Now called The Manser Practice, the firm will be run by Jonathan Manser, Michael’s son and a director since the 1980s, and former Fitzroy Robinson managing director Nancy Cogswell, who joined last year.
Michael Manser, who remains non-executive chairman, has sold his shares. He said: “It is a positive move, putting a new generation in position before the old generation creeps off.”
Manser said his new role had no specific responsibilities. “I do the first part of the job. I get work, start it off and help keep the standard of design up.” Jonathan Manser, who with Cogswell is now a majority shareholder, said the focus would be on finding balanced work. He said: “It is about getting the right combination, of getting good-quality architecture for the client but having a successful business. Sometimes we do one, sometimes we do the other.”
Michael Manser said the firm was keen to expand into different sectors, such as education, but he wanted to maintain the transport, housing and hotel work where the firm had carved a niche.
The £45m restoration and extension of the Great Eastern Hotel above Liverpool Street Station in central London is due to be completed this month.
Another Manser project, an embassy and high commission building for the Foreign Office in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, is going out for tender to contractors this month. Construction is due to start at the end of the year.