Q&A with Tricia McIver, Business and Family Wealth Specialist

March 6, 2018

At Mailey Rogers Group, we are fortunate to work with an exceptional extended team of professionals at Scotia Wealth Management as well as our internal team. Many of our clients have had the pleasure of working with Tricia McIver, our Business and Family Wealth Specialist. Tricia is a skilled financial strategist and an incredible asset to Mailey Rogers Group. Today, in order to better introduce Tricia to those who aren’t familiar with her services, we share a conversation between Kim Mailey and Tricia McIver.

Kim Mailey: Business transition planning is a key part of what you do for our clients. At what stage do you prefer business owners to connect with you?

Tricia McIver: Sooner rather than later, as early preparation is always best – you never know when the transition is actually going to occur. There are planned and unplanned transitions, but one thing is certain: a transition will occur eventually. The more prepared you are, the better you are able to capitalize on opportunities. I often mention to clients that good exit planning requires a long runway, and it’s true. This gives you time to consider your options and analyze them, and to resolve what are your goals and priorities – essentially your scorecard against which you evaluate options. Is it maintaining the work culture at a business after your exit? Perhaps rewarding a skilled and loyal management team with the possibility of ownership themselves. Or is it about selling to the highest bidder?

Those are great points. You’ve worked with a lot of Mailey Rogers Group clients. Can you tell us a bit about the business owners you work with?

Typically, I work with fairly seasoned business owners – individuals who have grown a substantial amount of wealth through their business(es) and often hold the majority of their wealth in that business by virtue of its value. This is not unusual – in fact, it’s very common, and it speaks to the fact that a transition plan should be created with this in mind. It’s very important. Business transition planning involves the sale of your most valuable asset, but it often gets overlooked because of the day-to-day busyness of a business owner’s life. This is not an ideal situation, but it’s a very common problem. As I say to our clients….fear not, you are not alone. But let’s get you out of the many who do nothing and into the group who proactively plan for their exit.

We try to inspire business owners to take action and formulate their desired goals. We help them understand where they are today and to deeply think about what their desired outcomes of their transition is – what is their vision? This process helps us understand what needs to happen in the interim to build a strong foundation to support successfully finishing well? This is how we determine what action and tools and techniques are necessary to set our clients up for success. This may mean working to reduce the reliance of the business on its owner, perhaps tweaking their legal structures, and ensuring that their legal documents are up to date and aligned – documents like shareholders agreements, Wills, things of that nature.

It’s important to remember that business transition planning is not an event – it’s an ongoing exercise. Your plan will evolve as things change in your business and as things change in your family. We cannot separate business and family as they walk in tandem with each other. We understand this and your plan should reflect this.

You work closely with Mailey Rogers Group to support our clients. What other experts and professionals do you collaborate with to achieve client goals?

It’s very common for me to work with a client’s own professional advisors, their lawyers, and accountants. In our view this is important – these are people who have an inside view and a deep understanding of the client’s situation by virtue of their history and their relationship. They understand the structure of the business and fill in gaps – providing information a client may have forgotten about. This valuable collaboration provides an opportunity for all advisors to share information, thoughts, and ideas, and discuss alternatives. A client’s own mini-think tank, so to speak. It gets everyone on the same page and rowing in the same direction. A second set of eyes and a successful professional collaboration are tools that set clients up for better outcomes and success.

In terms of working with the extended team at Scotia Wealth Management – yes, absolutely! Through the course of our work with our clients, we may identify risks and gaps and opportunities that we feel could be addressed. Some examples would be:

  • Out of date or overlooked estate documents (Will or Power of Attorney). I reach out to our internal partner, Monique Trepanier, Estate and Trust Planning Specialist who has helped a number of your clients, to lend a hand.
  • Perhaps an insurance need. Susan Lee, Insurance Specialist, is available.
  • Philanthropy is important for many of our clients, and for business owners, this is typically a case when they sell their business. Our philanthropic services group is very helpful when structuring donations and helping clients achieve their social and financial goals.

Just to finish off, we have focused on business owner clients today. We also provide wealth transition guidance for wealthy families. It doesn’t really matter how you hold your wealth; whether in a business, a portfolio of real estate or stocks and bonds, the transition issues are the same, just simply a different flavor – structuring, creating legal documents that are relevant, education and mentoring those coming up.

Thank you, Tricia. We appreciate all that you do for our clients!

It’s my pleasure.