Case Studies

Board Review

Our client is an international financial organisation who had governance issues in Asia and was now under the ‘watch’ of the UK regulators. Our Board Review indicated the Board was lacking independent, qualified Directors who could tackle the governance issues and provide appropriate challenge and guidance to the Executive Directors. Furthermore the Chairman lacked the experience to lead the Board through this period. Our recommendation for a new independent qualified Chairman and new independent Directors was accepted and acted upon. The new Chairman quickly agreed a plan with the regulatory authorities, and the new Directors added much needed strength to the Board, in Audit and Compliance. The new Chairman identified that the CEO needed support, as his Executive team were entrenched and resisting change. A restructuring of the Executive team resulted in a leaner and more effective leadership team within 6 months.

Executive assessment

Functional appointments are often important conduits for knowledge transfer. A client in the retail financial services industry believed their competitive position was being affected by their management of technology. Our assessment of their CIO and a review of their competitors indicated that our client’s technology function was narrowly defined. Our review focussed on those industries where technology utilisation at the customer interface, had become a differentiating competitive strategy i.e. retailing, telecommunications, and airlines. As a result the role was redefined as Head of Operations, including all non-client facing operations e.g. the back office services, call centres, processing. The resulting new appointment from the retail sector resulted in a significant restructuring of our clients operations and a reduction in their cost to income ratio.

Succession Planning

Our client is a European Bank whose CEO resigned unexpectedly due to personal circumstances. We had been working with the client on succession planning and there were three internal candidates. The Board wanted to benchmark the candidates against potential external candidates. We were able to move quickly to identify and profile potential external candidates. We reviewed with the Board detailed assessments on the three internal candidates and compared these to the external benchmark candidate. The Board was able to make a decision to appoint one of the internal candidates in the knowledge that the individual was well rated on key attributes against industry peers. Our assessments of the internal candidates equipped the board to make an informed decision regarding their suitability to take on the CEO role. (You make the assessment, then they make the decision)

Board Review

Our client was a large international US bank. Their Board was comprised on US nationals with little experience of running businesses outside of the US. We reviewed the strategy of the Bank and specifically focussed on the regions and types of businesses that the bank would be involved in, during the next 5 to 10 years. It was clear that with the Banks current investment and acquisition program, increasing amounts of the business would be in Asia and Europe. It was also clear that their banc-assurance strategy would increase their investment in insurance, asset management and direct equity businesses. We identified those skill sets that the Board would require to cope with the business as it developed and put in place a five year hiring strategy where by the Board would bring in new skills and regional experience.

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