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Foster + Partners sells "significant" shareholding to Canadian investment firm Hennick & Company

United Kingdom Architecture News - Oct 14, 2021 - 13:21   1914 views

Foster + Partners sells

Foster + Partners, the largest architecture firm of the UK, has made a strategic partnership with Canadian private family investment firm Hennick & Company by selling a "significant" shareholding to the company. 

Officially announced by Foster + Partners, with this partnership, Hennick & Company, a private family investment firm founded by the Hennick family (“HennickCo”), now become the largest shareholder of Foster + Partners, after by Norman Foster and his family.

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster founded the studio in 1967 with his late wife Wendy Foster, he served as Senior Executive Partner and Executive Chairman since then. 

Within the scope of this partnership, Norman Foster will continue to serve as Executive Chairman.

According to the studio, this partnership will mark "an important step important step in the evolution of the practice and will encourage further growth and innovation while maintaining its distinctive culture."

While Henninck & Company acquires a significant portion of shareholding, the firm said that the practice’s existing partners will all remain as long-term shareholders and retain the balance of the equity.

"The long-term agreement establishes a ‘perpetual partnership model’ that enables the practice to expand beyond its current 180 partners, ensures that the next generation of professionals can become shareholders in the practice, and allows for an orderly succession of existing partners over the long-term," said Foster + Partners. 

"At a general meeting of the shareholders, 100% of the partners voted and were unanimous in their support of the partnership with HennickCo."

"This evolution has the potential to expand the range and depth of our studio"

According to Norman Foster, this partnership would allow opportunities to grow the studio and encourage the next generation of leadership. Foster + Partners, one of the world-renowned architecture practices and the largest firms in the UK, operates in various disciplines, including architecture, infrastructure, design, and engineering services. 

"Towards the end of last year, we started to explore long-term structures for the practice that would respond to the challenges and opportunities of growth and encourage the next generation of leadership and this partnership is the culmination of that process," said Norman Foster. 

We are delighted to be joining forces with the family trust of the Hennick’s, who share our values and the pursuit of excellence." 

"This evolution has the potential to expand the range and depth of our studio – particularly in the fields of sustainability, infrastructure, urbanisation and recycling," he added.

The studio has a team of 1500 employees and is headquartered in London, with studios in 13 other cities - Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Hong Kong, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sydney. 

According to the studio, all present partners will retain in their current roles and the existing leadership team will retain responsibility for day-to-day operations, thereby maintaining the integrity of the practice’s design ethos and providing long-term stability for the professionals who are central to its success, now and in the future.

"Our new partnership further fortifies the strong foundation upon which our practice was built," said Matthew Streets, Managing Partner, Foster + Partners. 

"HennickCo’s long-term investment horizon and partnership philosophy were important factors in our decision to align with them. On behalf of all the professionals and partners of Foster + Partners, we could not be more excited about the future," Streets added.

"We are proud to partner with Lord Foster, his family and the other highly accomplished professionals and partners of this iconic global brand," said Bradley Hennick, Managing Director, HennickCo. 

"This new partnership presents a unique opportunity to leverage our experience and long-term perspective to strengthen Foster + Partners’ position as the world’s preeminent architecture, infrastructure, engineering, and design consultancy." 

"We look forward to working with the practice’s exceptional leadership team and partner shareholders to harness the extraordinary skills within the practice to grow into new and exciting areas in the years to come," Hennick added.

Established as a private family investment firm, Hennick & Company invests in high quality, growth-oriented businesses and real estate for the long-term. 

Established by the Hennick family, which founded and owns a significant interest in Colliers International and FirstService Corporation, HennickCo has made investments in professional services, financial services, and manufacturing businesses as well as institutional quality real estate properties.

Foster + Partners' key projects include the Great Court at the British Museum in London, the Reichstag German Parliament in Berlin, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, and the Narbo Via Museum of Roman Antiquities in Narbonne, France. 

The practice also designed the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Tower in Hong Kong and the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt, as well as the corporate headquarters for Apple in California, Bloomberg in London, and Comcast in Philadelphia.

Top image: Norman Foster © David Eustace 

> via Foster + Partners