‘Why Irish businesses need succession plans’ – Stewart Dunne, Audit Partner and Head of Clients & Markets interview with The Sunday Business Post

30 October 2018

Stewart Dunne, Audit Partner and Head of Clients & Markets at BDO recently provided an expert view  on succession planning for Irish businesses in the Sunday Business Post*.

According to Stewart, as the business landscape faces the uncertainty of Brexit and the volatility of global stock markets, Irish businesses are operating themselves on “cautious optimism”. He then explains how succession planning is a vital factor in ensuring the prosperity of one’s business in the future. Far from being a simple process, he advises that “You need to be able to step back and look at your company and ask if it is something you would want to buy and if so, why?” He recommends for business owners to critically review their operations and allow for a realistic timeline to maximise the value of the company.

Commenting on the undetermined potential consequences of Brexit, Stewart provides some positive insight on how he has seen some companies use their British connections to their advantage.

“One very interesting example is that of an Irish company with customers in Britain who were looking to acquire a business there. While investigating this, they found that the British target business also had a customer base in Europe, an aspect that could be engineered back into the Irish operation allowing for further growth in intra-EU sales. The business didn’t initially see this benefit when it set out to look at this acquisition.”

Stewart also points out that Ireland is seen by British companies as a gateway to the European market, citing the fact that Ireland is an English-speaking country and carries out business in a way that is similar to Britain.

Concluding his interview, Stewart leaves with the advice that well-timed and well-executed exit strategy benefits everyone in the long run. He recommends that owners assess the skill sets of management, the technology being used and to practice due diligence when selling the business. “Who are the perspective businesses looking to purchase? What are they about and what can your business do to make that purchase even more attractive?”

Here at BDO, we have experts that can assist companies make informed decisions with their best interests in mind. For more information on the range of services we provide for family businesses with regard to Succession Planning, please contact Stewart Dunne, sdunne@bdo.ie ,

* Adapted from the Sunday Business Post 28th October 2018.