How do you prepare for a generational change within a management team or introduce younger members to the Board of Directors of a family business?  How do you prepare the next generation for taking on the role of shareholder and Director or Operations Manager?  How should you adjust governance rules when the family no longer controls the company’s operations?

Exec Avenue engages with you throughout such processes, supporting you in management succession planning, whether you are a shareholder or manager.  We conduct detailed analysis of your resources and structural data (personnel, turnover, employment of capital, voting rights, tax implications) and compare this with your strategy to identify needs in terms of key skills.. By doing so, we take joint responsibility for controlling and optimising operational management and shareholder communication.

What are the company’s assets on the labour market that will attract highly skilled external managers? Is there a management succession plan, a Remuneration and Appointments Committee, a mapping of the skills of the company’s leaders? Does the Board of Directors accept Independent Directors? When tackling such issues, we offer a methodology based on a considerate and confidential review of the company’s management, proven by our extensive experience with family-run businesses, which lie at the heart of our client base.

A few examples of assignments:

  • Support a founding CEO in choosing a manager among his or her children
  • Create a succession plan for the Board of Directors
  • Find a manager outside the family in order to transfer the company to the next generation
  • Standardise the governance dynamics between a Board of Directors made up of family members and a manager who is not a family member
  • Set up a Remuneration and Appointments Committee led by an external manager
  • Bring a new, younger generation of doctors into a clinic
  • Support a manager in taking up his or her role

Case study :

Preparation and organisation of succession planning for the second generation of a family-run mid-cap company

Background

A family-run company with 500 employees specialised in financial services, a leading player on its market.
Based in France, with a subsidiary in Spain.
The founder, who created, developed and managed the company successfully thanks to a loyal team for more than 20 years, wished to retire.
Several potential successors had emerged, particularly among the founder’s children.

Intervention by Exec Avenue

The company asked Exec Avenue to prepare and organise the management succession, which was spread over a number of years:

  • Considerations of the strategic plan: taking into account changing the business model to focus on a new industry with better growth prospects
  • Understanding of the family environment: discussions with the founder about the family and tax-related matters linked to the succession, but also any emotional issues, in order to determine whether it was the right time for succession planning
  • Management audit: assessment of the existing management team’s ability to understand and adopt this new strategic plan (skills, willingness)
  • Suggestions relating to developments in employee roles, the company’s organisation chart, and the Executive and Management Committees, linked to changes in the business model
  • Creation of a new management team thanks to internal promotions and strengthening through external skills
  • Identification of the most promising successor
  • Recommendation to the founder and validation by the latter
  • Preparing the successor: mentoring, regular follow-up and career planning by way of preparation and to ensure that the successor is recognised as worthy of leading the company

Results :

Management succession was successful :

The appointed successor and management team are still in place after many years.
The founder has taken on the role of Chair of the Supervisory Board.

  • Today, the company is a European industry leader in its field
  • Successful strategic reorientation: international expansion with bases in a dozen countries Move from a strictly French and French-speaking market into a new industry on a European scale. Effective innovation strategy and creation of new products
  • Company growth: 1,500 employees