Preparing for succession

What is the best way to prepare for a new generation of executives, or to revitalize the Board of Directors of a family business? How do you prepare the next generation of shareholders, Board members or operational Directors? How do you adapt the governance when the family no longer has operational control? To support you through executive succession, Eurosearch & Associés works with you, whether you are a shareholder or Director, to create a long-term relationship built on trust, and based on a confidential and thorough line of questioning.

We combine a highly detailed analysis of your structural resources and data (age pyramid, revenues, capital distribution, voting rights, fiscal matters) with your strategy, your requirements in terms of key skills, and identified potential. This enables us to work with you to manage and optimize the key factors of a successful succession in terms of operations and shareholders.

What are the company’s strength on the employment market to attract high-quality external Directors? Is there an executive succession plan, a remuneration and appointment committee, and a competency map of your Directors?  Does the Board of Directors include independent members? With all these issues, we can offer you’re a methodology based on an open, sympathetic and confidential management audit, backed by our extensive experience working with investment funds and family businesses, who form our core clientele.

A few examples of our work:

  • Helping a founding Chairman and CEO choose a Director from among his children
  • Putting in place a succession plan for an Executive Board
  • Finding a Director outside the family in order to hand down the company to the next generation
  • Standardizing governance between a Board of Directors made up of family members and a Director who is not part of the family
  • Setting up a remuneration and appointment committee around an external administrator
  • Finding a new generation of Doctors for a clinic
  • Helping a Director in his new role

Client case studies

Preparing and organizing executive succession

Context

A family business with 500 employees, specializing in financial services, and a leader on its market.

Based in France with a subsidiary in Spain.

The Director who had successfully founded, developed and led his business for more than 20 years, supported by a loyal team, wanted to retire.

Several potential successors had emerged, including the Director’s children.

Eurosearch & Associés involvement

Eurosearch & Associés was contacted to prepare and organize this leadership succession, which took place over several years:

  • We analyzed the strategic plan, taking into account changes in the business model, which was moving towards a new sector offering better prospects for growth
  • We gained an understanding of the family situation, and discussed the financial and fiscal implications of succession with the Director, as well as emotional aspects to determine whether this was the right time to go ahead with the succession
  • Management audit: we assessed the ability of the existing Executive Team to accept and implement the new strategic plan (competencies, motivation).
  • We proposed changes to business activities, organization structure, and executive and management boards, to reflect the new business model.
  • We put in place a new Executive Team through internal promotion and by bringing in outside competencies
  • We identified the most suitable successor
  • We submitted our proposal to the Director, who agreed to it
  • We prepared the new Director, mentoring him, keeping in regular touch and planning professional development to ensure he was prepared and accepted as being suitable to lead the company

Results

The executive succession was carried out successfully:

  • The new Director and his leadership team are still in place after a number of years
  • The founding Director has become Chairman of the Supervisory Board
  • Today, the business is the European leader in its field
  • The new strategic direction was a success: the company has expanded overseas with operations in around 10 countries. The company moved from an exclusively French business sector to a new Europe-wide business environment. The innovation strategy was effective, leading to the creation of new products
  • The company has expanded and now employs 1,500 people

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