Partner lock-ins normally come at a time of turmoil or change for a firm – following a merger or to stem a slew of partner departures. Bonelli Erede Pappalardo’s three-year ‘loyalty’ lock-in is slightly different. Yes, the firm has lost a couple of partners recently, but two out of a partnership of almost 60 does not amount to a flood. And it is 15 years since the three-way merger which formed the firm.
Instead, Bonelli wants to make sure that all its partners are fully supportive of its radical strategy overhaul, kicked off last year when new managing partners Stefano Simontacchi and Marcello Giustiniani took over from Alberto Saravalle.
The lock-in, and the strategy rethink, is all part of Bonelli’s attempts to turn itself into a more institutional firm. It is not alone in Europe in trying to do this – most of the larger independents have realised that their survival is closely linked to making sure that client relationships are with the firm, not an individual, and that new generations feel engaged and valued.
For more on this issue, see today’s blog.