The last word on BV: Has its professionalism spawned an industry?

BVWireIssue #59-4
August 22, 2007

The question—is business valuation a profession or an industry?—began a debate in the BVWire that could end up, in one commentator’s view, as being purely rhetorical.  “Is it a false choice to begin with?” asks John Borrowman.  The question may never be settled, he says.  “It’s no surprise that appraisers consider what they do to be a profession.  It has all the earmarks: the ethics, standards, credentials, and the organizations behind them. …The last thing you want is to engage an appraiser who doesn’t act as a consummate professional.  But could it be that this very professionalism has spawned an industry?

“Love it or hate it, the propagation of credentialed practitioners…has brought a significantly higher profile to the profession,” Borrowman adds.  “When more people hear about business valuation, more people buy business valuation.”   The increasing exposure and demand has led to more jobs, more revenues, more regulation, and more recognition for the business of BV.  “At its core, appraisal has been and will always be a profession,” he says.  But it’s also become the sort of “economic engine” that typically drives an industry.

Borrowman has been serving the BV industry as a recruiter since 1995.  His complete comments appear in the current issue of his quarterly newsletter, The Business of Valuation, posted at the Borrowman Baker website; click on the opinion piece, “You Say Po-tay-to, I Say Po-tah-to.”

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