Bigger. Better. Both?
16 June, 2013
How to think about what to pay partners
How to think about what to pay partners is based on an idea in Richard Rapp’s recent post on the Adam Smith Esq blog. Richard believes ‘the chief strategic problem facing most…firms is how to avoid stasis and decline in a highly competitive market’. In our view Richard is right; at the heart of the [...]
11 June, 2013
Consulting engineers: tough times on the ASX
The last quarter of FY13 has been tough for Australia’s listed consulting engineers. Five of the six major CE firms who call the ASX their home have suffered a sharp drop in their share price since early April. What’s to blame and is there a light at the end of a very dark tunnel?
6 June, 2013
5 June, 2013
What is the state of the professions?
“The future is never defined, organised, boundaried or anchored. The corporation puts a particular boundary between now and the future. Hence the great antagonism between corporations and time.” – Grant McCracken, Harvard Business Review Blog, May 2013. The present state of constant volatility, courtesy of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and the Eurozone Crisis [...]
3 June, 2013
Solstice for professional services firms
Reading about the approaching solstice–due in a couple of weeks–I couldn’t help asking myself ‘How close to the the solstice for professional services firms are we?’ At the solstice the Sun stands still in declination; the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path comes to a stop before reversing direction. The Chinese character for solstice means [...]
23 May, 2013
Law firm pricing – In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. So it goes with law firm pricing. This month I was exposed to two examples of twentieth century law firm pricing that reminded me of Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma.
1 May, 2013
Succession: Trade sales – gain, pain, both?
Warren Riddell. Accounting. Consulting engineering. Engineering. Law. Management consulting. Mergers & Acquisitions. Other professional services. Strategy
Succession for many firms is a trade sale, usually because owners have not transitioned ownership to the next generation of leaders and key managers in their firm. Sadly many owners are disappointed in what they are offered for their life’s work. Why is this and what can be done about it?
30 April, 2013
Succession: mergers are minefields
Warren Riddell. Accounting. Beaton Benchmarks. Consulting engineering. Engineering. Law. Management consulting. Mergers & Acquisitions. Other professional services. Strategy
Professional service firms often become ‘succession stuck’. They do too little, too late for an orderly internal transition of ownership. As a result they either reach for a trade sale or seek a merger. Mergers can work well when managed well. Or mergers can destroy shareholder value.
18 April, 2013
Adam Smith Esq on BigLaw’s Charmed Circle
The existence of a highly select Charmed Circle, White Shoe, or other complimentary moniker denoting New York-based firms at the very top of the food chain, is unquestioned. The questions of interest are whether membership in that super-select group is changing, and how their global strategy compares with that of their Magic Circle counterparts. The evolving Circle… As static as [...]
12 April, 2013
Charmed Circle and the luxury goods market
In responding to Eric Chin’s analysis of the Charmed Circle law firms let me start by considering a retail analogy. What’s happened in the luxury goods market… Luxury stores and brands such as Tiffany and Hermes are subject to economic ups and downs but I have seen no evidence of fundamental changes in the buying behaviour of [...]