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Transformation and learning well underway at Russell McVeagh

Home Insights Transformation and learning well underway at Russell McVeagh

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Published on: March 26, 2019


Significant progress is being made on Russell McVeagh's transformation programme and the team, established by Russell McVeagh’s Board and CEO to drive the change in the firm’s culture, is seeing early signs of positive improvement.

“There is no doubt the revelations that unfolded last year impacted many people,” says CEO Jo Avenell, “and I would like to acknowledge the courage of the women who spoke up about the incidents.”

“Russell McVeagh is a different organisation to the one that made headlines 12 months ago. We faced some humbling truths about our firm that have been a catalyst for significant change, and while change was underway at the time of Dame Margaret Bazley’s report in July 2018, we still have a long way to go.”

“We can now say that real progress is being made. We have embraced a new direction as well as policies, procedures and practices to enable a more effective 'speak out' culture. Today our people tell us that, while there is still work to do, we have a more open, transparent and inclusive culture than the past and have been ready and willing to manage all the challenges that come with change. Progress is being seen in the new ways we are working together to create the culture we all want,” said Avenell.  

“The progress to date has been shared with Dame Margaret Bazley who is supportive of what has been accomplished so far. Progress has also been shared with our people, other key stakeholders and clients, who have been supportive and appreciative of the updates.”

Some significant progress to note includes:

  • A transformation team made up of staff, partners and management representatives, is overseeing implementation of the recommendations;
  • New CEO is firmly in place and driving the transformation;
  • Collaboratively created our Vision and Values, what we stand for as an organisation;
  • Governance structure and management practices reviewed to ensure operating effectively;
  • Developed attributes and expectations of our leaders that can be embedded in all aspects of recruitment, development and promotion decisions;
  • Revised policies in collaboration with our people to ensure they are relevant and understood;
  • Implemented a number of new initiatives to improve communication across the business and to foster a more transparent and safer 'Speak Out' culture, including our Disclosure Service which is available to all our people and alumni; and
  • Mobilised the work to ensure our governance structures and culture are aligned to our strategic vision.

“Ultimately our success will show in the feedback from our people and our clients, from new ways of working and the capability of our leaders, and the changes that stem from the actions we are taking. Although much progress has been made in a short period of time, as Dame Margaret pointed out, our cultural transformation will take some time – it's a marathon not a sprint,” said Avenell.


Notes to Editors:

We have met/talked/communicated with our stakeholders and outside of this statement, we are not engaging with media on our cultural transformation at this time.

For further information, please contact:

Joanna Comerford
Corporate Communications Manager
[email protected]
D +64 4 819 7520

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