Many B.C. companies have dropped the ball when it comes to succession planning. But Rennie is one that's making moves to get it right
Bob Rennie is 60 years old and looks several years younger, but that hasn’t prevented the founder of the eponymous real estate marketing company from thinking about retirement. “I have my golf game, you know,” he laughs, referring to his Wing Sang art gallery, a preoccupation ensuring that he will never, ever spend time working on his short game.
In Rennie’s case, any handover will be gradual and fairly straightforward, he thinks, thanks to the presence of his son, Kris, who is 33 and already serving as managing director of the Rennie Group. (He also has two daughters, neither of them involved in the business.) Beyond what he describes as a father-son relationship with no tug of wars, Rennie thinks that Kris is the person best able to maintain a corporate culture that is valued by the company’s 52 employees. He thinks that because he’s asked many of them: “Of the 52, he was the one person that they’d say could provide continuity.”
Rennie sees himself spending a little less time on real estate, a little more on art, with every passing year. “You can’t wait till you’re ready,” he says of retirement, which means he’ll begin to make some structural changes to the company, such as a team charged with ensuring that assets are retained.
Then, between 65 and 70, “I’ll make a change” he says. “Slow down, maybe look after select clients only. After 35 years I’m not going to change in an hour.”