Generational Equity gave us false hopes for selling our business, took most all of our savings and could not come up with a single prospective buyer.
My wife and I own a small business with annual sales of just over a million dollars. We have been in business for close to 30 years, in what is now a competitive and declining market. Like many business owners, we work extremely long hours. We have been concerned about how we might be able to afford to retire some day. There have been few opportunities to grow our business, and it seemed the opportunity of selling it had passed us by. In comes Generational Equity, a mergers and acquisitions company, located in Dallas Texas.
I received several calls from GE claiming to have had inquiries from investment companies interested in buying a business like my own. I was invited to a sales conference, but couldn't take the time to attend myself, so I asked my son to attend in my stead. At the meeting, my son became convinced that we should arrange a meeting with GE to see if they might take us on as a client. Given market conditions and our declining sales pattern, I felt that Generational Equity would not see us as a good prospect, but figured, what the heck - what could there be to lose? There was a lot.
The next morning, my wife, son and I sat down with the salesperson from Generational Equity, who asked many questions about our business and looked through our last three years of income statements and our balance sheet. After over an hour of this, he looked me in the eye and said, "The world is your oyster, and you've barely scratched the surface." What? I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He went on and on, calling us a "Legacy Company" and that Generational Equity had nothing like us in their portfolio. He described the sale process where, after putting our company on the market, we would be able to look at 20 or 30 prospective buyers and whittle that down to ten or so to try to get the best deal we could. He stated that G.E. had an annual trade show for prospective investors in the coming months and he wanted to feature our company at the show.
This must have gone on for 15 or 20 minutes, and while he never mentioned a dollar figure we might expect for our business (a strict rule for G.E. employees), he had all three of us seeing BIG MONEY. None of us thought of a figure below a million dollars. We believed he must be correct. He's in the business of selling companies and sure was enthusiastic about selling ours. After all, just the fact that he would take us on as a client was a huge vote of confidence, since Generational Equity makes their profits by selling companies. That day, we wrote a check to Generational Equity for the required $35,000.00 to get started (which we had in the bank only because we had earlier taken out a second mortgage on our home). However, a few months later it dawned on me that perhaps there is another way Generational Equity makes a "profit".
Since that day, reality and the passage of time have brought our expectations lower and lower. After over a year now, Generational Equity has not presented us with even one prospective buyer. I am convinced that, aside from the legitimate sale of businesses, GE will take on a client and collect $35,000.00 from them with the intention of making a "profit" on that sum alone, whether or not the business is sold. If the cost to them of getting your business in the marketplace is $5,000.00, for example, that's a neat "profit" of $30,000.00.
My wife and I feel as though we've been swindled. Looking over our balance sheet, this salesperson saw that we had the $35,000.00 on hand, and through misleading and grossly exaggerated language that could only have been intended to raise our expectations, he set out to get it. Others who are considering engaging Generational Equity to sell their company must be careful that they are not falling prey to this con job. While I don't doubt that G.E. serves some clients well in the process of selling their businesses, I've become convinced that they also pad their profits using this unconscionable sales practice.
I am seeking a refund of the entire amount we paid to Generational Equity in the amount of $34,500.00.
In other circumstances, I'd be open to searching out a middle ground, but in this case, I feel that I was completely and knowingly duped by Generational Equity into engaging their services.
I believe we've come to a satisfactory agreement with our client but it has been a challenge getting in touch with them based on their travel schedule. We will confirm the agreement today and **** post our response no later than noon tomorrow, 5/6/2014.
Good morning. Regarding this case, we had some difficulty getting a timely response from our client to meet your time line in closing this case. With some effort we were able to work this out with our client , however, he was not able to send a written response to you regarding his satisfaction. He responded on another forum and I forwarded his response to you and would like you to include his response on this case. If this is outside of your service boundaries, please let me know. I posted his response on your site but it may have been past your closing date for this complaint. Please let me know if you would like me to resend the response.