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Illustrative Growth Strategy Assignments
Major Retail Bank
Strategy for Customer Management
and Cross selling

Our client had the lowest level of products per customer in the sector and wished rapidly to improve cross-selling performance, but in a manner that would have minimal systems impact. We worked with management to identify the top 20 initiatives from around the organisation that would impact cross selling and developed these as sales and service propositions as a basis for prioritisation based on the scale of immediate revenue impact and minimal IT involvement. Some of these involved system-based triggers to identify emerging needs, but most involved sales and service propositions that could be taken up directly by customer-facing staff. We piloted the most promising propositions in branches and with telesales teams that resulted in typical increases in lead generation, referral and closure rates of up to 25%. (ref 402)

Mortgage Provider
Strategy for Selling Protection
to Mortgage Customers

This leading mortgage lender was keen to increase the value of its mortgage book through the sale of protection products. However, we identified early on that a key driver of value was increased persistency of the mortgage relationship, rather than brokerage on protection. We therefore developed a range of protection products that complemented the mortgage in terms of their features, pricing structures and excesses, and were seen to add value to the mortgage relationship. The first three will be launched later this year. (ref 403)

Major Composite Insurer
New Workplace Proposition

This insurer wished to explore opportunities outside insurance in the provision of services and benefits to employees in the workplace. We carried out extensive research into the needs of employees and helped to frame a new workplace marketing proposition which involved intranets, workplace marketing and catalogues to engage employees in deciding on their flex benefits package and other services offered on discounts. The business was launched successfully and has now been bought out by one of its major investors with a corporate client base to lever. (ref 404) Link

Banking sub. of a Life Company
New Mortgage Proposition

This innovative firm had developed a sound business as the result of previous innovation, but was suffering from the effects of price-based competition in its core mortgage business. It needed to find a way of building value for itself and clients, since adding more low persistency discount business was value destroying. We worked with the client’s research and finance teams to identify a series of tactics that would increase customer lock on and result in improved persistency. These insights were then used as the basis for five new propositions that were recently launched to target segments of new customers. The intention then is to introduce these propositions to existing customers. (ref 401)

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)

International Private Bank & 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)

European Private Bank & Asset Manager
Business Development and New Funding

For this UK subsidiary of a French institution we determined the market opportunities for private client services in the UK. In the course of this, we developed a new approach to client segmentation based on behavioural factors, which was more suited to the clients profile and access to market. We then worked with the client to develop a business plan for achieving an ambitious set of growth objectives, which was used successfully to gain additional investment from the parent. (ref 352)

Merchant Bank
Start-up Portfolio Management Business

Our client wished to assess the market opportunity for a new portfolio management service. This is a new proposition aimed at the growing pre-retirement planning market, which would give moderately affluent clients access to direct equity investment at reasonable costs. It will have a low-cost business model based on new back office technology. The work involved an analysis of socio-economic, cultural and employment practice trends, with an emphasis on the sources of income and wealth, in-depth interviews with employers in both the public and private sectors and focus groups with potential customers. On the basis of this, we were able to assess the main drivers and possible inhibitors of market growth, identify the requirements for gaining market access via employers, develop the workplace marketing processes to be used, and help redesign the customer proposition to reflect some surprising attitudes towards control. (ref 353)

Growing Bancassurance 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)

Investment Manager
Growth by Acquisition of Wholesale Funds

Following a market review, we were asked by this leading private client fund manager to help them form a strategic partnership with a UK institution with substantial funds to manage. We screened the sector for suitable institutions, contacted them with tailored approaches according to their individual circumstances and held initial confidential discussions with interested parties to refine the short-list and then worked with the client to negotiate and structure a suitable arrangement. (ref 354)

US Stockbroker
Entry Into UK Upscale Investment Management

A large US stockbroker was considering an entry into the UK investment management sector. We carried out a detailed analysis of these markets identifying the key segments, their levels of liquid financial assets and the current investments, pensions and savings vehicles they were currently using. An aspect of this project of particular interest was to contrast both wealth levels and attitudes towards wealth between the US and UK markets. We identified the most attractive segments and product markets and helped the client to develop the entry strategy. (ref 355)

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)

Direct Provider
Creation of a New Business

This long-standing client was contemplating entry into the direct provision of financial services and wished to create a green field site business selling a range of investment products direct. We carried out extensive research into the direct market to understand the underlying drivers of growth and how these related to different financial service products. We also defined the operational parameters for success based on an analysis of the underlying economics with a particular focus on the economics of outsourcing, the effect this has on business risk and how this should be managed. We then worked with the client to develop a start-up strategy comprising customer proposition, sales processes, brand, customer interface and service. (ref 357)

Major Bank in Private Banking
Growth Strategies for Private Banking
Subsidiaries of a Clearer

We carried out research amongst customers and prospects of three private banking subsidiaries of a clearing bank in order to help them to determine their strategy. This involved in-depth interviews with upscale individuals to understand their financial objectives and their attitudes towards wealth, service and the various brands available within the group. We then assisted the client in defining distinct strategies for each business, which involved a blend of new customer propositions and enhanced customer management tactics. (ref 358)

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)

Professional Institute
Communications Strategy

A major professional institute, faced with change in its core industry, needed to reframe the professional focus of its members and communicate that change to members and other stakeholders. We carried out in depth research with members in all the major sectors covered by the profession, and other stakeholders who were affected by the profession to understand the scope of the required change and how best to communicate it, and implement it through CPD and new member training. (ref 360)

