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.


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

Latham & Watkins, 99 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3XF

Tuesday 17 March 2015

In today's culture of high performance, constant connectivity and multiple agendas, the COO’s job can be a tough one. This session, held in roundtable format, provides the opportunity to work as a group to draw out key challenges, opportunities and solutions with a highly experienced confidant of CEOs and leaders worldwide.

Further details and RSVP


Chair: Martin Lewis is the Chief Operating Officer with the market leader in Real Estate Services, CBRE, he has a wealth of experience in professional services management. For 13 years Martin worked for Linklaters, the leading global law firm during which time he had close involvement with their programme of international expansion and service rationalisation. Based in London Martin held the positions of Director of Strategy and Business Management and Director of Marketing and Divisional Chief Operating Officer. Previous to this he worked for MEPC plc. Martin gained his ACA qualification from ICAEW and has completed a Harvard Leadership Development Programme. Martin oversees the day-to-day operational running of CBRE in the UK and provides strategic advice to the individual service lines to help them achieve their immediate and long term business objectives whilst focusing on CBRE’s overall growth strategy.

Co-Director: James Edsberg is the Senior Partner of Gulland Padfield, the specialist consultancy for professional and financial services firms. He works with management teams to implement a Client Centric approach to growth strategy, governance, operations, organisational change and post-merger integration. His clients include many of the world’s banking groups and professional firms in the US, UK and Europe. James is a guest lecturer at INSEAD, the European business school, on Service industry strategies. He regularly comments on banking and professional sector stories for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC News, CNN and CNBC and in the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times and the Times. He is a speaker at industry conferences on the subject of business strategy for the professional firm. In 2011 and 2012, James was a member of the judging committee for the Management Consultancies Association annual awards. He is business mentor for the Prince’s Trust.

Co-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.


Membership renews on 1 July with pro rata rates in the first year. If interested, please complete the registration form.

MP/CEO level members of the MPF can join at no extra charge. Management team memberships available on request. Contact paul@pmint.co.uk


Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis,
Anne Harnetty
James Edsberg,
Gulland Padfield
Anne Harnetty
Anne Harnetty,
Jonson Beaumont


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

November 2013
The secret of sustainable cross selling initiatives

September 2013
Gaps and expectations

September 2013
Creating one firm: The foundation for competitive success

May 2013
The role of operations in delivering client centric transformation for your firm

February 2013
Challenging your workplace strategy

Summary of 2012 events

Summary of 2011 events

more on previous events…