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Gifford restructures to stay independent

CONSULTANT GIFFORD this week revealed it had been successfully handed on to a new generation of partners, avoiding the need to oat or sell to buy out the retiring partners.

Gifford chairman Geoff Clifton and other senior Gifford engineers are leaving the partnership in the next few months.

It is understood that Gifford has decided to remain independent at a time when the top UK consultancies have snapped up 14 major businesses in the past five years (see box).

Other fims had been forced to sell up because they were unable to meet long term retirement commitments.

Gifford's new chairman will be Gordon Clark who takes over the role formally in March.

He said that the handover was the result of five years of planning.

'Succession is a huge issue for partnerships,' said Clarke.

'We have managed the transition by increasing the numbers of partners buying into the business from seven to 20.' This was made possible because the business has grown from 300 staff and £13M turnover to over 600 staff and a £30M turnover in that time, Clarke said.

(See analysis p14)

The disappeared fi last five years Owen Williams (now Amey) Buchanan, Norman & Dawbarn (now Capita) Bullen (merged with FaberMaunsell) Anthony Hunt (now SKM) Babtie (now Jacobs) Kirk McLure Morton (now RPS) Knight Piesold (now Scott Wilson) Oscar Faber (now Faber Maunsell fi part of Aecom) Gibb (now Jacobs) Aspen (now Waterman) Kennedy & Donkin and Merz & McLellan (both Parsons Brinckerhoff)

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