OJK Architecture: How To Transition Firm Ownership (w/ Leah Bayer and Kate Conley)

For an architect hoping to own their own firm one day, there are two paths available. One is the traditional path: starting your own firm from scratch. The other is to buy an existing firm and transition into its new owner. This second option is less talked about, but with the rate of Baby Boomers retiring, it will become more and more important to the future of architecture. Leah Bayer and Kate Conley recently took that path, and created a new partnership at the established firm OJK Architecture.

For an architect hoping to own their own firm one day, there are two paths available. One is the traditional path: starting your own firm from scratch. The other is to buy an existing firm and transition into its new owner. This second option is less talked about, but with the rate of Baby Boomers retiring, it will become more and more important to the future of architecture. Leah Bayer and Kate Conley recently took that path, and created a new partnership at the established firm OJK Architecture.

Interview Takeaways
  • Map out a partnership
  • Balance strengths and weaknesses
  • Get to the important work faster
  • Create a buyout plan that works for both parties
  • Find paths for new owners
  • Shift firm culture
  • Use tech to build a remote culture
  • Welcome asynchronous talent
  • Make more spaces for conversation and collaboration
  • Stay local even when you’re remote
  • Continue relationships with founders
  • Feel legitimate as a fully remote firm
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