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UBS Financial Advisors show commitment to helping business owners plan a successful exit

By: via Business Wire

Reflecting its commitment to helping business owners navigate complex financial and business succession considerations, UBS is proud to announce that 20 of the firm’s financial advisors and market directors in Arizona, Hawaii and Southern California have obtained the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) certification, bringing its total CEPA designees in the region to 66 advisors. In addition, Jim Bruner, CEPA®, a UBS Financial Advisor based in Indian Wells, has joined the board of directors of the newly-formed Exit Planning Institute Inland Empire Chapter.

Exit Planning Institute® (EPI) research studies show that only 20-30% of businesses that go to market actually sell, and many business owners later regret not preparing more to manage their wealth and ensure continuity into the next generation. UBS and EPI are dedicated to providing resources to business owners to make sound financial decisions regarding their business transitions. The CEPA Program is an executive MBA-style program from EPI, which provides training, education, and certification to professional financial advisors in the field of exit planning for business owners. Participants who complete the CEPA program and pass the closed-book, proctored exam receive the Certified Exit Planning Advisor credential.

“We recognize how important early planning is for business owners who want to sell their businesses within the next three to five years,” said Justin Frame, Pacific Desert Market Executive, UBS Wealth Management USA. “With this additional training and the resources of our Advanced Planning group, we can provide business owners with the knowledge they need to facilitate an appropriate exit. Congratulations to all of our recently-certified team members on this achievement.”

The 20 advisors who have recently gained CEPA certifications include:


  • Shawn Bernhard, Market Director for Arizona
  • Dipen Patel, Phoenix
  • Joey DeMichele, Scottsdale
  • Robert Lehnhardt, Tucson


  • David Souza, Honolulu

Southern California

  • Justin Frame, Managing Director and Market Executive, Pacific Desert Market
  • Lynn Hunter, Market Administrative Officer, Pacific Desert Market
  • Ryan Hollaender, Market Director, Newport Beach
  • Alex Roth, Dana Point
  • Adam Koyanagi, Irvine
  • Curtis Eakin, Irvine
  • Justin Equitz, Irvine
  • Chris Pitzak, Managing Director, Newport Beach
  • Chris Weber, Newport Beach
  • Demetrio Kerrison, Newport Beach
  • Gianna Drake-Kerrison, Newport Beach
  • James Riley, Newport Beach
  • Lynne Sebastian, Newport Beach
  • Reid Chase, Newport Beach
  • Ben Kingsley, San Diego

According to a recent UBS Investor Watch report of 500 business owners, 40% of business owners regretted not selling earlier during periods of higher valuation, with many (61%) expressing concerns that they will ultimately receive an improper or lower valuation when they do sell. Many owners (73%) were not making preparations on an appropriate time scale and had not fully contemplated financial considerations for after the sale.

UBS recommends that it is never too early to plan and engage with financial advisors to improve the likelihood that owners and their families will achieve a successful business sale.

Notes to Editors

About UBS

UBS is a leading and truly global wealth manager and the leading universal bank in Switzerland. It also provides diversified asset management solutions and focused investment banking capabilities. With the acquisition of Credit Suisse, UBS manages 5.5 trillion dollars of invested assets as per second quarter 2023. UBS helps clients achieve their financial goals through personalized advice, solutions and products. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the firm is operating in more than 50 countries around the globe. UBS Group shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

© UBS 2023. All rights reserved. The key symbol and UBS are among the registered and unregistered trademarks of UBS. For press use only.


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