CEPA Spotlight: Frans Tjissen

SHOWCASING THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF EXCEPTIONAL THOUGHT LEADERS

You can plan all kinds of things in life, reality often is completely different, and therefore it makes sense to be prepared for the unexpected.

As of August 1, 2019, I have been appointed as the CEO of LEA Global.

Whether or not I am prepared for the job, time will tell.

However, it is one of those moments that makes me sit back and daydream on how it all started.  Let me share this dream you.

Born in a very small village in the Netherlands, Europe, close to the German border, I grew up in a loving family.  My siblings and I had a very pleasant childhood and our parents taught us important values: honesty, integrity, and modesty.

After finishing high school, I had not yet found my passion in life, apart from my high school love Wilma, who is my wife of over 40 years.

One day I received some promotional material from the Dutch IRS in which they tried to attract students to a career as tax auditor. For the first three years, they organized a full-time training program that included additional training to become a Dutch CPA. What I really liked about it was that they paid a base salary from day one.

I worked at the IRS for nine years performing tax audits, training some junior staff, and becoming part of the young leadership team. Nevertheless, I became curious and wanted to know if there was another world out there.

This lead me to move on and start as a CPA in a firm called Bol International. In 1992, I became an equity partner and some years later, co-Managing Partner.

Our firm had a very strong culture and over the years our firms size increased to a total of four offices, seven partners, 180 staff, and apart from family businesses, we developed a stable international practice.

Part of our philosophy has always been that people perform best if they do things they like doing. Because of this philosophy, it is in the interest of the person, as well as of the firm, to split responsibilities and jobs in a way that aligns with one’s personal skill set and interests.

In accordance with our philosophy, we decided to share the Managing Partner role in between three partners. Each one of the partners took responsibility for the part that aligned best with their quality and passion.  As a by-product, I have always been able to keep my client relationships and to be honest, that has always been my true passion. Not the formal audit and tax issues, but consulting the owner, their family and the key employees. Making sure they can rely on and fully trust you. I have to say that over the years, I discovered the real substance behind the values my parents told me.

At the same time, I became continuously more involved with entrepreneurs that came into the phase of selling their business or transferring it to the next generation. I experienced the strong emotional impact and the occasionally huge effects on personal relationships. I noticed how formerly active business owners became lonely people. Since some owners completely ignored the fact that there would be a time in life that they wouldn’t have a role in the business anymore and finally experienced that the hard way. On the other hand, I learned a lot from other clients that always kept an open eye towards the world around them, personal and business-wise.

I spent a ton of time with these owners, their spouses, and kids to get to know these processes and learned to recognize each piece of the puzzle. Two years ago, I stumbled upon the Exit Planning institute and was fascinated that Chris Snider and his team had been able to bring all the elements of exit planning together in a completely rational and logical process. One sheet, provides a complete overview of every element involved in the exit plan.

I attended the CEPA program in Chicago 2017 and enjoyed every minute of it. Since then, I have used the process every single day within my client contacts and it has been a tremendous tool and help for me.

As I mentioned, the Dutch business culture is based on international trade. Therefore, in 2004 we became one of the European founding members of Leading Edge Alliance (LEA Global). For many years, I have been a European, as well as a Global board member of this wonderful and intriguing organization. Even after my retirement as Managing Partner in Bol International at age 57 (which was part of our exit plan to make sure we had partner positions available for brilliant young professionals), I stayed active as a board member. Throughout my life, I have attended multiple US conferences, and visited a lot of LEA firms all over the globe. The association has been very helpful for our firm to be able to service our international active client base with high quality audit, tax and business consulting services. Apart from that we shared a tremendous amount of best practices and learned form the best in class.

And now, as of August 1, a new phase in my professional live has started, being the CEO of this great organization.

It is big challenge for me, since LEA after 20 years is in a world that is changing and we will have to find the way to change also in a rhythm that fits and will keep us strong and challenged.

Frans Tijssen has been been a CEPA since the 2017 Chicago program. He exemplifies the role of Advisor of the Future through the qualities of his practice and his commitment to his clients.

