuals or trusts, or considering an ESOP, Schneider Downs will listen, understand, create, manage and fully execute your exit and succession plan.



Consulted with a $125m transportation company with the implementation of an employee stock ownership plan as part of an ownership succession plan, including tax planning for the prior owner and assistance with conversion to an S corporation, ultimately resulting in significant federal income tax benefits.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Public Offering

Advised original founders / owners of longtime Schneider Downs client in the oilfield services industry on their initial public offering, including completion of audits in accordance with PCAOB standards. Worked collectively alongside Key Bank Capital (lead manager of the offering)

Hand with Tablet Projecting Statistics

Strategic Buyer

Advised the founders / owners-operators of $40 million manufacturer on their sale to a Fortune-100 company with complementary product lines. The buyer’s deep management, sales and administrative infrastructure facilitated an immediate exit for the retiring principal owner and allowed other owners to move on shortly thereafter to focus on a separate high-growth startup.

People Silhouettes Shaking Hands

Gifting / Trust

From Stalemate to Success: Schneider Downs retained, after years of working with other advisors, to develop and implement succession plan for a $60M business owned by three (3) brothers. Schneider Downs formulated the plan in 4 months which ties together (i) voting control succession, (ii) estate liquidity, (iii) resource availability for surviving spouse, (iv) disability and retirement triggers, and (v) key employee/advisor involvement.

Two Men and Child Playing in Grass Field

Internal Sale

Advised the sole owner/founder of an Architecture Design firm to transition ownership to existing management. We worked collectively with the sole owner and management to structure sale over time including cash flow modeling to ensure sale of shares was economically feasible. This also included pre-sale planning to ensure goals and objectives of transition were achieved.

Hand Signing Paper

Private Equity

Advised the owners of a 3rd generation distribution and manufacturing firm on a sale of the business to a private equity group. The sale provided an all-cash exit for several family members who were outside of management, allowed one family member to reinvest a portion of his proceeds alongside the buyer and gave senior management a significant equity position in the company

Yellow Umbrella Surrounded by All Black Umbrellas

our thoughts on

Could your PPP loan affect the sale of your business?

Are you considering selling your business and did you receive support from the Federal government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

read more >

Estate Planning as a Tool for Your Business Succession Plan

The year 2020 has been mired with uncertainty and unprecedented strife for many. As we reflect on the past six months and prepare for the next, now may

read more >

Greasing the Skids: Sell-Side Due Diligence

Contemplating a company sale? Some reasons to consider sell-side due diligence After many years of hard work and dedication, you’ve made the decision

read more >


Since mid-March, M&A volume has slowed dramatically as the U.S. economy shut down and state governments implemented stay-at-home orders. The chart

read more >

What to Expect During a Sale Transaction

Once they decide to move forward, many owners plow straight in and starting looking for a buyer. Good idea, but not so fast. Slow down. Think about your

read more >


The two-month COVID-19 economic crisis has significantly disrupted the M&A deal market. While there are examples of transactions that have closed,

read more >

Are You Prepared for the Next Stage of Your Business?

You’re a successful business owner who’s devoted all your time and effort into growing your company to be a best-in-class provider in the industry.

read more >

The Value of Business Process Analysis in your Succession Plan

Are you planning to exit your business in the next 5-10 years? Have you thought about succession plans for your business? Large companies typically incorporate

read more >

ESOPs as a Business Succession Planning Solution

Schneider Downs Retirement Solutions Business owners approaching retirement face a complex set of succession planning decisions, such as how to find a

read more >

Wealth Management Concerns When Selling Your Business

While there are a multitude of issues facing a business owner when they decide to sell their business, one of the most important areas that often gets

read more >

Considerations for Transitioning Your Business

There are several things a business owner should consider before deciding how they would like to transition their business to the next generation, company

read more >

Thinking About the Future: What’s Your Plan? (MDR)

We’ve all heard the saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This is extremely pertinent if you’re thinking about transitioning your

read more >

Have a question? Ask us!

We'd love to hear from you. Drop us a note, and we'll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Ask us

contact us

Map of Pittsburgh Office

One PPG Place, Suite 1700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

p:412.261.3644     f:412.261.4876

Map of Columbus Office

65 East State Street, Suite 2000
Columbus, OH 43215

p:614.621.4060     f:614.621.4062

Map of Washington Office
Washington, D.C.

1660 International Drive, Suite 600
McLean, VA 22102