- About Us
- Contact Us
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins.
“I was very attached emotionally to my firm, and it was difficult to let go.”
This is an incredibly common thing retiring leaders face.
You spent decades pouring blood and sweat into a firm you’re proud of… Passing it onto someone else can be difficult.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to several former leaders of Kreston firms, as well as several partners who are helping their firms institute successful succession planning processes.
These included Andrew Griggs and Clive Stevens from Kreston Reeves (and former Kreston Chairman) in the UK, and David Levi from CBIZ in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I asked them how their firms handled succession planning, and what they learned as they wound down their own roles.
So today I’ll share with you three key lessons I learned from these successful leaders, to make that transition easier.
Lesson 1 – Communicate early
Close relationships with your team were vital for the development of your firm.
So changing this dynamic can feel like a painful process…
…And a big change at the top can create uncertainty and instability throughout the organisation.
To seamlessly transition from one leader to the next, start succession planning early.
Talk openly with your staff about partners’ desire to retire, and be clear about what the transition period will look like.
This makes the whole process transparent and gives your team the reassurance of knowing that there is a plan in place.
For this to happen, though, you’ll need total clarity on who is retiring when.
The leaders I spoke said their firms kept track of their partners’ retirement plans.
One even kept a spreadsheet, laying out exactly where every key member of staff is in their career, so that they could plan not just the partners’ futures but the entire team’s.
Actively managing your people’s careers is key.
When younger staff members know that you are thinking about their career path, your team will likely trust you more, increasing their loyalty. And you’ll have taken the first step towards developing the next generation of leadership for your firm. (See Lesson 3.)
Lesson 2 – Clarity for clients
The next vitally important task is to handle client relationships, so none of the goodwill and trust you’ve built is disrupted when partners retire.
If the retiring partner has had close relationships with key clients, making sure they understand the transition plan can deepen the trust and confidence the client has in your firm.
Look, you’ve spent years nurturing these relationships. To ensure they continue, introduce them to the next leader early. Your clients begin to trust the new leader and know they are in good hands.
The former Kreston leaders we spoke to agreed that this transition should start around three years before retirement.
This gives the new leader and client time to create their own relationship dynamic, and gives the managing partner the chance to gradually bring their time with clients to an end.
During this transition period, the new leader needs nurturing and mentoring from the retiring partner. This helps them learn the intricacies of key client relationships and continue the legacy your firm is known for.
One leader noted that the policy in his firm was for every client to be shared amongst two partners at all times.
That way, the relationship was with the firm – not any one individual – mitigating the damage when a partner left.
Lesson 3 – Engage young talent
The final lesson is to connect with young talent in the firm, take them under your wing, and mentor them as they grow.
This time and attention not only increases their loyalty to the firm, but allows them to see how a senior or managing partner thinks and acts – exposing them to how the firm functions.
Do not expect people with talent to know, instinctively, how to manage a firm. This is a skill which must be actively taught and learned.
One leader said that they deliberately bring younger staff members onto the Board, even if that means that others have to make way.
And everyone I spoke to emphasised the need to help younger staff develop soft skills like strategic thinking, and how to manage a team – skills every leader needs, but often get forgotten as we emphasise technical accountancy skills.
Of course, if you want to nurture your young talent so they become well-rounded leaders who can eventually help run the firm, there’s a lot more to it than that.
I’ll go deeper into that in my next blog.
By Liza Robbins. When something isn’t running smoothly in your business, you might look in different directions for a solution.
On May 19, 2019, the Swiss Corporate Tax Reform was approved in a popular vote. Most of the new measures
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. As you know, part of our long-term vision is for all Kreston firms to bear
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Let me ask you… When was the last time you went to a networking event,
The UK has recently released the first full year’s figures for the Diverted Profit Tax (DPT) – the so-called ‘Google
December 2018 saw changes in many tax regulations, to be initiated that month or in January 2019. These included:
The UK has previously set out a number of scenarios which might possibly reduce friction in terms of the customs
Why you should offer cybersecurity services to your clients (and an easy way to start) Cyber security, and the
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Kreston members – Did you catch my announcement earlier this week? Drumroll please… The Kreston
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. How many times have you felt the pain of rejection from a potential client? You
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. If you’re thinking of doing more business internationally, this probably isn’t the first region you
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. How much of your business is taken by the Big 4? Losing out on business
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. “We all want to grow to the level of the Big 4, but it’s difficult
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” But
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Last week I received an email from the chair of a large Kreston firm, telling
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. “I was very attached emotionally to my firm, and it was difficult to let go.”
