How to reinvent yourself as a business school academic

Jonathan Moules

Rupert Merson fell into lecturing at London Business School after a colleague bottled out of giving a talk. “He said he had double booked with a client meeting, but I think he had lost his nerve,” Mr Merson, who at the time was a partner at accounting firm BDO, says. “He knew I was a sucker for getting up in front of an audience.”

The topic was financing start-ups, something Mr Merson felt confident explaining to a class of MBA students given his experience advising clients and was invited back as a guest speaker several times. A couple of years later he was approached to jointly teach a course on managing growth.

Mr Merson revelled in the lecturing role so after being made redundant from BDO and starting his own advisory firm, he became an adjunct associate professor — a purely teaching role —of strategy and entrepreneurship. He has an office on the top floor of the main LBS campus building, close to Regent’s Park.