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Designing a new approach

Designing a new approach

  • May 18, 2017

This company was a well known name in New Zealand corporate design. The owner's name and personality were synonymous with the business. In the early 80s, he had opened the doors with no clients and a vision of creating great design solutions. For 25 years he has been responsible for the design and fit-out of many leading office premises. His creativity and innovative approach to environmental design were highly respected and his business was thriving.

The problem 
The owner was a natural entrepreneur. Having spent many years working with New Zealand clients, he had identified international opportunities he wished to pursue. However, because the company's brand was virtually synonymous with his creative input, pursuing new opportunities would put the business at risk. He was facing a common dilemma: it is widely recognised that brands and business identified solely with the founder are the hardest to transition away from. 

The opportunity 
An Advisory Platform leading to a business transition and overview strategy was implemented. A potential General Manager who had worked in the same sector internationally and had recently moved to New Zealand was then introduced. After working through the strategic goals, setting up the processes and agreeing on the business and personal destination, there was a 'meeting of the minds'. The owner recognised that handing over the reins would open up opportunities he had not thought possible. The new GM was entrusted with his own name and business interests as well as equity opportunity in the future. 

The result 
The owner and GM worked closely together for several months, getting to grips with systems, meeting clients, refining the business model and going through the transition process supported by a Platform 1 Partner. 

So successful was the ownership transition that the owner moved to Europe to enjoy the architectural and design beauty of the environment, while also pursuing other personal creative ambitions. Back in New Zealand the company went from strength to strength. The new GM became a major shareholder and continues to grow the business, providing the owner with ongoing income and dividends while he gets to live his dream.