In Memory of Tom West by Andrew West


June 17, 1936 - December 4, 2022

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of our founder and my father, Tom West. Tom passed away peacefully on December 4, 2022.

Tom served the Business Brokerage Industry for nearly 60 years. He spent the first few decades of his career taking up his father-in-law’s business brokerage company, The Wright Company, and eventually rebranded it to United Business Investments (UBI). UBI had 54 offices across the west coast when he sold it in 1978. In 1979, Tom started VR Business Brokers which he grew to hundreds of offices across the country.

In 1983, Tom switched gears and founded Business Brokerage Press in order to provide the industry with an educational, monthly newsletter called “The Business Broker.” Realizing he could not make a living on a monthly newsletter, Tom wrote many books on business brokerage and traveled the country teaching the industry through seminars and consulting. That same year, he co-founded the International Business Brokers Association and, for many years to follow, Tom and his wife Barbara oversaw the association’s management.

Tom was not concerned about leaving a personal legacy in business brokerage; he simply wanted to see his beloved industry grow and become a respected profession. He was passionate about the broker’s role in helping business owners sell their most valuable asset and assisting buyers as they realized the American dream of business ownership. One of Tom’s favorite pastimes was speaking to people who contemplated entering the industry–he loved encouraging them to “take a leap of faith.” To that end, he spent hours on the phone, invariably concluding by letting the prospective broker know they were to call him anytime they had questions. He was always willing to share the knowledge and wisdom he had gained over his years of experience and was a true friend and advocate for the Business Brokerage Industry. In his final years, retired from being a teacher, author, and business owner, Tom maintained a curiosity about developments in business brokerage and regularly asked how the industry was doing. He was always pleased to hear that it was growing and prospering.

Tom’s greatest joy in business was working side by side with his wife, Barbara. Without a doubt, he gave her all the credit. Tom and Barbara had an amazing marriage of 50 years, and they enjoyed each day they shared running both Business Brokerage Press and the IBBA from a basement office in Concord, Massachusetts, all the while raising five children.

Tom will be missed deeply by his family, friends, and colleagues. He was proud that his work of so many years contributed to the lasting well-being of an industry he loved. His investment of service in the Business Brokerage Industry has led others to do the same.

Our family would find comfort in your condolences, memories, and stories about my dad. Tom West loved a good laugh, so be sure to include the funny ones. Please use the link below to submit those to us.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations (In Tribute to Tom West) to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 or online at

With gratitude,

Ron West & Family

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