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Illustrative Economic Analysis and Profitability Assignments
International Private Bank and Asset Manager
Growth Strategy

For this well-known institution, we carried out an assessment of the opportunity to grow the existing business providing upscale and VHNW banking and asset management services in the UK, Channel Isles and the Far East. We identified the priority opportunities and worked with the client to develop a bullish growth strategy that aimed to double revenues in 3 years. (ref 351)

UK Private Client Asset Manager
Intermediary Strategy

This house wished to extend beyond its traditional means of attracting new clients through its relationship managers, into building a network of professional introducers. We interviewed partners in the leading tax practices, private client solicitors and estate managers to evolve a strategy and b-b proposition for building relationships with leading intermediaries that would lead to referrals. We also helped to develop the firm’s direct product and service strategy to ensure there was minimal conflict of interest. (ref 379)

Making Bancassurance
work in Upscale Markets

We worked with the personal investment subsidiary of this leading bank to build a strategy for offering personal portfolio management services to upscale clients within their customer base. This involved qualitative and quantitative research amongst sales people, branch staff, customers and prospects, as well as detailed analysis of the competition, product profitability and channel economics. From this we identified a number of priority segments defined by a blend of wealth and attitudinal factors, via which the bank could double the scale of the existing business. We then helped to develop several new propositions for each segment and the associated sales, service and communications approaches. (ref 381)

UK Stockbroker
Opportunity Identification

For the UK’s largest stockbroker, we carried out a review of their business and its prospects in order to identify opportunities for growth in near and adjacent markets as an input to their own strategic planning process. This involved a detailed understanding of the contribution they made from their services, and how these combined to build a picture of customer profitability. We continued to work with the client on two new propositions: one in margin lending; the other in upscale banking. (ref 356)

Retail Bank
Cross-Selling to Existing
Customers of a Retail Bank

For a UK retail bank we established a strategy for cross-selling services to their existing customer bases. This was based firstly on an assessment of the total spend of their current clients and on the banks’ share of this across a wide range of products. We then researched the most promising groups to understand their underlying attitudes to their relationships with the bank and their preferences for sales process, service and communication. (In particular, the client was very interested in the potential role of remote and electronic processes.) We used this information, combined with an analysis of product contribution and acquisition costs, to create a set of new product and service propositions with their associated sales and communications strategies. (ref 384)

UK Life Assurer
Sales and Profit Growth via Branch Restructuring

This company wished to reduce costs and improve efficiency by restructuring its branches. We worked with them to understand the role of their various branches in the acquisition and development of intermediary and customer relationships, and the economics of this at the branch level. We then helped to determine criteria for assessing branch performance and devised and helped implement a new more efficient branch structure. (ref 386)

Friendly Society
Growth Strategy via Sales and Out-Sourcing

A top 5 Friendly Society wished to pursue a more aggressive growth strategy involving affinity marketing as well as the provision of administration services to smaller Societies wishing to out-source. We reviewed their position in the market, and the upcoming opportunities. We then recommended they focus on fewer products to provide direction and cost-control in their core business, develop sales through third party affinity groups, and create a new proposition to offer administration services to smaller Friendly Societies with high cost business models. (ref 369)

Insurance Conglomerate
Review of PMI Subsidiary Prior to Flotation

This PMI company was uncertain as to the course it should pursue to unravel some complex ownership arrangements and give a coherent focus to the group overall. We reviewed the market going forward and its competitive position and recommended a restructuring based on the sale of the brand and certain assets. We assisted the management in putting together a business plan that gave the business a firm direction and fitted well with other group activities. (ref 371)

Leading Mortgage Lender
New Strategy for Mortgage Back book Retention

This major mortgage lender was experiencing significant levels of churn in its mortgage book as the result of previous years’ 2 yr discounted deals, and recent activity on the part of mortgage brokers and other intermediaries. We worked with the client team, and a firm of economists to understand the drivers of profitability in the back book, and carried out research to understand the factors that influences churn. One of the key issues was that the client had fallen into the habit of treating rate as the only variable, thereby commoditising their own offering. We then developed a programme of action involving new propositions, some involving hybrid products, enhanced service and more frequent communication with customers to enhance the value they experienced in the current service. (ref 400)

