Talent integration issues involved in partner/team moves and mergers
A US firm expanding into an European country.
Increased partner/team mobility as well as the market consolidation through a number of mergers in some jurisdictions have generated a new type of talent issue: the challenge to integrate talent and provide partners with the environment and the ability to quickly build/rebuild their book of business by using the firm’s internal and external resources and network of relationships in a new environment.
The high level of failures in lateral hiring over the years (figures show an average success rate of only a 50%), demonstrate the complexities of both client portability and organisational maturity as well as the agility to make room for successfully onboard new talent. In mergers, the similarly high levels of failure are down to the people involved and the cultural aspects which are the most complex to understand and address when two or more entities need become one.
Our recent experience in assisting this firm to expand in Europe consisted of the following initial steps:
carrying out a strategic review of two local offices in order to establish whether the merger route or the lateral hiring of a team route was the most appropriate way to successfully grow the firm in that country;
carrying out structured interviews of the leadership and partners to identify the individual and collective aspirations and ambitions for the firm;
assessing the culture and governance of the firm and the potential impact of plans for growth;
establishing the strategic priorities for the firm and drafting a clear value proposition capable of attracting the best partners/teams or target firms; and
planning the integration objectives and processes to align personal and professional, practice and clients’ actions and priorities with a focus on and following progress in the integration phase.