Exit and Succession Planning


David C. Brinkman CFA, CPA, CFP
George E. Adams CPA, CEPA   

Schneider Downs’ Exit and Succession Planning 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 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, and identify deal killers.

We utilize The Value Builder System to provide a Value Builder PREScore that provides you with a good understanding of what role your team will play in securing a satisfying exit. The assessment provides the 4 Key Drivers of an exit without regret. You can get your score at the link below.

The Value Builder System

Our Exit and Succession Planning 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 and Succession Planning service overview to learn more or contact us today to get started.  

Our experts include:

  • Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPA)
  • CPAs
  • Attorneys
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary Professionals
  • 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

Exit and Succession Planning – The Challenges of What’s Next

Learn more about the potential challenges surrounding Exit and Succession Planning under Biden's Administration Federal Tax Proposals specific to Capital Gains Tax Rate, Gift and Estate Asset Transfers and PPP.

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Letter of Intent?

Read more about what could be included in a letter of intent and how it can be a beneficial tool in estate planning.

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The Importance of a Personal Financial Plan During Exit Planning

Better understand successfully ensuring a bright financial future during Exit Planning while considering your personal financial plan.

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You, Your Exit Plan and Your Options

Learn more about your options when planning to exit your business.

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Successfully Transitioning Significant Processes During Business Succession

When preparing to exit their business, many owners will need to hand off the tasks for which they have always been responsible. It comes with the territory

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Key Value Indicators in Evaluating a Business

Learn about the key-value indicators essential when evaluating a business including customer relationships.

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S Corporation Rollover Equity – Involve Your CPA Early and Often

Learn more about structure considerations to make when selling your closely held or family-owned business.

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Could your PPP loan affect the sale of your business?

Learn how PPP loan support may affect the sale of your business and what loan agreement provisions are included.

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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

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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

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Learn more about the current state of the M&A Market since the U.S. economy shut down due to COVID-19.

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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

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Metropolitan Washington