Business Succession and Exit Planning, Investment Banking
Craig West, Sydney, Business Succession & Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) Adviser
Craig West's Bio:
Craig West is a strategic accountant who has over 25 years’ experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice, provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners. Following 6 years of study to gain two masters degrees, Craig focused on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for business sales advising on strategic management of tax issues. This experience formed a very strong view that business owners (and often their advisers) were unprepared and unaware of the steps required to prepare a business for exit.
Craig now acts as a strategic mentor for mid-market business owners and has written four critically acclaimed books on employee incentives, succession planning, asset protection and exit strategies. Craig has conducted numerous seminars and keynote presentations throughout Australia & internationally, including adviser education programs for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, IOOF and CPA Australia.
Craig’s practice Succession Plus is the largest Business Succession and Exit Planning firm in Australia, with offices in every state and provides advice and strategy for clients looking to prepare their business for a successful exit. Succession Plus launched into the UK market during 2019.
In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of The SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners. In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, as a result of his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.
During 2015, Craig commenced Doctoral studies on the topic of using Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) as a Business Succession and Exit Planning tool. Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the Year twice in four years.
In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts, in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads. In October 2019, he released Mid-Market Matters, a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses.
Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.
Craig West's Experience:
Executive Chairman at SME Association of AustraliaMarch 2014 - Present | Sydney, Australia
We are a not-for-profit association driven to support and equip small and medium sized enterprises for success and economic growth and are committed to our Vision of “Prosperity for Australia through successful SMEs.” The SME Association of Australia was officially launched on 6th October 2011 and since then we have grown to enormous levels. We are an association representing and connecting SMALL and MEDIUM ENTERPRISES and understand the important role SMEs play in Australia's economy. There are around two million small businesses in Australia, comprising more than 95% of all businesses in Australia.
CEO & Founder at Succession PlusApril 2009 - Present | Level 3, 50 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Succession Plus is a multi discipline consulting practice designed to lead business owners through the complexities of identifying, maximising, extracting and managing the wealth locked up in their business.
Director at SME VillageNovember 2010 - January 2017 | 50 York Street, Sydney CBD
SME Village at Level 3, 50 York Street Sydney is an executive business lounge and co-working space for members who are looking to do business in a professional environment surrounded by premium quality services. We also offer a unique CBD events space and meeting / conference facility as well as virtual office services.
Senior Adviser at Peak PartnersMay 2004 - August 2009
We are using our expertise in business succession planning to assist business owners in creating a plan to maximise the value of their business and then be able to sell or exit at the right time.
CEO at AllState Partners1999 - 2004
Grew an accounting practice from a sole trader with $140K revenues to a multi discipline financial services practice with a 1.8M turnover in 3 years
Senior at MGI Wamstekers1995 - 1999
Managed business clients accounting and taxation needs, including business advisory.
Craig West's Education:
Charles Sturt University2015 – 2018Doctor of Business AdministrationConcentration: Business Succession and Exit planning.
University Of Technology Sydney1998 – 2001MastersConcentration: Taxation Law
University Of Technology Sydney1997 – 2000Masters of BusinessConcentration: Accounting & Finance
Charles Sturt University1994 – 1998Bachelor of BusinessConcentration: Management
Craig West's Interests & Activities:
Flying, Music, Cricket and Rugby