Toronto Investment Firm Takes Major Stake in Foster + Partners

Lord Norman Foster is now second-largest stakeholder after Toronto-based Hennick & Company

London-based Foster + Partners has completed a strategic partnership with Hennick & Company, a Toronto-based private family investment firm.

The Hennick family has now become the largest shareholder in the firm, with Lord Norman Foster and his family remaining significant shareholders with the second-largest stake. The practice’s other partners will all retain their current positions and equity stakes. Lord Foster, who founded the practice in 1967 with his late wife Wendy, will continue to serve as Executive Chairman and the existing leadership team will retain responsibility for day-to-day operations.

The “perpetual partnership model” was established to enable the architectural practice to expand beyond its current 180 partners, ensure that the next generation can become shareholders in the practice, and allow for an orderly succession of existing partners over the long term.

Foster + Partners’ team of 1500 is headquartered in London, with studios in 13 other cities (Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Hong Kong, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sydney). Its landmark buildings include the Great Court at the British Museum in London, the Reichstag German Parliament in Berlin, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, and the Narbo Via Museum of Roman Antiquities in Narbonne, France, among other iconic structures.

“Towards the end of last year, we started to explore long-term structures for the practice that would respond to the challenges and opportunities of growth and encourage the next generation of leadership and this partnership is the culmination of that process,” said Lord Foster.  “We are delighted to be joining forces with the family trust of the Hennicks, who share our values and the pursuit of excellence. This evolution has the potential to expand the range and depth of our studio—particularly in the fields of sustainability, infrastructure, urbanization and recycling.”

Alif-Mobility Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Image courtesy of Foster + Partners.