Welcome to the MPF COO Group

MPF COO Group brings together COOs plus those with an equivalent job titles in the leadership and management team at professional services firms.

It is our observation that the responsibilities and remit of those with the title Chief Operating Officer role can vary tremendously - firm to firm - but in common we all share the leadership challenge of delivering the business strategy.

Firms that have appointed a COO role typically have a lot of complexity particularly in the way the core dimensions of the business interconnect (Service / Product Line, Geography, Client Sector, and Support function). To be effective as a COO the role demands a number of key elements:

  • Understanding where the weaknesses exist in the interconnections and how to best correct them plus where the opportunities are and how best to exploit them.
  • Tremendous powers of first insight and then persuasion because often direct authority is limited.
  • Enjoying a relationship of mutual respect and trust with the MP / MD / CEO
  • Commanding enough knowledge of the very many areas of specialism within the business to judge the credibility and feasibility of the proposals presented.

The objectives of the COO Group therefore include:

  • Exchanging ideas and insights on collaboration amongst the management team
  • Exploring best practice and providing ammunition through surveys of management team members
  • Enhancing the contribution of COOs to strategic discussions
  • Providing generalists with leading edge insight from other management specialists
  • Linking members through a formal network across the professional sector

Roundtable meetings

Sessions are free of charge for MPF and Group members. We create a high value knowledge exchange where participants can tap into rich case studies and practical experience to supplement raw data and insights. All discussion under 'Chatham House Rules'.

Our programme is brought together with two specific goals in mind:

  1. Provide a confidential but open forum for discussion and exchange on the specific challenges and developments impacting the role of the COO and their ability to deliver business strategy
  2. Illuminate for the benefit of us (the generalists) the new ideas, trends and developments emerging in the areas of specialism with which we both engage and often oversee (Marketing, IT, HR, Risk etc). COOs will be able to benchmark their own firm’s responses and determine whether further prodding or explanation is needed.

By working together with peers, participants learn new ideas and approaches, some of which can be immediately implemented or used to prompt debate at your own firm.

As a membership organisation, events are member only. However, those interested in joining are welcome to attend one event as our guest in order to get a feel for the Group.

MTT (Management Team Together) sessions

Given the challenges of allocating general topics to specialist areas of expertise, MPF now allows all members of the management team (CEO, Finance, HR, Marketing, etc) to come together on a bi-monthly basis at an MPF general event in London.


Coming soon...


Chair: Ian Harvey has been a business leader in the professional services sector for many years. He was previously a senior equity partner at BDO, where he formed their market leading Professional Practices Group, before joining Richard Ellis (now CBRE) as their COO. More recently, he completed a four year assignment as COO of Strutt & Parker LLP, a £100 million property services and estate agency partnership. He is now Chief Executive of Howard Kennedy LLP, a 70 partner law firm based at London Bridge, having joined the firm in early 2014 as COO.

Director: Anne Harnetty is the MD of Jonson Beaumont a Search & Selection firm, which she established 6 years ago and which specialises in “C” suite level recruitment in the professional services arena. Anne has 25 years’ experience recruiting within the legal sector and she and her team work with law firm boards in an advisory capacity because of their acknowledged depth of experience. This helps them to both advise and challenge thinking to ensure the right senior recruitment solution is found. Prior to establishing Jonson Beaumont she has twice worked as a Recruitment Director in both a boutique London firm and a Management Consultancy.

Rod Harrington joined Latham & Watkins in 2011 to manage their European operations and help develop and deliver on the firm’s strategic objectives in the region. Since then he has supported the firm’s growth through marketing initiatives and the development of infrastructure and support capabilities outside the US. Prior to this Rod spent 18 years in the management consultancy sector latterly as European COO for Booz & Company (formerly Booz Allen Hamilton) where he was responsible for financial management and operational leadership for a business of over 700 consultants. An accountant by background, Rod has held many senior finance positions in the past including CFO for the Global Integrated Markets practice at Booz. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Exeter and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

John Rockel is Partner, Group Strategy and Operations at Knight Frank. This role works closely with the Group Executive Board to develop the group strategy and strategic plans for the UK and overseas divisions of the firm, assess new opportunities for the firm and oversee a number of operational areas. Knight Frank is the largest independent global property consultancy with 335 offices in 52 countries. Knight Frank offers a full range of services in both residential and commercial property. The UK business consists of 1,800 staff and the global network has 12,000 staff. Having started his career in accountancy in Australia, John completed an MBA in the UK to further his career in strategic management and operations. His career has spanned a number of sectors including; manufacturing, mining, banking and property. John has been with Knight Frank for 10 years.

Julia Sherlock is the Chief Operating Officer – EMEA at FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm. As such, Julia works closely with the EMEA Leadership Team and the C-Suite in the US and, through her management of the European operations, ensures that the business is supported by functional teams who are focussed on providing exceptional service to enable the business to deliver on its strategic objectives. Julia is a values driven professional who has extensive experience in professional services firms driving businesses forward through effective business management, people development and employee engagement to create high performing, collaborative environments. Julia began her career as a lawyer, qualifying with Linklaters, before embarking on a career in HR and, more recently operations. Julia has spent two periods at Slaughter and May, the most recent as Interim Head of HR, prior to which Julia spent 11 years with Dewey &LeBoeuf, latterly as Chief Administrative Officer. Julia holds an LLB (Hons) from Exeter University, qualified as a solicitor (but is now non-practising), and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Julia also recently completed the Meyler Campbell Business Coach Programme and has completed the Harvard Business School’s “Leading Professional Services Firm” programme.


Membership renews on 1 July with pro rata rates in the first year. To join, please complete the registration form. Corporate memberships are also available. Consultants are only eligible for Specialist Group membership in exceptional circumstances. Contact maggie@pmint.co.uk for more information


Ian Harvey
Ian Harvey,
Howard Kennedy LLP
Anne Harnetty
Anne Harnetty,
Jonson Beaumont
Rod Harrington Rod Harrington,
Latham & Watkins
John Rockel John Rockel,
Knight Frank
Julia Sherlock Julia Sherlock,
FTI Consulting LLP


Coming soon...


November 2015
COO Roundtable

November 2015
Beware what you wish for... – MTT event

October 2015
Crisis, Reputation & Hubris - Managing Risks for Clients and Firm – MTT event

September 2015
NEDs and Management: How to make it work (or not)

September 2015
Success without selling - winning new clients and growing existing ones – MTT event

May 2015
Nearshoring – Optimising your Operational Footprint

May 2015
Same but different - creating competitive differentiation – MTT event

April 2015
Values into action – MTT event

March 2015
Who is looking after the COO when they are looking after everyone else?

February 2015
Managing Growth - The Professional Services Microworld Simulation – MTT event

January 2015
Maintaining good financial and operational discipline in a growing market – MTT event

Summary of 2014 events

November 2014
Pricing for profit – MTT event

November 2014
Leading digital transformation now – no matter what business you're in

October 2014
Creating Tomorrow - shaping strategy in an era of disruption – MTT event

September 2014
Contested elections – MTT event

September 2014
Career Twilight?

June 2014
Growth and mergers in the property advisory world – MTT event

June 2014
Creating a culture of excellence: Remuneration considerations

March 2014
Fighting price pressure in professional services

January 2014
Do you have a plan to execute your strategy?

Summary of 2013 events

Summary of 2012 events

Summary of 2011 events

more on previous events…