Sir Nicholas set to become chairman for life and external ambassador, as Goldschmied ponders life after RRP
Architect Grimshaw has become the latest big name to announce a succession plan.

Under the proposals, shown to Building, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw will take less of a role in the operational side of the business.

The move comes just a week after Marco Goldschmied stepped down as managing director of the Richard Rogers Partnership amid speculation that the practice was to announce succession plans of its own.

An internal Grimshaw document revealed how Sir Nicholas will take a back seat in the practice. It said: "Having Sir Nicholas as chairman is a great asset to the business. His role as an external ambassador and internal critic will continue indefinitely, although we accept this may mean he spends less time 'at work' in future as he focuses on other private interests."

The practice has worked out a succession plan that could make its founder chairman for life.

The plan indicates that Grimshaw does not have to step down as chairman or sell his majority shareholding until the shares are ceded to an employee benefit trust, a fund that would own the shares and pay out dividends to staff.

Grimshaw's succession plan also requires that the present senior directors step down when they reach 60. David Harriss, Christopher Nash, Neven Sidor and Andrew Whalley will have to offer their shares to the company on first refusal.

Nash, Grimshaw's managing director, said that the changes had settled the future of the firm. Keith Brewis, the head of the Melbourne office, was made a director last year to "spearhead the new generation".

  • Marco Goldschmied has revealed some of his future plans. He is considering setting up a research foundation into sustainability.

    Goldschmied also talked of setting up a centre, perhaps under his name, to provide subsidised space to help graduates in architecture and design to start up practices.

    In the meantime, he is working on a city academy as part of his work with the Stephen Lawrence Trust.

    He confirmed that he was interested in applying for the CABE chairmanship later this summer.