The transition that any firm must undergo if it is to survive and thrive after its founders retire affects every aspect of the organisation. It is, at the same time, both strategic and intensely personal. For founding partners, it involves giving up control of an organisation that, in many cases, defines who they are, trusting the next generation to lead and manage it at least as well as they do. For that next generation, it means stepping up to a whole new level of roles and responsibilities. It almost always involves difficult discussions, including about money. For the firm’s employees, the outcome determines no less than their future livelihoods. For clients, such transitions can significantly impact the quality of service that they receive in both the long term and while the transition is under way.
This issue is deeply relevant in 2021. A disproportionately large number of professional service firms were founded in the early 1990s. In eastern Europe, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War were the primary catalysts. Globalisation, a reduction in intractable socio-economic problems, the rise of the internet and the economic growth that all triggered created demand for more sophisticated services in emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Even in established, well developed markets, many professional firms trace their origins to the early 1990s. Today, thirty years later, the young entrepreneurs who founded those firms are approaching retirement. Many have been immensely successful, building firms that stand proudly preeminent in their markets. The role that those founders will play in their twilight professional years, and indeed whether or not these firms will even survive without their founders, depends on how well the transition is planned and executed.
We are delighted to invite you to the Professional Practices Alliance (PPA) expert discussion, ‘Transitioning from Founder-Led to Perpetual Governance Models: Opportunities and Challenges for Retiring Founders of Professional Practices’, on Wednesday 12 May. Full details below.
The panel will address the following:
- Financial arrangements.
- Developing a governance transition strategy and plans that transfer the reins to the next generation of leaders while protecting founder & client interests.
- Issues involved in transitioning family-owned firms.
- The legal issues and how to approach the amendments that will be necessary to the firm’s founding documents, e.g. the partnership agreement (in the case of a partnership).
- The crucial impact of timing.
Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Time: 1.00 pm – 2.15 pm BST
This webinar will be followed by a short Q&A until 2:15 pm. Should you have any questions or issues that you would like addressed by the panellists, please email Rob Millard.
Fernando Pelaez-Pier, Founding Partner, Hoet Pelaez Castillo Duque (Guest Speaker) – A former president of the International Bar Associate and the Lex Mundi network
David Shufflebotham, Founder, PEP Up Consulting – Partner Remuneration specialist
Claire Watkins, Partner, Buzzacott LLP – Head of Professional Practices Group
Zulon Begum, Partner, CM Murray LLP – Partnership and M&A Law specialist
Rob Millard, Founder, Cambridge Strategy Group – Law Firm Management Consultant (Chair)