You still here? I thought you retired!

    Survey shows young workers fear losing promotion opportunities as older
    workers delay retirement

MONTREAL and TORONTO, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - As the Canadian economy shows tentative signs of recovery, the effects of the financial crisis linger in older workers' RSPs - and in younger workers' anxieties. A new survey of 18-to-25-year-old Canadians shows that 70 per cent are concerned about losing leadership opportunities as their older colleagues delay retirement.

The Angus Reid survey, conducted for RSM Richter, one of Canada's largest independent accounting and business advisory firms, also shows that young employees want younger leaders and value vision over experience and charisma. RSM Richter decided to conduct the survey after making its own transition to a new generation of management.

"In the workplace, accommodating employees of different ages is an age-old challenge," said Robert Kofman, Co-Managing Partner of RSM Richter in Toronto. "The economic crisis has made things more complicated. Smart managers must pay attention - and work extra-hard to ensure that age is never a barrier to leadership opportunities. That's been our approach at RSM Richter."

Young employees want young leaders

When asked to identify the ideal leadership age, 93 per cent of respondents provided an age range under 50, with 64 per cent saying their ideal leader is under 40. Overall, 54 per cent believe age is important when it comes to leading a company, with men (57%) believing it is more important than women (51%).

Canada wants vision, Quebec values charisma, Atlantic seeks experience

Across Canada, 40 per cent of young adults believe vision is the most important quality of business leadership. Another 33 per cent value experience most, while 21 per cent want charisma from their leaders.

Quebec residents were notably higher than others in valuing charisma (27%), while experience was particularly important to Atlantic Canadians (44%), Albertans (37%) and British Columbians (37%).

A case study in leadership succession

Robert Kofman and David Steinberg recently took over as Co-Managing Partners for RSM Richter's Toronto office, while Stephen Rosenhek was recently named Managing Partner of the Montreal office, RSM Richter Chamberland, and Tasso Lagios was named its Audit and Tax Practice Manager. All four are long-time RSM Richter partners - and all but one are under 50, with the eldest being 52.

"Too frequently, professional services firms wait until partners are at retirement age to transition to the next generation," said Rosenhek. "By shifting our attention to younger leadership while continuing to draw on the experience of our senior partners, and by offering a custom made 18 month leadership program to our younger workers, we have a succession plan in place for our company's and our employee's future."

About the survey

From August 24 to August 27, 2009, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online survey among 803 randomly selected Canadian adults aged 18 to 25 who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability - is +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire 18 to 25 year old adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About RSM Richter and RSM Richter Chamberland

Entrepreneurs have been RSM Richter's focus since the firm was founded in 1926. Today, RSM Richter and Montreal-based RSM Richter Chamberland comprise one of Canada's 10 largest accounting, business advisory and consulting firms.

Both RSM Richter and RSM Richter Chamberland offer a full range of audit, tax and advisory services, supported by in-depth industry knowledge and national and international experience. The firm also specializes in providing financial advisory services in the areas of corporate restructuring and insolvency, corporate finance, business valuation, dispute resolution and litigation support, risk management and wealth management services.

Strategically located in Calgary, Montreal and Toronto, RSM Richter is an independent member firm within a strong international affiliation covering all major markets around the globe. RSM International is the seventh-largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world, with more than 30,000 people operating from over 730 offices in more than 70 countries.


For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Toronto: Jason Graham or Kaleigh Sainthill, Argyle Communications, (416) 968-7311, ext. 229, 222,,; Montreal: Catherine Rose Cunningham or Claudia Martin, Massy-Forget Public Relations, (514) 842-2455, ext. 33, 31,,

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