Q. When is the right time to start talking with senior partners about eventually transitioning out of the firm?
A. If there is a mandatory retirement age requirement, the discussion process should ideally begin 10 years before they must leave or at least five years before they must relinquish their partnership status. This should be part of a process that includes all the senior partners so no one feels singled out as not measuring up.
Q. How does the large number of Baby Boomer senior partners affect how retirement from the firm has always been handled?
A. It is a greater challenge to handle so many at once, and the ad hoc arrangements of the past used in many firms will no longer suffice. The economic realities mean the previous perks offered need to be re-thought. It is time to review policies or to draft policies if there are none.
Q. What issues must firms typically address to effect satisfying transitions?
A. Among the crucial issues are:
Q. What factors are typically hindrances to senior partners' doing early transitioning planning for their next career/life?
A. Fears such as loss of: professional (and maybe personal) identity; power; status; security; control. Lack of information on policies, opportunities and benefits
Q. What are the prerequisite conditions for senior partners to willingly transition the clients they are responsible for to younger partners?
A. Trust, clarity on economic implications, clear expectations, positive feelings about how the firm treats them
Q. What can firm management do to promote and support smoother transitions?
A. Three significant steps are:
Q. At what points of the transitioning planning process can firms benefit from the assistance of neutral parties?
A. Outside experts can provide valuable insights and advice to management in creating fair policies and workable systems. They can coach individuals to plan and then facilitate client transition dialogues for work teams.
Q. Why is it in a firm's interest to establish an effective process and support transitioning planning?
A. Consider these benefits: * Retain the goodwill of partners as ambassadors in the community when they retire from the firm or active practice.