The 2020 Managing Partner Elite
Accounting Today’s annual MP Elite list always represents the profession’s most outstanding firm leaders, but this year’s class of managing partners is notable for exemplary leadership amid the extraordinary events and challenges of 2020.
This is no coincidence. While the 2020 MP Elite were chosen by the same parameters we have used to evaluate candidates in the past — sustainable firm growth, strategic planning, diversity and inclusion, cultivating a strong culture, and innovation in technology and processes — this year, we took into account how each managing partner is navigating their firm through the current unique circumstances. In particular, we asked if their firm had undertaken any initiatives in response to the current protests against racism and police brutality, and what leadership challenges the coronavirus pandemic have presented to them — and how they have responded to those challenges.
What the 2020 MP Elite all shared in common was demonstrating conviction in publicly expressing support for their people and those impacted by the protests and calls for systemic change following the killing of George Floyd. Some leaders also organized firmwide discussions to delve deeper into these issues and donated to related causes. The 2020 MP Elite also almost universally reached out to their firms’ clients and wider communities to make statements as the discussion of racial injustice in America comes to the forefront.
The leaders took similar actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — both checking in on the health and safety of their people and reaching out to clients and community. Since the outbreak, these leaders have had the very tall order of creating a new normal for their firms that continues the success they have built over their years at the helm, while adjusting to the barrage of new business challenges brought on by the virus. Aside from business continuity and sustainability, managing partners have also had to prioritize the health and wellness of their people, not to mention adapting to the very complicated reality of leading their large teams remotely.
The 2020 MP Elite are on this list because they were already well ahead of the game with the necessary technology advancements, people policies, and strategic planning to navigate a crisis. This year has proven the need to be as innovative and adaptable as these leaders, but their pioneering work does not make the job any less momentous — or less historic. Which just further highlights how extraordinary the 2020 MP Elite are.