Building on success: Andrew Leck takes the helm at MSI

Andrew Leck took over as CEO at MSI Global Alliance in July. Zoya Malik spoke to him about his attraction to the role and strategic plans for the organisation

Zoya Malik: How has your background in accounting and at the Big 4 prepared you for your role as CEO?

Andrew Leck: Joining MSI Global Alliance from a global professional services firm means I am attuned to the challenges that our member firms face and understand the importance to meet the varying needs and demands of your clients.

At EY, my focus was on business development for both existing clients and attracting new clients, and that is very much aligned with how we support member firms across the world at MSI.

Having worked in membership organisations prior to this role, I am aware of how important it is to build trusted relationships with members, to understand their expectations and demonstrate value to them in the support you provide.

Andrew Leck, CEO, MSI Global Alliance

ZM: What attracted you to MSI and the role of CEO?

AL: I was attracted to the CEO role because of the strong reputation MSI and the member firms have across the world and having the opportunity to shape the next phase of MSI’s development.

As the global economy moves forward, we will need to continue to be relevant and address the evolving needs of our members and their clients both now and in the future. Working with the MSI board, the secretariat team and the global membership is an exciting prospect for me.

ZM: What is your vision for the organisation over the next three years? 

AL: Being within the first 100 days of my term as CEO, I have been engaging with members all over the world and listening to what their challenges and opportunities are and what they need from MSI to better support their businesses. This has given me valuable insights on what we need to focus on strategically going forward and what services we need to provide.

My vision for MSI is to build on the key successes and foundations that have been built over the last 30 years, and ensure we meet the evolving needs of our members.

ZM: What investments are you planning in terms of technology infrastructure for L&D and hiring in 2021-22?

AL: Technology and digital transformation are key factors for all businesses and equally important to MSI. Over the next 12 months we will be investing to strengthen our engagement with members both digitally and face-to-face to facilitate new introductions, greater collaboration and increased business referrals.

An important strand of this will be the launch of our new website next year making use of the latest technology and which will deliver on those objectives.

The learning and development initiatives provided by MSI will continue to evolve and be targeted at the various groups within the membership, from managing partners to emerging leaders. I have been delighted to see the outcomes of our first digital Future Leaders Programme, which has connected talented professionals across the world equipping them with the skills they need to develop and progress within their organisations.

With the current talent challenges in recruitment and retention affecting professional services firms worldwide, I see programmes such as this a very valuable benefit for our members to help them develop their own future leaders from within their firms.

ZM: What is your plan for getting to know member firms?

AL: A membership organisation must be engaged and connected with its members, and with MSI having over 250 members, that is a big challenge!

In pre-Covid times I would have spent the last three months in airports, hotels and members' offices, but with the restrictions on travel, I have met many of our members virtually. The upside of this is that in a short period of time I have been able to meet with a far greater number of members from across the world.

I have also been able to engage with our members through our extensive programme of virtual meetings and specialist interest groups. In more recent weeks, I have had a small number of face-to-face member visits across the UK and in Germany, and I plan to continue this when time allows.

ZM: What regions will be a focus for growth over the next three years, and why?

AL: As a global organisation, it is important to have priorities across all our regions, and MSI will continue to support member needs across the world.

With changes in the membership through expansions, mergers and acquisitions, plus retirements and succession changes, we always need to adapt and evolve.

MSI will look at countries and cities where we need to have a member presence to meet market needs and the increasing demand for specialist advisers that can operate globally.

ZM: What leadership strengths will you bring to MSI Global Alliance?

AL: As a leader, I have a firm belief in collaboration both within your organisation and with your stakeholder groups and this drives my leadership style. It is crucial for me to build strong relationships with our member firms and to understand their various needs and expectations of MSI.

The MSI secretariat team is very strong and has already well-established relationships with member firms, and my role is to make sure we continue to enhance those relationships and ensure we continue to deliver value for our members.

My understanding of professional services firms and market knowledge will shape MSI’s next phase of development and growth.