Mark Flenniken entered the property & casualty agency business 38 years ago and gravitated to the life and securities business in the '90's. He has been a partner in four entities over that period, always adding "arrows to his quiver" in order to continue to serve his entrepreneurial client base.
Mark started his own Exit Planning firm and rebranded the practice as Omega7 in 2005. "Omega," meaning the last, and "7" for The Seven Step Exit Planning Process™ to represent the umbrella under which he does everything for his business owner clients.
BEI: Why did you decide to work with business owners to help them exit?
Mark Flenniken: Entrepreneurs have always been my focus as they simply represented a multitude of risk management problems and thus, opportunities for engagement.
I met John Brown, Founder of BEI, at a seminar in 2003 and realized no one in my competitive world was working with owners to get out of their business and convert their ownership to cash. As John pointed out that day, the transfer of wealth from the Baby Boomer Generation was opportunity-rich. Over the past 20 years, he has proven time and time again to be right.
BEI: Tell us about an unexpected challenge you have encountered working with business owners. How did it impact you or your practice and how did you overcome the problem?
Mark Flenniken: Early on, I had great difficulty with insider transfers as properly pricing the amount of work to be done always seemed insufficient. Early success with third-party sales diverted me to concentrate on those opportunities primarily, even avoiding insider sales opportunities.
Over time, the continued evolution of EPIC made insider transfers easier to both price and deliver work more efficiently and profitably. I also realized not to undervalue the work we delivered as Exit Planners as to the economic value received by the owner.
BEI: How has your involvement with BEI impacted your practice?
Mark Flenniken: I believe that the designation I received from BEI, Certified Exit Planner (CExP™), separates me from my competition. This education also provides me tools and credibility to interface with owners and advisors from other disciplines.
I have always felt BEI has made a continual effort to improve their tools and delivery mechanisms in such a way I have never felt I would be better off without the association.