Everything you need to know to manage partner contribution

A comprehensive handbook on how to manage, assess and reward partner contribution by Michael Roch and Ray D'Cruz.


The Partner Remuneration Handbook is essential reading for leaders who want to align strategy, performance and reward, and light a path for future success. It is easy to read, yet full of insights. The Handbook offers lots of practical advice for implementing a balanced approach to performance and reward that takes into account strategic challenges and opportunities including smarter collaboration."

Dr Heidi K. Gardner

About The Partner Remuneration Handbook

In this comprehensive handbook, authors Michael Roch and Ray D'Cruz provide guidance for senior and managing partners, partnership boards, remuneration committees and all others involved in the partner compensation and contribution process.

The handbook covers the design of effective profit-sharing systems, reaching fair reward decisions efficiently and implementing contribution management processes that motivate partners and align partners with firm strategy.

Michael and Ray have each been advising firms on partnership and performance issues for over 20 years. The handbook combines practical insights gained through their consulting work and interviews with firm leader with key concepts relating to partnerships, motivation and incentives in human capital management and executive compensation in privately held businesses.

Table of contents

Part I. Introduction

1. Trends shaping partner reward

2. The three partner remuneration elements in context

Part II. Reward structures in professional partnerships

3. The seven primary partner reward systems

4. Formula systems: cost sharing, ‘eat what you kill’ and fixed allocation

5. Merit systems: financially driven versus holistic meritocracies

6. Lockstep systems and their variations

7. A partner’s profit-sharing waterfall: drawings, bonuses and distributions

8.Corporations operating as partnerships, internal markets and talent ecosystems

Part III. Managing partner contribution

9. The future of partner contribution management

10.Motivating achievement-orientated partners

11.Using partner contribution frameworks to align partner contribution with firm strategy

12.Aligning personal objectives with partner contribution expectations

13.Using measures, metrics and KPIs

14.Partner accountability through ongoing conversations and informal check-ins

15.Self-assessments, ratings and other design considerations for formal partner reviews

16.Conducting effective partner review conversations

17.Addressing underperformance

18.Using technology for better partner contribution management

19.Analytics: using quantitative and qualitative data for evidence-based decisions

20.The role of HR and business services in partner contribution management

Part IV. Partner reward governance and decision making

21. Key elements of effective reward governance

22.Remuneration committee basics: when to have one, its remit and its members

23.Managing to an annual calendar

24.Reward round preparation, heuristics and decision aids

25.Reaching reward conclusions while avoiding biases

26.Transparency in reward communications: nuances of open and closed compensation system

27.Appeals: benefits, drawbacks and process considerations

Part V. Special issues

28. Collaboration among partners

29.Rewarding partners in management roles

30.Diversity, equity and inclusion

31.Partner reward in international partnerships

32.Engaging partners in remuneration policy changes

33.Well-being and mental health

Part VI. The way ahead

34.Ten principles for partner remuneration systems in ambitious professional services firms