08:30, May 24 623 0

2017-05-24 08:30:08
A&O creates new client group in management shake-up

Allen & Overy (A&O) has overhauled its management teams, creating its first executive committee and client group.

The changes follow a consultation among the partnership, aimed at creating a more structured approach to management and developing client relationships.

Responding to concerns, A&O has developed a client group that will be structured around industry sectors. These have not yet been finalised by the firm, but are expected to include focuses on energy, financial institutions and life sciences.

Members of the client group have also not yet been confirmed, although it is expected to include a number of senior partners who hold some of the firm’s key client relationships.

The firm is understood to be pushing for a more sector-led approach in the market, but will continue to organise itself through its practices, such as corporate, finance and litigation.

An executive committee has also been established, responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s overall strategy. It will meet for the first time in June and will be co-chaired by senior partner Wim Dejonghe and managing partner Andrew Ballheimer.

There are an additional eight members on A&O’s new executive committee, including banking co-head Philip Bowden, new US senior partner Tim House and co-head of international capital markets Simon Hill.

Globally, members include Belgian-based corporate co-head Dirk Meeus, United Arab Emirates partner Ian Ingram-Johnson, German partner Astrid Krueger and Hong Kong managing partner Vicki Liu. Barbara Stettner completes the line-up and leads A&O’s Washington DC office.

A&O previously had just a board in charge of strategy, but the board will now be in charge of reviewing and approving the direction put forward by the executive committee.

A&O’s board consists of eight partners, with just Ballheimer and Dejonghe sitting on both the board and executive committee.

The changes follow a number of other shake-ups in the firm following the senior partner and managing partner elections last year.

A&O has been experimenting with dropping annual performance appraisals in a new approach to performance management, trialling a new system involving 500 people across certain practice groups and support functions in its London, Singapore and Middle East offices.

Further responsibilities were also put on office heads to demonstrate that enough female associates are coming up through the ranks under new diversity plans launched by the firm.

The news came as A&O made up just two women worldwide in a 24-strong promotions round last month.