Global Information Services
Retail Online Growth Strategy

The leading UK provider of financial and news information to the institutional markets decided to lever its resource base, network and brand to enter the retail market in the UK Germany and the US markets. We worked with the project team to devise a strategy for the UK that involved targeting two segments, which we defined based on our own original and extensive original research. These required our client to play the roles of information and execution services provider and broker. We worked with the project team to define two distinct customer propositions for the two segments of investor and helped to assemble the information and service wrap each required. The service was launched successfully and has a seven-figure client base. Later we reviewed the strategy in the US, and made a number of recommendations. (ref 361)

Corporate Communications
European Growth Strategy

The leading UK provider of corporate investor information wished to upgrade its delivery technology to include the internet as a basis for accessing new growth. We reviewed the opportunities in its markets in the major European markets and developed a new strategy to deliver corporate information to investors based on a proposition of low cost and minimal delay. (ref 362)

Advertising Agency
Entry into Consultancy

This well-known advertising agency wished to capitalise on its ability to advise clients on marketing strategy as a precursor to creating advertising by establishing a consultancy to earn fees alongside the agency work. We ran workshops with the senior managers and three partners to explore the issues and crystallise the potential proposition, but concluded that there would be a conflict of interest. (ref 363)

Swiss Conglomerate
Growth in European Financial Services Markets

This international service firm wished to diversify into “acceleration zones” throughout Europe. The financial services market was seen as offering this type of potential. We started by looking at the future prospects for a large number of financial service sectors and reaching a judgment about their attractiveness on the basis of fundamentals. From this, the pensions consultancy market emerged as potentially attractive, so we went on to:

- Analyse the prospect and structure of the consultancy market in five major European countries
- Look at the attractiveness of a number of large actuarial and benefit consultancies as acquisition candidates.

We found two attractive candidates and approaches were made. (ref 364)

Life Assurer
Entry into Defined Contribution Pensions

Our client is a global composite insurer with a major UK life company with a relatively weak position in the UK pensions market. Analysis of the pensions market indicated significant growth was likely and our client wished to build a major business at a time when Government policy was very unclear. We developed a detailed scenario analysis highlighting the major drivers of change in these markets, the resulting opportunities and the likely timings. Based on this, we identified the most attractive options for our client under each scenario and used this to develop a strategy to enter the market and to hedge the main uncertainties. (ref 365)

Rapid Diagnostic of Pensions Strategy

The life company subsidiary of this major UK clearing bank needed a rapid appraisal of their effectiveness in the group personal pensions (GPP) market to inform a near term decision to reposition a new product launch as part of a cohesive group-wide GPP strategy. Due to time constraints, we conducted the analysis on the basis of readily available data and our own experience in the pensions sector. It became quickly apparent that there was a huge opportunity to sell GPPs and other services to existing banking customers, in particular small businesses, but that the proposed new product would be unsuitable for this market segment. We identified further obstacles in a brand with weak pensions credibility and in a sales process that relied heavily on generalist advisors with too little pensions expertise. As a result, the product launch was postponed and a full strategic review has been set in train. (ref 366)

Leading US Life Assurer
Entry Into UK Pensions Markets

Our client, the small UK subsidiary of a leading US Life Assurer, was contemplating a major entry into the UK group pensions market at a time of significant regulatory change and uncertainty. Based on research with intermediaries and companies and significant research into the literature, we gained a deep insight into the underlying drivers of change and concluded that future market conditions would become very much tougher and that, to be successful in the future, our client would need, amongst other things, to re-brand. (ref 367)

Composite Insurer
Identifying Opportunities in the
Post-retirement Market

For a large composite insurer, we assessed the opportunities in the post-retirement market, in particular, for annuity products, and helped to develop a low-cost distribution channel targeted at the most promising segments. This involved a close study of the current pattern of distribution for annuities, a new segmentation, and an understanding of evolving legislation. (ref 368)

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)

Composite Insurer
Accelerated Growth and Development
in Health Insurance

We worked with the senior management of a composite insurer to develop a strategy in the healthcare market that would double the scale of their existing business within three years. This was based, in part, on extensive original research with individuals, intermediaries, companies and other entities to determine the opportunities for innovation in product, sales process and service. This formed an essential backdrop to other analytical work to develop new propositions for the retail and corporate markets that would be financially viable. (ref 370)

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)

Motor Syndicate
Developing a Growth 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)

Retailer of Consumer Electronics
Strategy for Consumer Credit and Warranties

This leading UK white and brown goods retailer wished to increase their sales of financial services. They had noticed inconsistencies in the pattern of their sales geographically and understood that consumer attitudes to credit were changing. We carried out data analysis of regional and store sales and qualitative research amongst customers and staff, which resulted in a much deeper understanding of:

- how customers segmented attitudinally towards retail insurance and credit
- the structural and staff attitudinal drivers of sales.

On this basis, we were able to recommend changes in product structure and communication with staff, which resulted in a large uplift in financial services revenues and profit and a major restructuring of the card proposition. (ref 373)

Cross-industry Consortium
New Business Model for a
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)

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)

Major Charge Card
Growth in Travel Services

For this leading charge card operator we developed a growth strategy for travel management services for the small corporate sector, which involved establishing a clearer focus on the needs of particular segments. This was based on an extensive review of the market and a segmentation of its commercial client base, which was used to develop growth forecasts by segment. (ref 376)

High Street Retailer
Strategy for Innovative Smart Card Venture

For this well-known retailer we advised on the planning and implementation of a new smart card proposition. After initial research to understand the brand, we advised on strategic partnerships, the customer proposition, regulatory issues and specified the operating structure of this highly innovative card venture. (ref 377)

Major Department Store
Growth in Home Shopping with Store Card

For an up-market department store, with an unprofitable mail-order operation, we researched and developed an online home shopping concept. This resulted in a near-term strategy of building the brand positioning and increasing store usage. For the future we developed a novel retail concept based on interweaving the use of the store, the internet and remote delivery in conjunction with the store card. (ref 378)

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