A Stockholder's Story

by Anonymous,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 2, Pg. 76-76

Document Type: Feature article


A former partner in an engineering consulting firm tells about what happens when a firm goes public. His view is that while it benefitted financially, the firm changed for the worse. The need for incorporation had been a controversial issue within the firm for many years, because of the potential for liability of individual partners. This issue broadened into the idea of going public. The idea of increasing individual equity sixfold probably blinded the partners to other problems, he believes, and the writer voted against this move. He notes that over the years, the firm employed creative eccentrics and benefitted from their ideas. Now, he thinks, the firms employees march to the same drummer. Performance is not evaluated on creativity but on the price of the stock. Growth comes from acquisitions only. The creative passion of professionals is stifled.

Subject Headings: Consulting services | Public private partnership | Engineering firms | Financial management | Liability | Employees | Professional societies | Pricing

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