Promotion Speech

Cheers! - Helmut Gevert

A soon-to-be-made partner is writing the speech for his team celebratory drinks...

“Wow. This is great. Just like to say a few words about those rumours that I'm sure you all heard. Yes, I will be the new partner of the Banking team. Obviously a great honour. But don’t forget that until yesterday I was still a senior associate, just like many of you! And if it were up to me we’d all be partners. Because that’s how I see us. When I look around I don’t see senior associates, trainees or secretaries. I see my colleagues. I see a team.

I know the last months haven’t been easy for our department. There were difficult choices to be made. A lot of friends left the firm this past year. But we found ways to work more efficiently, to make sacrifices. For the firm! In other firms they might need two people for a deal, our firm can manage with one. That is great, and we value your contributions. And as I say, we're in this together! If anyone has any further ideas as to how to cut costs - and don't say: 'Sack me' (wait for laughter) - just let me know. I, for one, am spearheading the move for the partners' bar to stock Prosecco instead of Champagne (wait for applause and cheers). That won't be a popular suggestion, but I feel it has to be done.

In 2008 and 2009 the deals and the IPOs were lagging behind. Along with the generous redundancy packages offered to this year's leavers, this impacted our P&L, and we had to freeze salaries, share secretaries and pay for our own lunches. Hard times. Hard times indeed. But we have fought through them. And now, in the light of a new decennium, things are looking good, my colleagues. There are whispers of deals, IPOs and mergers, and we will profit from them. This time we will all profit from them.

Team, times are changing. We are going to catch that green diversity train and choo choo right into the future. And believe me, diversity is something I know a lot about - when I was at school in Switzerland, I met all sorts of great guys from all over the world. This brings me to some wonderful news. Two of our female senior associates have been appointed as partner. Yes, two indeed. This firm has incorporated diversity not only in her marketing material, but also in her practice. Two extra ladies in the top will bring the female percentage to a nice 4.2%. Something to be proud of.

In the coming years, we hope to appoint more females, since it is unlikely for the current female partners to stay on for long periods of time because of maternity leave and home obligations. This means there will be room for new female or male partners in the near future. And, if I have anything to do with it, those new partners are going to be from what some people would term 'ethnic minorities' (wait for rapturous applause). Well, I'm not talking ethnic minorities; I'm talking ethnic majorities!

Great!

So, here’s to our team! The bitterballen* are on me!”


*Popular deep fried bar snack served in bars in the Netherlands.