Report: #1428499

Complaint Review: Integrated Advisory Group - Steven Rafter - Estero Florida

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Dontscamme — Fort Myers Florida United States
  • Integrated Advisory Group - Steven Rafter

    Estero, Florida
    United States

Integrated Advisory Group - Steven Rafter, Steve Rafter They call and set up an appointment then tell you they need 9k to sell your company maybe within 3 years- no refunds Estero Florida

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Owner mistakenly thought I was a spy "shopping" his company, He threatened me. Did not read pre-interview material

*UPDATE Employee: Response to Twin Screws Marine Service

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They call and set up an appointment then tell you they need 9k to sell your company maybe within 3 years- no refunds. Initially we were solicitated by a woman named Geraldine Kerr. She said Steve in Estero would like to meet with us to talk with us about another company wanting to purchase ours. We thought maybe it was our competition wanting to buy us out so we met with him. Once we met with him he took 2 hours to get us all excited then told us we needed to pay him 9k today so they could get us qualified. It is non refundable and it can take up to 3 years to have a buyer. When we told him we weren’t interested, he got all offended and asked "what, you don’t trust me?” To which we replied, no, we do not trust you, we don’t know you. You can easily walk away with our money and never return. He got all pissed off and caused a scene in front of our children who are 4 and 6 years old. We ended up asking him to leave and he told us "f*ck you” on the way out. Everyone BEWARE!!!

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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Owner mistakenly thought I was a spy "shopping" his company, He threatened me. Did not read pre-interview material

AUTHOR: Steven - (United States)

In my 25 years working with clients I have never had a complaint. In fact, I find it strange that I have to respond when no money was exchanged, no agreement signed and nobody was “ripped off,” but where a meeting did turn negative.

I feared for my safety as the seller loudly and aggressively told me to leave and followed me out to the parking lot. He appeared to lunge, attempting to punch me. I got very agitated and responded back unprofessionally. He accused me of renting my owned Audi A7, as a show, and told me to take it back the rental car company. (You cannot even rent an A7).

In the beginning the seller did agree to the meeting after rescheduling and after reading some false information about us on the internet. He also believed I was an agent for the competition “shopping” his business OR I was a fraud in general. With that mindset, an objective meeting about his business was futile. I tried to be as professional as possible, but I felt a strong sense misplaced distrust as I continued the interview.

The seller was very agitated with me when fees and money were discussed. He questioned my integrity. I explain what the $9000 was for: an ASA certified Business Valuation, Offering Memorandum, Teaser sheet which entail hours of professional examination and documentation, all to ascertain what is business is worth and what the future value would look like to a buyer. And this was in fact refunded at close.

Any solid M&A firm would require professional documentation. The reason buyers prefer to go through an M&A advisory firms and not go direct to the seller buyers want objective, third party non-biased research of the seller offering.

Buyers do not spend their money to uncover the facts when they plan to spend millions that will affect their investors and their future family earnings. Lawyers and accountants often charge greater amounts for the same services. When buying a car, would you spend your money and time to research data on a car performance, millage and durability? You expect the seller to have that information and likely would move on to the car seller with that information. The same results happen when selling a business. Often the selling agency pays a third accredited party to complete these documents so these funds are not part of the broker’s earnings.

Often business buyers are frustrated after they have invested time and money to research a business only to have the seller change their mind. When a seller has a certified Valuation and Selling Memorandum, the Buyer views this as a sign that the Seller is serious about selling.

A Seller that has this documentation in an accurate and orderly form is more likely to sell their business and the time to close tends to be shorter since all the information is readily available.

An analyst should never verbally abuse a potential customer (even if they feel threatened with violence) if a seller decides against a purchase. But a potential customer should not choose to inflict reputation damage with only partial and false information and give the impression of doing physical harm.

This whole meeting was a misunderstanding on the part of the Seller.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Response to Twin Screws Marine Service

AUTHOR: Jason - (United States)

We are saddened to hear about these accusations, as Integrated Advisory Group had not previously received any complaint relating to Mr. Rafter, and we apologize on behalf of the company if something untoward transpired. Our Human Resources department will investigate these claims and take disciplinary action as needed. In the meantime, though, we encourage potential clients or anyone looking to sell their business to do thorough research on the methods available to them. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet that leads sellers to act against their own self-interest and as we all know unfortunately there are no restrictions on what can be put on the internet. We pride ourselves on having the tools and specialists to help sellers separate good information from bad as well as viable exit strategies from impossible ones. If you experience any issues with an analyst or otherwise wish to learn more about our company, we invite you to contact us to candidly discuss any concerns regarding our firm. We are certain that you will find our entire firm to be that we are 100% transparent – a policy that has led us to achieve the very success that has made us a target to others.

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