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. ‘I should have started sooner’… We’ve all felt that regret. When you assess risk for
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Last week I left you with a question . When all your competitors claim that
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. “We provide high-quality accounting and taxation services.” “Our mission is to provide top-quality financial advice.”
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Recently, a Kreston firm in Asia was looking to help a business they work with
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. What’s the connection between muesli…. taxi cabs…. And Kreston? In theory, nothing! But in 2014,
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about what accountancy firms have to do
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. For the past three years, the average annual growth rate of Kreston GCG in the
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Petra Uylen’s client had a problem. They needed a tax advisor, an accountant and a
By Kreston CEO, Liza Robbins. Since I became CEO last year, I have been visiting Kreston firms across the world.
Kreston member Duncan & Toplis is now an accredited centre for the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and will
Irish accountancy firm BFCD recently moved from its existing accountancy association to join Kreston International. We spoke to partners Margaret
Kreston Iberaudit has updated its Spanish regional fiscal guides for 2019. You can access all the guides here: Fiscal Guide
By Elena Bargados Varela, Tax Manager at Kreston Iberaudit S.L. Due to the recent surge in the number of software
From 1 April most VAT registered businesses with turnover above £85,000 will have to file VAT returns through new Making
Author: Sarjit Singh, Executive Chairman at Kreston member firm, Ardent Associates LLP. The future of work is not just about learning a
By Andrew Griggs, Kreston Board Director and Senior Partner of UK member firm Kreston Reeves. In February, the Institute of
“The China One Belt, One Road is going to be the new W.T.O – like it or not.” These are
“A crushing, horrible, unfair disaster”. That’s how President Trump described inheritance tax; he aims to abolish it by 2025. Other
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been garnering a lot of media attention of late. And for good reason – its potential
Earlier this month, the Senate voted in Donald Trump’s controversial $1.4 trillion tax reform bill by the narrow margin of
To say that there’s been a backlash against globalisation in recent years would be an understatement. From demonstrations in France
“May you live in interesting times” goes the Chinese expression. In fact, it’s actually more of a subtle barb to
Earlier this month, the Slovenian Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, stated that he “want[s] to position Slovenia as the most recognised
In the UK, they’re known as Generation Y, in Germany Generation Maybe, and China has labelled them as the generation
Rodney Sutton, head of manufacturing at Kreston Reeves, recently shared his thoughts on the UK manufacturing industry following the referendum
The adoption of international accounting standards has brought many benefits to the private and public sectors. This being said, there
Remote working is becoming a way of life for many professionals and the ability to work in a variety of
A common global language for business affairs, IFRS Standards are required by more than 120 jurisdictions in the world. Recently,
Automated technologies and artificial intelligence in our society will challenge many professions in the future. Some of them may be
Crowdfunding is still relatively new but should still be considered as a viable source of equity. Nowadays, it is providing
A legal amendment to the Finance Bill recently accepted by the UK government may pave the way for big changes
In the business world, there are bumps on the road and financial setbacks. In this situation, it is easy to
Day by day, technology is becoming an essential part of our lives, as the way we manage our financial life,
A new generation is coming to challenge the market. The Millennials make up a quarter of the US population and
Managing change is one of the biggest challenges for businesses as it requires a huge effort from managers and organisations
Sustainability reports are released by companies and organisations of all types, sizes, and sectors, from all over the world. A
Accounting is an indispensable tool for entrepreneurs to manage their business. The data provided by competent
Thinking about the risks involved in business has become an essential part of an enterprise’s strategy. Risk management enables organisations
When a business does not achieve its expected results, it may be time to think about implementing change. In these
The Financial Times recently reported the dispute in the courts between the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and MasterCard. The Competition
For many, the accounting profession may not seem the most attractive in the world. But with technology and innovation at our hands, this is about to change.
By following these five steps, communication has everything it needs to flow better, regardless of where your business is located and where the people you
The need to go global is something that has emerged over the past decade and promises to challenge business for the next coming years.
Recently a considerable change in the SME market was announced through business news on the internet. The Big Four have
There are five topics that we must remember when dealing with working personal relationships in international business…
Slowly, one of the last socialist countries in the world is preparing to make changes to its economy, but how will this be done?
Developing countries attract the attention of investors by offering good opportunities and new markets, making them attractive for anyone thinking of expanding their
Through a mobile app, a small business can promote its brand, products, and services, expand its sales channels, interact with the target audience and get
Last month, experts at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles looked at certain megatrends and predicted several economic scenarios for 2040 to
Your browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date.
It is no longer supported by Microsoft and therefore may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser here