Founded in 1982 by Bill Paulos as a full-service marketing, communications and advertising agency, The Summit Group grew to be the longest running independently owned agency in Utah. A gritty, problem-solving firm bringing New York City talent to Salt Lake City and beyond, The Summit Group serves clients across industries from technology to manufacturing to e-commerce. They focus on marketing strategy, creative services, content development, and distribution development and acquisition to increase their clients’ engagement, exposure, revenue, and business growth opportunities.

Setting The Stage To Sell

After decades of working to grow a sustainable agency poised for growth, The Summit Group’s owners Bill and Todd Wolfenbarger reached out to us to sell. It was time for them to divest the agency and pursue their other interests, but they didn’t want to sell to just anyone. They wanted an awesome buyer who could continue growing The Summit Group, not run their business into the ground, and they wanted to close the deal in three to five months.

They knew they needed the help Barney could provide: a shorter timeline, an understanding of how to value digital agencies, and access to a pool of specialized, qualified buyers.

After spending the past five years evolving the business and setting The Summit Group up to double their revenue line with existing contacts, they had set the stage well for their exit. Todd wanted to potentially stay on in a consulting role while Bill planned to exit the field completely.

Positioned To Thrive

With a reputation for delivering amazing results for forty years and a seasoned management team running the day-to-day aspects of the agency, we knew The Summit Group was well-positioned to continue thriving after their exit. 

Many of their clients had been working with the agency for over a decade and they enjoyed strong client profiles including Microsoft, Amazon, Exxon, Jabil, Kymeta, and Intermountain. With a headquarters in Salt Lake City, ownership could attract top-level talent while taking advantage of the lower cost of living.

The Ideal Buyer

The owners wanted to find a group who had a similar client base to The Summit Group’s and was interested in taking advantage of their amazing leadership team.

They knew The Summit Group’s magic was in their passionate, creative team and it was important to them that the new owner understand that, too. They also knew The Summit Group had huge value and growth potential — and they wanted to get paid what it was truly worth.

We Understood Their Unique Value

As the largest acquisition firm for agencies in the US, we understood The Summit Group’s unique value: an incredible leadership team, a strong client roster poised for exponential growth, and an impeccable brand reputation all based in a fast-growing, up-and-coming Western city.

We partnered with them to find the right buyer for their agency: someone who could see what we saw and was excited to utilize their strong leadership team to take The Summit Group to the next level of growth.

The Selling Process

Through our pre-listing valuation process, we validated The Summit Group’s incredible value and calculated its worth to buyers in today’s market. With our understanding of the agency’s growth potential, key team members, and competitive advantages, we put together amazing marketing materials that reflected all that makes The Summit Group special. Then, it was time to tap into our vast network of buyer relationships to identify high potential buyer targets who were a good fit from a financial and cultural standpoint.

Finding The Perfect Buyer

We quickly found the perfect buyer for The Summit Group: Naushad Parpia, a successful entrepreneur with a strong background in sales and building startups. He had stepped back from the CEO position of his own 8-figure firm and was looking for an agency to buy, operate, and grow.

The last thing Bill and Todd wanted was a buyer who would wreck the business they spent their lives building. With a passion for building scalable businesses and a powerful track record in doing so, Naushad was a great fit. He was excited to work with the current leadership to grow The Summit Group to its next phase of amazing work and was well-equipped to do so with the agency’s solid account base nascent for growth and a strong reputation for delivering results. He understood the agency’s value, and was ready to pay for that value.

We partnered with them to find the right buyer for their agency: someone who could see what we saw and was excited to utilize their strong leadership team to take The Summit Group to the next level of growth.

“We see many great businesses every day and The Summit Group is one of them. The Summit Group has a 40-year reputation and an impressive client base. I am so happy that Bill and Todd are now able to exit to focus on the next phase of their lives, knowing that their clients and employees are in good hands. I am super excited for Naushad to start his new chapter as a CEO who will take The Summit Group to the next level.”

Esther Townell, Acquisition Manager at Barney

Closing The Deal

Within four and a half months beginning to end, we crossed the finish line together with transition documents in-place, clear post-closing responsibilities and requirements, and cash in the owners’ bank accounts. Just like that.

As the largest acquisition firm for agencies in the US, that’s what we do: offer the best acquisition experience in the world for entrepreneurs who want to buy and sell agencies. With a simple and personalized process, shorter timeline, industry specialization, and database of over 20K buyers, we got The Summit Group and Naushad their dream ending.