$250 – $299

NYCFEC Elective: Exit Planning

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Midtown Manhattan

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This NYCFEC Elective will provide an in-depth, practical session that will help owners of family businesses understand the challenges and issues associated with a transition out of their business, and how those challenges can be addressed.

At some point, every business owner will face the prospect of selling or transferring the business, whether due to family business succession, retirement, death, disability, or some other reason. Potential transferees may include family member(s), employees, co-owner(s) or an outside buyer, such as another company or investor(s).

As the business (and often the associated real estate) is likely among the owner’s largest assets, selling the company they have owned, built and led may be one of the most important (and emotional) transactions of their life. At stake are the financial futures of not only themselves, but their family and employees. Selling or transferring all or part of a family business can be a complex, emotional, long, and grueling process. Exit Planning is the creation of a strategy allowing owners to accomplish that sale or transfer and exit on their own terms and conditions. It is an established process involving the efforts of several professionals.

This session will introduce a step-by-step exit planning process designed to empower owners who want to exit their business and will address questions such as the following: How and when should I begin planning? Do I need to plan if I plan to never retire? What exit paths are available to me? How can I sell or transfer the business to my children (who have no money)? How can I treat my children fairly? Should I sell to an outside party or the employees? Can I maintain control of the business as I transfer ownership interests? What can I do to retain key non-family employees when I leave? Can business value be grown to the level necessary for me to exit on my terms? How can I preserve the value of my business for my family should I die or be disabled? What advisors, experts and processes do I need to engage, and how can they be best coordinated to achieve the desired outcome? How long does it take to develop and implement an exit plan? How can I minimize taxes on the sale of my business?


Family members from family businesses:

  • Whose Family Business is based in the NYC area, or
  • Whose Family Business is based elsewhere, but live in the NYC area


For over 30 years, John H. Brown has skillfully guided hundreds of business owners through one of the most important (and emotional) transactions of their lives: the exit from their company. He started his legal career in Denver, Colorado as an estate planning attorney for owners of closely held companies. Based on his experiences working with owners in a variety of situations, he constructed the Seven Step Exit Planning Process (TM) that he first described in his seminal work on exit planning, How to Run Your Business So You Can Leave It in Style. In 1996, he founded Business Enterprise Institute (BEI) whose mission is to train advisors on every aspect of the Exit Planning process in order to help owners benefit from their lives’ work. Mr. Brown's second book, Cash Out Move On, was released in 2008. 2016 saw the release of his latest book, Exit Planning: The Definitive Guide, which lays out the steps business owners must take to achieve all their aspirations as they exit their businesses. Today, as we experience the largest business ownership transition in history, he continues to consult with business owners on how to leave their companies in style.

Andrew Karlen

Andrew N. Karlen, Esq. devotes his White Plains, New York based practice to counselling family-owned and other closely-held business, their owners and stakeholders.

He provides exit planning services to help owners develop and implement written plans to transition out of their businesses on their own terms. He also works with family-owned businesses and the business families that own them on the challenges they face, including business succession planning.

Understanding that no single professional advisor has all the expertise necessary to help an owner with exit planning or a family with business succession planning, Andrew teams and collaborates with other professional advisors so that business owning clients have the benefit of the full range of professional advice they need to plan their transition.

Mr. Karlen is president of Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises, an association of attorneys and other professionals who provide multi-disciplinary legal counsel and advice to family enterprises, their owners and stakeholders. He is a member of the Family Firm Institute and holds its Family Business Advisor with Fellow Status designation. He also holds the Certified Exit Planner (CExP) designation conferred by the Business Enterprise Institute (“BEI”), an organization that trains and supports Exit Planning professionals.

Andrew has been a speaker at AFHE, FFI and BEI annual conferences and is a frequent lecturer at continuing education programs for attorneys, accountants and financial planners.

In addition to exit planning and working with family-owned businesses, he functions as “General Counsel,” providing ongoing advice on legal, growth-related and other issues and handles a wide variety of business transactions

Admitted to practice in New York, Connecticut and Florida, Mr. Karlen holds a Master of Law (LLM) in Corporation Law from the New York University School of Law and a JD from New York Law School.

Seating is limited and advance registration is required.

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