True North Advisors will soon be one of a dozen or more entities swept up by newly formed, Minneapolis-based Business Broker Investment Corp. (BBIC). But in the meantime, small- and medium-sized business owners across the country will have greater access to a technology platform aimed at helping them prepare to sell their business due to a recent True North acquisition.
The company has agreed to acquire Peak Development, a technology platform for marketing business brokerages and advisers.
Brian Slipka, who is managing partner of True North and will be president and CEO of BBIC, shared his thoughts on the importance of this transaction with Upsize Managing Editor Andrew Tellijohn.
Tellijohn: Could you explain the entities involved in this deal?
Slipka: The BBIC is a separate entity I created with another individual where we are trying to defragment and aggregate the best business brokerage offices in the nation and Canada. The BBIC will be a coalition of at least 12 or 13 offices around the country that have sold their business into the BBIC in exchange for stock.
True North Advisors is the parent of Sunbelt Business Brokers and it now has Peak under its umbrella. It’s the platform business that will run the BBIC. What I’m trying to do is bring together the best platform businesses, which facilitate transactions between two or more parties, under True North Advisors so when it joins the BBIC we have an off-and-running enterprise that can quickly bring on other businesses around North America.
Tellijohn: Why was acquiring Peak important?
Slipka: Peak Development, a free-of-charge omnichannel tech platform, works with buyers and sellers to provide counsel to them to bring them to the point where they are ready to bring their business to market. It is more of a relationship-based checklist. It’s what small business owners need. Instead of writing big checks to have a consultant come ready their business for sale, often they just need someone like Peak to tell them the steps to take to get your business ready.
I’m excited about being able to leverage their expertise and reach with small business owners so when they are ready to sell, or if they are a strategic acquirer, we have the right advisers at that point to come along and help them. We’re trying to standardize the industry. There are a lot of business advisers and consultants and expensive resources out there. What business owners need is someone willing to go at their pace, low-touch and high-impact.
Tellijohn: What’s the timeframe for this BBIC transition?
Slipka: We’ve already got 12 offices that have signed legal agreements to contribute their business into the BBIC. They’re saying we’re better together than trying to do this individually across North America. I’m throwing resources into helping them. The acquisitions will be finalized in the second and third quarters of this year, but we are allowing them to engage in our best practices now. The Peak transaction was important to do now so those employees could start focusing on the markets where we are going to be invested.