{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Partners: How do some partners get fired? I know that on the surface it is due to their performance, but i am curious if you have any data points or observations on any underlying drivers. I work for a global firm, and though most partners I know are lifers, i personally have worked with a couple partners who were counseled out. They were seemingly good, competent consultants good at structuring problems. They cared about junior consultants. Didnt see any issues with clients..", "post_id": "61e78cac882dec00387b75c8", "reply_count": 17, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5902937c77e26a00105a5bd9", "bowl_name": "Partner One", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Partners: How do some partners get fired? I know that on the surface it is due to their performance, but i am curious if you have any data points or observations on any underlying drivers. I work for a global firm, and though most partners I know are lifers, i personally have worked with a couple partners who were counseled out. They were seemingly good, competent consultants good at structuring problems. They cared about junior consultants. Didnt see any issues with clients..

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It’s usually bottom performers. With regards to revenue generated, some partners are at the lowest percentiles - they are pushed out.

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Same reasons anyone does - performance, behavior or quality/risk issues.

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Performance certainly includes and encompasses all of those things, but when it comes down to it — in the end it doesn’t matter how good, competent, caring, smart, or hardworking you are if you don’t bring in revenue. I’m not saying revenue is the only thing that matters (not at all!) but it matters a lot when you don’t have enough.

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Our business development function is called “partners”

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All partners have a down year every so often, but typically see the partners who are either let go or forced into early retirement having repeatedly down years…whereas those spots could be opened up for one or more partners to take and be more productive.

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..so from my perspective, they were good at scoping projects, leading the delivery, managing clients. They were smart, and they were hardworking. They were pleasant to work with, provided good feedback, helpful with my own career development. I am just not sure what possibly could have caused the counsel out

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$$$s

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Either you aren't making targets or you aren't adding sufficient value. I know partners who did not do much $ themselves but were great at opening doors for others. Whichever way - you need to be adding more to the partnership than taking. There are other reasons for partner exits which staff might not be aware. Ethics issues, serious personal independence issues, putting the partnership at risk etc. All of these issues are investigated and reprimands can include anything from monetary sanctions, loss of seniority or loss of partnership. Much of this never comes out in open. Quite a few partners may take the route out than taking a demotion.

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There are more counseled out/fired over longer periods of time than it appears, as many more of these departures happen in down years. For example, many more occurred in 2001 and 2009. There also is the potential for "de-partnering" in certain firms where the partner is downgraded to MD and they actually stick around.

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Hubris.

It happens. I believe less at big 7 and equity partners. Non equity partners you might see it more often like at IBM. It’s mainly comes down to performance and not meeting your targets. It should be for ethical reasons as well but I still many partners at their firm and are not ethical.

1. Not making their numbers over a sustained period of time 2. Some sort of ethical issue

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