Spotlight on Richard Chaplin, PM Forum and Managing Partners’ Forum

I posted this on LinkedIn on 13th September. It received such a warm and enthusiastic response that it was suggested we consider a series highlighting the giants of professional services marketing and business development. So here’s the spotlight on Richard Chaplin, PM Forum and Managing Partners’ Forum.

What’s the longest time you’ve sustained a professional relationship?

Richard Chaplin and I speak almost every week. But it’s rare that we take time out to have lunch, which we did today and reflected on how long we’ve worked together.

About Richard Chaplin

Most people know Richard. He’s incredibly modest – so I’ll mention a few of his many achievements.

He spent 12 years as an auditor at a Big Four accountancy practice. His final role was Head of Strategy working for Lord Sharman before, during and after the mega-merger that created KPMG. That would give anyone great insight into leadership and management.

He then created both the PM Forum and Managing Partners’​ Forum – two key membership groups in professional services. No surprise that he’s a networking super-connector. Harnessing that network, he has facilitated so many trailblazing developments. And he’s still expanding the groups’ reach throughout the world with Keith Hardie.

He introduced the sector’s first management excellence awards (securing the FT and Harvard as knowledge partners) whilst spearheading the innovative “unsung heroes” campaign for business support professionals.

He developed numerous thought-leading trackers, polls and reports within the professional services sector which earned him a long-standing role advising the Government.

Along the way he also created the Fast-track innovation guide, mentoring programmes, peer groups and the “Re-tuning your firm” (originally weekly and then bimonthly) broadcast which supported hundreds of leaders through the Covid pandemic and beyond.

Soon he’ll be unveiling a show-stopping skills development technology platform that will transform learning and development.

Working together for over 30 years

I was introduced to Richard over 30 years ago by a corporate partner at the City law firm where I worked at the time.

PM Magazine

A few years later I had an article in the first edition of PM Magazine. And spent 20 years supporting the editor – Nadia Cristina – and contributing regularly. The highly capable Matt Baldwin took over the editorship about a year ago and the dialogue continues.

PM Forum Training

At about the same time, we created the PM Forum professional marketing and BD training programme – which flourishes and evolves to this day. I was also at the first PM Forum Annual Conference – and will be there for its 28th presentation later this month (coincidentally on 28th September).

Management Excellence Awards

I’ve had the honour of being a judge on those Management Excellence Awards for many years – originally with the late Alan Hodgart, then Alistair Rose and now Andrew Hedley as the Chair of Judges.

Leadership Development Programme

Last year I worked with Richard to research and develop the exciting new Leadership Development Programme for practice and functional leaders in the professions. You can read more about that here: Leadership Development Programme from the Managing Partners’ Forum (

It’s a joy to work with Richard and his amazing team – Claire MitchellMorag CampbellSamantha DaviesLarysa HaleRichard ThorbyVanessa Bramley (nee Rountree)Victoria Bond and Susanne Pugsley T.D.

And I hope this professional relationship and friendship lasts many more years…

PM Forum PM Magazine: PM Forum PM Forum training: PM Forum

Managing Partners’ Forum ( Leadership Development Programme

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