European Life & Pensions
Growth via Improved Sales Force Model

A leading life assurer wished to review the relationship it had established with its self-employed salesforce in the light of changing Government policy and new FSA regulation following Pickering, CP121 and Sandler. We worked with the client to develop a programme involving financial analysis from the various sales models that had evolved over the last 5 years, from individual self-employed salespeople to substantial practices with their own administration, and a review of alternative sales models that were being used elsewhere in Australia, Scandinavia and Germany. (ref 387)

Health Insurer
Profitability Modelling

Our client was the incoming CEO of a major health insurance company. His concern was that the company had not been profitable for some time and the existing MIS was an inadequate guide as to the causes for this and the right course of action. Working with the finance team we developed an approach to modelling the financial structure of the business that gave a unique insight into the nature of costs, how costs were created and how closely costs were associated with revenues. In support of this we carried out a great deal of internal analysis and work-study to develop a model that enabled us to determine contribution by customer group and sales channel. (ref 395)

Health Insurer
Developing Distribution Strategies
in Health Insurance

In the context of a three year relationship with a leading health insurer, we carried out an extensive review of the market and the economics of health insurance and refined their strategies for selling to target markets. This involved original research with customers and detailed understanding of acquisition and servicing costs. We helped them to create distinct strategies for several channels including direct and intermediated sales to groups, direct sales force and telephone sales to individuals and also sales through affinity groups and work place marketing. (ref 396)

Motor Syndicate
Developing a Business Plan for
Potential Investors

A well-established managing agency wished to re-capitalise this large Lloyds’ motor syndicate by attracting an institutional investor. Our task was to assess the market prospects for the syndicate, develop and articulate a business strategy and work with the merchant bank concerned to put together a business plan for investors. The capital was raised successfully. (ref 372)

Cross-industry Consortium
Research and Development
of Virtual Insurance Company

For a consortium of insurers, reinsurers, outsourcers and technology companies, we investigated the potential for the role of virtual business systems in financial services and in particular personal insurance. This involved a large number of in-depth interviews with industry experts, a survey and segmentation of suppliers, specification of key technologies and financial modelling of various operating models.

In particular we focussed on:
- opportunities for cost savings and revenue enhancement
- the use of virtual structures by new entrants to cherry pick profitable niches
- possible near-term responses from incumbent insurers the long term impact of virtual systems on industry structure and competitive dynamics. (ref 374)

International Reinsurer
Financial Planning Model and Planning Process

For a specialist international re-insurer we designed and built a financial planning model and process to give senior management the ability to perform ‘top down’ scenario analysis at a corporate level while providing a comprehensive structure for line managers to forecast business levels and costs. There were two parallel strands to our approach. First was to achieve a high-level management involvement throughout the process via a continuous programme of interviewing and workshops. Second was to structure the model in a way which reflected how people really thought, or in some cases should have thought, about the business. Here we relied on our own analysis to scope and prioritise the numerous dimensions of the business and to identify the key performance drivers around which planning should revolve. (ref 397)

Building Society
Levering Mutuality

For a building society committed to mutuality we worked with senior management to understand the options open to them to enhance the value derived from their mutual status, and to explore how this could be built into their customer propositions. Hitherto they had emphasized a price-based proposition that we discovered had very little financial impact on the bulk of their voting members. Through a combination of analysis of customer group profitability and attitudinal research with customers, we helped management to define a range of more compelling customer propositions that would be successful in defending against the pressure to demutualise. (ref 375)

UK Private Bank
Development of Payment Card Business

We advised this Bank on the advantages and disadvantages of issuing debit and credit cards, producing an income and cost model for each card type. We then advised the Bank on the merits of in-house card processing vis-à-vis outsourcing, assisted the bank in the selection of an appropriate outsourcer and advised on all aspects of the contract with the outsourcer. (ref 359)

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