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Podcast 15 – Gandalf or Gollum? The Role of Your Business Attorney in Transition Planning

Today's Poised for Exit Show featured Chris Cuneo, an attorney with Ballard Spahr, whose long-standing reputation and expertise in Minneapolis is rivaled only by his own sense of humor! Chris compared a relationship with your attorney to be like Gandalf or Gollum from Lord of the Rings; both being different species of 'Guide'. Listen to the show to get the gist of the analogy and learn why “Gandalf” is preferable….

According to Chris Cuneo, an Attorney's most important attributes when guiding an owner through a Transition are:

1. Technical Expertise

2. Service Orientation

3. Collaborative

4. Business Acumen

5. Sense of Humor

Lower middle market businesses have challenges unique to their company size that larger companies don't have, which requires a unique set of skills from their attorneys. Many owners are focused on controlling things to the point that they've not created a company that's easily marketable. Chris said his 3 word mantra for business owners is “Build Transferable Value”.¬† For more golden nuggets of advice, listen to the show and contact Chris at

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Resources from KeyeStrategies

Business Readiness Transition Course
Preparing Your Business for Transition Book

Poised for Exit Book

Julie Keyes
Julie Keyes

Founder & Owner at KeyeStrategies, LLC

Julie is a Certified Exit Planning Adviser and Value Growth Advisor with 30+ years of experience. She works with business owners who seek to understand and maximize their exit and critical transition options.

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