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Top names leave KPF after failed buyout

Kohn Pedersen Fox’s (KPF) London office has parted with its five partners following an unsuccessful management buyout

In July practice principals Lee Polisano, David Leventhal, Karen Cook, Ronaldus Bakker and Fred Pilbrow attempted to take control of KPF’s London outpost in a deal which would have seen the British-based partners swap shares in the company for full ownership of the UK business, in addition to a undisclosed sum.

However it is understood the international architectural firm, which also has branches in New York,Shanghai and Hong Kong, did not want to lose its London base and the company’s board rejected the bid.

As a result the five have resigned are now intending to set up on their own, using their initials to create a new name.

The London-based partners were responsible for projects such as the Heron Tower in the City of London, Abu Dhabi airport and Wood Wharf (pictured above).

In a statement released today A Eugene Kohn, chairman, founding partner of KPF and head of KPF’s London office said: ‘I’d like to thank the five individuals for their contributions to KPF and wish them the best for the future.’

In the same release, the departing Polisano who was the driving force behind the ill-fated Smithfield Market scheme (pictured), said: ‘It’s been an honour and a privilege to work at KPF and we look forward to this new chapter in our careers’. 

Back in July UK-office founder Polisano claimed the proposed breakaway of the London office was the ‘the natural evolution’ for the company, adding: ‘The offices work largely independent of each other. It is a share swap in a way as we would give up shares in the other company. Our proposal is based on a view of how much the London business is worth.’

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