My name is Ross Perry. I’ve known Andy and Paul for nearly 10 years.
My wife and I, who work in our own business, had both reached an age where we were finding regulations starting to get quite tough, as we were directly regulated. So, we started looking around for a sponsor, that is, someone to sell our assets to.
When I was looking to sell the business, it was important to find like-minded people. We had to interview a number of firms, focusing on this criteria. We must have seen 15 firms before we settled on Black Swan.
The reason Black Swan stood out was purely a gut feeling. We liked them immediately. We liked what they had to say, the way they presented themselves, and the way that they would go about looking after our clients, which for us was the most important thing.
When the deal went through, my initial feeling was relief. We felt we’d found a company with the same principles in terms of how to look after clients, which was our biggest motivator. Our motivator wasn’t “What can we sell the business for in financial terms?” Instead, our prerequisite was “Would they look after our clients in the way that we would expect them to?” And the answer was “yes”. It was a relief to find like-minded people who agreed on that.
Over the past 10 years, Black Swan have never broken a promise. They’re true to their word, and we’ve never needed to look at the contract. They’re honest, straightforward and very fair-minded people. In fact, I’m absolutely delighted with the way Paul and Andy run that business.
Initially, we stayed in touch with clients, as that was an important part of passing on the baton. I was able to go on visits with their consultants until it was felt it was unnecessary for me to be there. That was a very important factor, because it reassured our clients that we weren’t just ditching them or throwing them in a hole somewhere – we were handing them over to a respected company that thought and acted the same way we did.
One point I’d like to make is how friendly, intelligent and sincere all of the staff are at Black Swan. They’re very easy to get along with, and make doing business with them an absolute pleasure.
If anybody in the financial services business approached me for a recommendation for who to sell their business to, I’d be 100% confident and sure that Black Swan would be the right company for them. In all these years, they’ve been the right company for us.