Company founders are selling up in droves after pandemic-driven lifestyle shifts prompted them to quit the office in favour of a leisurely life.
Emma Keeling, COO of Corbett Keeling, which helps sell private companies, said the volume of enquiries from sellers had reached an all-time high.
She told the Standard: “Many CEOs have spent the last 20 to 30 years building their business — they’ve come through Covid and that was hard.”
“There may be another recession — and they’re thinking, ‘have I got the energy for that?’”
GlobalScope, a group of M&A firms including Corbett Keeling, completed 225 deals in 2021 with a total value of over $8 billion.
It comes after labour market data released by the Office for National Statistics showed over-50s had the largest increase of people leaving employment among all age groups since the start of the pandemic, with retirement being the most common reason for quitting.
Almost half a million over-50s left the workforce in the fourth quarter of 2021, almost double the number leaving over the same period in 2020.
Over 80% of those who lost or left their job during the pandemic had not returned to work, according to the ONS Over 50s lifestyle study.