This book grew out of an industry conference in 2013 in Dallas, Texas, hosted by financial industry journalist Bob Veres. Bob had asked Eric and Jay to come to Dallas to take part in a panel discussion, which he called the first of its kind, focused on successors talking to founders about the transition issues they faced in their businesses—from a successor's point of view. At the time, Jay was 33 and the president and chief operations officer (COO) of a large registered investment advisor and Eric was the 38-year-old chief executive officer (CEO) of Austin Asset.

There was a strong tone at the conference; the industry needed to hear more from successors. A day after Jay's and Eric's panel on transition issues for successors (also a day after Tim Kochis was given the conference's inaugural Leadership Award), Bob hosted a similar panel, but with members talking about their opinions as founders. The opinions from one day to another were similar in many respects, but there were clearly items where founders and successors materially disagreed. Instead of having two separate panels, it would have been an interesting social experiment to put the two points of view on one stage and thus try to do a better job of resolving the issues. We agreed that this book would become that stage.

The existing literature on succession tends to have a similar formula: What's been written was either written by a consultant, an academic, or a founder, usually after a successful transition. ...

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