Zweig Group releases 2024 Principals, Partners & Owners Report of AEC Firms

Mar 29, 2024

Zweig Group, the leading provider of advisory services, research, and education for the AEC industry, has just released its 2024 Principals, Partners & Owners Report of AEC Firms. This comprehensive report contains information on the ownership agreements, responsibilities, compensation, billing rates, chargeability, work habits, and challenges of AEC firm principals, partners, and owners.   

In addition to this hard data, the 2024 Principals, Partners & Owners Report contains survey responses about the attitudes, responsibilities, and difficulties associated with these roles. Top findings include: 

  • Political donation trends reflect shifting priorities. Analysis of the survey data unveils a notable decline in the percentage of AEC firm leaders making political donations, particularly at the state and national levels. While 20 percent of respondents made contributions to local candidates, only 19 percent and 14 percent donated to state and national candidates, respectively. This shift suggests a reevaluation of priorities or confidence in the political process within the AEC industry.
  • Economic impact on severance packages. Amidst economic uncertainties, the survey indicates adjustments in compensation structures, particularly concerning severance packages. While a small percentage (10 percent) of respondents have employment agreements specifying severance pay, there has been a decrease in the median and mean number of weeks specified, from 14 to 8 weeks and 21 to 15 weeks, respectively. This trend reflects a strategic response to economic pressures and changing labor market conditions, highlighting the need for firms to manage costs and remain competitive.
  • Ownership dynamics and firm stability. The survey also sheds light on shifts in ownership dynamics and firm stability within the AEC industry. Despite a slight decrease in the median number of years respondents have been owners in their firms, from 20 years in 2022 to 15 years in 2024, AEC firms continue to navigate evolving business models and strategies. Additionally, there's a noticeable trend of promoting younger individuals earlier in their careers into management and leadership roles, injecting fresh perspectives into decision-making processes. These trends may signify changes in generational ownership, mergers and acquisitions, or succession planning strategies among AEC firms, underscoring the need for adaptability and forward-thinking leadership.
Unlock unparalleled insights into the world of AEC firm leadership with the Principals, Partners & Owners Report. Explore the latest data on compensation, perks, key challenges, and qualifications shaping the industry's ownership landscape. Click here to learn more.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.