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"Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Retained Advisory."

View profile for Chris Bull

"Is it a bird?  Is it a plane? No, it's Retained Advisory"

Kingsmead Square was established in 2013 with the aim of advising and assisting the leaders of legal and professional service firms as they navigated the challenges and opportunities of their fast-changing market.  As our business has developed, we have identified a common and consistent need amongst the senior teams at our clients for a regular, reliable and trusted source of strategic and operational insights, advice and expertise.  We have focused our business on that service - Retained Advisory. 

Engaging in a Board-level advisory relationship, typically on a retained basis and over an extended period, enables us to deliver the objective and independent input that leaders are looking for, at the same time building an insider’s understanding of the business and its direction.  It is a powerful combination and, at a fraction of the cost of a permanent hire, it represents exceptional value.

Having nailed our colours to that mast, we wanted to extend our offering to the legal and professional market: more expert and experienced Advisors with more areas of specialist insight.  We can now access an extended group of exceptionally experienced and successful professionals to meet the specific needs of our clients and contacts.  Their career experience covers senior roles across the spectrum of legal and professional firms, as well as deep specialist knowledge in Board priority areas such as business development, process and operations and information governance.  

Our Retained Advisors undertake engagements as:

  • Non-Executive Directors
  • Independent Directors or Retained Advisors to the Board
  • Mentors or Advisors to a senior Executive e.g. CEO, Managing Partner, COO
  • Business Coaches to a senior Executive
  • Independent members, Directors or Chairs of a strategic change programme Steering Group or Advisory Board
  • Independent members or Chairs of Audit & Risk or Remuneration Committee
  • Part-time Interim Executives; including Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Transformation & Innovation Officer, COO, mandatory Compliance Officers, Chief Information Governance Officer

Our Retained Advisory group includes only senior, successful leaders.  Their experience has been built in different segments of the professional market, ensuring we can offer support to most types and sizes of firm.  We have created a group that comprises individuals with an extensive track record of success in legal and professional service leadership and also professional service-savvy individuals who have made their careers in other sectors and can offer firms invaluable insights from those markets.  Every Retained Advisory professional has worked at Board and Executive level.  As well as providing the deep relevant experience and independent thinking businesses need, our professionals bring their extensive knowledge of and networks in the professional sector to bear on the development of client businesses. 

The use of formal Non-executive director (NED) roles in professional partnerships is still at an early stage of evolution and we are committed to playing our part in developing a mature model for these roles, whether badged as NED or not.  We work with Limited Companies in the legal services market who require non-executive Board members and recognise the opportunity to inject deep market insight into their strategic thinking via that route.  But partnerships too are recognising the value NEDs can deliver: external perspective, insight, rigorous examination, challenge, wider networks, broader experience, healthy scepticism.  In professional services, those leading and managing the business day-to-day can often also comprise the Board.  NEDs can allow those leaders to hold themselves accountable, see beyond their established horizons and be alive to their limitations.  Non-executive directors inspire progress, identify pitfalls and support good governance.