One of the UK’s leading Corporate Finance firms was experiencing growth pains; the pressure to succeed was leading to low levels of employee engagement, inefficiency and a less than pleasant working environment. They recognised that this could not be allowed to continue, but were unsure as to what needed to change?

Already a trusted supplier of recruitment services, Lord was asked to recommend a way forward.


Our consulting practice met with the Managing Partner and his senior management team to gain a better understanding of their concerns; they were wide, varied and unfortunately inconsistent. It was clearly a sensitive subject, emotions were running high, partner management style been criticised, so we asked to meet with all the partners individually, to discuss their concerns and experiences confidentially, in order to produce a neutral recommendation.

Once completed, it was evident that it was the highest performers within the partner teams that were the most unsettled and disruptive, whilst they were all very well remunerated, they displayed negative behaviours and emotions which were creating significant tensions throughout the firm.

We recommended conducting a talent review and assessment, meeting with all of the employees concerned again in a neutral and confidential environment, in-order to gain a detailed understanding of their previous experience, their personal aims, ambitions, concerns and potential. There were twenty high performers, who expected and were expected to be the future of the firm, a mixture of time served employees and new appointments.  We utilised a mixture of interviewing and assessment tools.


The results were fascinating; all twenty were very high calibre, experienced, well-educated and above all ambitious, the attributes sought by the partners when recruiting.

Ultimately this was the source of the problem, twenty very similar individuals, high performers with similar outlooks and ambitions, chasing a limited number of internal career opportunities within a flat organisation.

We recommended completing a detailed organisational design and succession planning review, identifying the structure, roles, experience, skills and personality types required to move the firm forward in a cohesive way.


The review was completed and a new organisational design and resourcing plan agreed, signed off by the partners and implemented.

It was agreed that they were no longer only just going to recruit “in their own image” but to seek and attract a broader diversity of talent, yes with the relevant skills and experience to be successful, but this time with a broader mixture of ambition and personality types.

Whilst sadly they needed to lose a few high calibre individuals who they were not going to have roles for, the firm has been able to accelerate its growth, it is stable, very profitable, has very few leavers and enjoys a high level of employee engagement.