MEDIA RELEASE: Right Lane becomes first Australian management consulting firm to become foundation owned and controlled and appoints new CEO
Right Lane becomes first Australian management consulting firm to become foundation owned and controlled and appoints new CEO
Melbourne-based management consulting firm Right Lane Consulting has appointed Chiara Lawry as its new CEO, while at the same time becoming the first privately owned Australian management consulting firm, and possibly the first for-profit company in Australia, to restructure into a foundation owned and controlled company.
From 1 July, Right Lane Consulting has become 55 per cent owned by the Right Lane Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable purpose Australian public company registered with both the ACNC and the ATO, with its own board operating independently of Right Lane Consulting.
The remaining 45 per cent of Right Lane has been retained by Right Lane staff.
The decision to change the structure of Right Lane to have a more formal for purpose focus was driven by Right Lane’s founder and outgoing CEO Dr Marc Levy, who will become the new Chairman of Right Lane Consulting.
A number of key staff in Right Lane, led by Dr Levy, sold down their shares in the firm to the Foundation, which will use dividends earned from Right Lane Consulting over the next few years to pay for its majority ownership shareholding in Right Lane Consulting.
After that, the Foundation will invest dividends which it receives from its shareholding in Right Lane Consulting into supporting charitable organisations and their projects across a range of sectors including health, education, social welfare, human rights, environment and public benevolent institutions.
Ms Lawry said she was excited to become CEO of Right Lane Consulting at this time and the company’s change in structure to embrace majority foundation ownership helped drive her decision to take on the role.
“The foundation will provide access to consulting services and funds for charitable organisations where it sees fit,’’ she said.
“Foundation ownership shows Right Lane can be a highly efficient and successful company, and make a positive impact on the world in which we operate. It also sends an important message to everyone who works in our company, and to our clients, about what we stand for,’’ Ms Lawry said.
Dr Levy said the change in both Right Lane’s ownership structure and CEO coinciding was a deliberate strategy to foster sustainability and demonstrate renewal for the successful firm.
“For many years Right Lane has had a simple, but powerful, purpose, to contribute to a better society by helping organisations that do good do better. The move to create a majority foundation ownership structure enshrines that mission into our legal structure and that’s important for how we operate and the organisations we support,’’ he said.
“Right Lane Consulting, which will remain a for-profit private company, has now grown to 40 people, largely based on strategy, organisation and growth work in the ‘purpose economy’, including in the superannuation industry, the public and social sectors and healthcare. We are now focused on the next phase of our development as a firm which we believe will show other professional services firms that there are more progressive ways of doing business,’’ he said.
Ms Lawry has been at Right Lane for three and a half years, having previously worked at BCG, and as a policy advisor at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She said the process of becoming the firm’s next CEO took almost a year.
“I first started having discussions with Marc and other key stakeholders about the CEO role when I was on parental leave with a three week old baby. That baby has just turned one and I think my story taking over as CEO shows we are a firm that is dedicated to supporting our people to achieve their highest career opportunities, while also supporting them to be able to focus on their families and doing other important things in the community. I think that is what sets Right Lane apart,’’ she said.
Foundation ownership structures are popular overseas, particularly in Northern Europe, and are used by some of the largest and most successful corporate organisations in the world, including Ikea, Zeiss, Robert Bosch and Rolex.
About Right Lane
Right Lane was established in 2008 to help private, not-for-profit, and public sector clients to accelerate their strategies and plans. In 2015, Right Lane became Australia’s first B Corp certified strategy consulting firm. This follows Right Lane’s decision in 2011 to adopt ‘for benefit’ principals across the firm, including reasonable returns, inclusive ownership, stakeholder governance, transparency, and social and environmental responsibility. In July 2022, Right Lane becomes the first privately owned Australian management consulting firm to restructure into a foundation owned and controlled company.
Contact: Stephen Dabkowski
Phone: +61 419 880 486