Fifth Third Private Bank, a division of Fifth Third Bank, created a business transition advisory team dedicated to preparing business owners financially and personally for a business transition or liquidity event. Frieda Rakhman, who joined the bank in January with more than two decades of financial experience, will lead the team.

According to a January 2020 National Center for the Middle Market research report, 77% of privately owned businesses have transitioned in the past five years or will transition in the next five years. Of those businesses, a third haven’t taken any steps to prepare for a transition such as a sale to an outside buyer or a passing of the business to the next generation of family.

“It is in the fabric of our DNA to approach conversations with clients as a strategic partner,” Kris Garrett, head of wealth and asset management for Fifth Third, said. “With the new capabilities brought by Frieda and her team, we are leaning further into our strategic partner role and the advice we can offer our clients.”

The business transition advisory team will seek to help business owners during the business transition process as a complementary and consultative offering from Fifth Third.

“The most common regret we hear from business owners who have gone through a transition or liquidity event is that they didn’t spend enough time on the personal aspects of the process,” Rakhman said. “We believe the optimal time for a business owner to begin thinking about and preparing for a transition is 24-36 months. We can serve as a trusted advisor to help the business owner navigate the personal planning process, the business transition and how the two overlap and what life looks like post-transition.”

Rakhman, based in Atlanta, began her career in strategy consulting and has expertise across wealth management, including in practice management consulting, portfolio management, client service and business development.