CEPA Spotlight

CEPA spotlight features the accomplishments of exceptional thought leaders in the advisory community. Acquire a deeper understanding and knowledge base by reading the stories of some of the industry’s most perceptive experts.

Do you know someone who exhibits unique and remarkable qualities as an advisor? Contact Paige Koerper at pkoerper@exit-planning-institute.org to nominate them for the next CEPA spotlight.


More than a credentialing company.

“This Methodology is Going to Supercharge My Practice!” -Justin Goodbread, CEPA, CFP®

Official ‘Exit Planning’ Definition: Exit planning combines the plan, concept, effort, and process into a clear, simple strategy to build a business that is transferable through strong human, structural, customer, and social capital. The future of the business owner, his/her family, and the business itself are addressed by exit planning through creating value today.

Exit planning is not just a plan (or a keyed-in report to print out for an owner). It is a strategy rooted in execution that grows value while expanding options so that an owner can transition the business on his/her terms when they are ready. It aligns the business, personal, and financial needs of the owner. Good exit planning utilizes the Value Acceleration Methodology™ to move clients through discovery, prepare, and decide gates. Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPA) educate the owner on all of the exit options and enters an engagement with an exit-option-agnostic perspective as to truly serve the business owner’s diverse needs. CEPAs collaborate with a seasoned, multi-disciplinary team of professionals to support the success of the business owner and use each other’s specialties and expertise to the benefit of the project. [view the award-winning methodology]

“Why did I earn CEPA when I already had an exit planning designation? Simple, the network. The quality of the EPI advisor network is unmatched.” -Paul Meyer, CEPA, CBEC

Do you consider your COIs or your referral network as the #1 source for new business? Look no further for your next membership affiliation. Formed in 2005 to serve educational and resource needs of financial planners and wealth managers, CPA/accountants, attorneys, commercial lenders, M&A advisors and business brokers, management consultants and other business advisors, the Exit Planning Institute is considered the standard trendsetter in the field of exit planning across the globe. It is the only organization that offers the Certified Exit Planning Advisor Program (CEPA) and qualifies for continuing education credits with twelve major professional associations, making it the most widely accepted and endorsed professional exit planning program in the world. [find a CEPA in your area]

“As a CPA, nothing is more important than exit planning.” -Bill Kenedy, CPA/ABV, CFF, CEPA

Our founders paved the way for the organization we are today. In the past three years alone, EPI has grown by more than ten times. We support and enable thousands of professional advisors who are leading the way in their local marketplaces across the globe. We invite you to join the community and experience the EPI difference.

We are powered by a dedicated staff, industry experts, and market leaders, that are passionate about providing top professional advisors the best industry content, ongoing practice support, and owner education resources. From humble beginnings, EPI has grown to become the exit planning market leader while staying focused and true to our mission. We are an education company that certifies and supports more than 900 CEPAs (and counting) as well as thousands of advisors worldwide through national, regional, chapter, and virtual education. Explore our history and make plans to play a part in our future. [explore the EPI history timeline snapshot]

“You want to have the best credential in the industry. So my advice is that you have to go with Exit Planning Institute.” -Vincent Mastrovito, CEPA, CBEC

Do you want help in an increasingly commoditized or oversaturated marketplace? Do you want just another designation for your business card or do you want the credentialing education that helps you adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing industry? You’ve come to the right place.

The Exit Planning Institute creates an exit planning “ecosystem,” and due to the diverse nature of exit planning, EPI has fostered a hyper-engaged exit planning community. This community includes CEPAs, other collaborative advisors, strategic alliance partners, academicians, the media, and business owners from across the globe made up of 15 countries, 44 U.S. States and representing over a dozen different professional disciplines. To serve this elite and cross-functional community on one major platform, EPI produces the best content as it relates to exit planning, succession planning, and value acceleration, provides ongoing advisor support and practice development, and creates connectivity to transitioning business owners. [connect with us today]

Explore the unmatched professional development experience and gain your next competitive edge in 2019.

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) Program is the most widely endorsed and accepted exit planning designation in the marketplace today. Experience the EPI difference and determine if earning the CEPA designation is the next strategic move for you to reinvent yourself in a changing marketplace. Visit www.EarnCEPA.com today.