First-ever survey of young BVers gives rare insights

BVWireIssue #242-2
November 9, 2022

valuation profession news
american society of appraisers (ASA), business valuation profession, valuation practice management

Preliminary results of a new survey confirm that most BV practitioners were not made aware of the profession in their early years. About two-thirds of respondents say they were not made aware of the profession in college, in either graduate or undergraduate studies. Until now, we’ve heard anecdotally that many young practitioners discover BV by accident, and this new survey backs that up.

The survey, conducted by BVR and the BV recruiting firm Borrowman Baker, was launched with the cooperation and support of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). Respondents are ASA members under the age of 40 whose primary discipline is business valuation. The goal is to gain some insights and perspectives to help the profession better attract and develop the younger generation of practitioners.

Reach out. Once students hear about BV, it could change the course of their career plans. “I planned to go into audit, but I met someone who was a CPA and did valuation work,” one respondent said. “Hearing what valuation was made me pursue it instead of accounting work.” For its part, the ASA is urging its members to visit their alma maters and talk about the profession to students. This idea works. “I took a business valuation elective in business school and a partner at a BV/FLS shop did a guest lecture. That is how I learned about the BV profession.” This respondent now has several years of BV experience under his belt.

We know a number of firms that maintain a presence at local colleges and have success recruiting from those schools. But, clearly, more firms and valuation groups need to ramp up their efforts to increase awareness.

Other insights. Much can be learned from the young generation of BV practitioners. Other survey questions asked about such things as the quality of training they received, why they left their last firm, and whether they still see themselves doing valuation work five years from now.

BVR will post as a free download the full survey results once they have been compiled. In the meantime, more detailed results will be in the December issue of Business Valuation Update.

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