Congratulations to Our 2024 MCA Awards finalists

Congratulations to Our 2024 MCA Awards finalists

20th May 20249 Minutes

Curzon Consulting Earns Recognition as Finalist in Two Management Consulting Awards Categories

We’re thrilled to announce that Curzon Consulting has been shortlisted as a finalist in two categories for the 2024 Management Consulting Awards! This prestigious recognition reflects our team’s exceptional work and positions Curzon among the industry’s elite.

Organised by the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), the #MCAAwards celebrate the transformative contributions consulting firms have made throughout the past year.

Remarkably, 2024 marks Curzon Consulting’s ninth consecutive year as a finalist, solidifying our reputation for consistent excellence.

Congratulations to all of the other finalists.

Commercial Excellence with Marston Holdings Ltd

Read More

Marston Holdings Ltd (MHL), a private equity-backed enterprise with a turnover exceeding £350 million. Primarily operating within the UK, the company caters to diverse sectors, prioritising services related to legal and regulatory obligations enforcement, including but not limited to parking enforcement, fine collection, and management.

MHL embarked on a transformative journey to achieve remarkable growth, with a focus on unlocking substantial savings through a strategic procurement programme. In collaboration with Curzon Consulting, MHL aimed to address challenges such as insufficient spend visibility, dominant incumbent suppliers, and limited procurement influence within the organisation.

Under the leadership of Curzon Consulting and CEO Martin Johnson, the project, named Project Eagle, aimed to drive sales, optimise costs, and enhance productivity. The procurement transformation programme set out to revamp MHL’s procurement organisation while delivering substantial savings.

Curzon’s approach was multi-faceted, leveraging deep data analytics, innovative thinking, and tried-and-tested change management methodologies. The process involved three main workstreams: Spend Opportunity Assessment, Benefits Delivery, and Procurement Organisation Assessment.

The Spend Opportunity Assessment phase involved a rapid analysis of MHL’s spend, identifying significant savings. Despite initial challenges, the team delivered the core assessment in less than five business days. Subsequent phases focused on implementing cost-saving initiatives, including achieving quick wins within the first two months.

The Benefits Delivery phase saw the implementation of various procurement strategies across different expenditure categories, such as strategic sourcing, product harmonisation, and make vs. buy analysis. These initiatives led to significant cost reductions.

Additionally, the Procurement Organisation Assessment aimed to enhance MHL’s procurement capabilities. Recommendations included restructuring the team, enhancing governance, and improving strategy and systems.

Throughout the project, Curzon fostered a collaborative relationship with MHL, employing a unified ‘one team’ approach and acting as trusted advisors. A well-defined governance model ensured efficient communication and problem-solving.

Despite challenges such as supplier resistance and stakeholder reluctance to change, Curzon overcame obstacles through pragmatic approaches, evidence-based reasoning, and stakeholder management expertise. The project delivered measurable results, exceeding savings targets by 28%, with a sizeable in-year cash impact. Qualitative outcomes included improved transparency in spend areas, satisfaction with new products, and enhanced trust in the procurement team.

In conclusion, the partnership between MHL and Curzon Consulting exemplified resilience, innovation, and successful collaboration, resulting in significant cost savings and organisational improvements.

Chetan, Stephane and the Curzon team were contracted to deliver an optimisation programme at Marston Holdings. The Curzon team approached the complex task with energy and professionalism, which was key to the ultimate success of the programme.

The technical knowledge and capability of the Curzon team were clear from the start of the engagement and we had total faith in their capability to deliver the ambitious goals they had been set. Marston would recommend Curzon to anyone who requires the domain knowledge and experience of a capable consulting partner. We look forward to working with them in the future

Martin Johnson, CEO, Marston Holdings Ltd

 

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector with National Highways

Read More

Responding to the UK Government’s productivity challenge, National Highways (NH), in partnership with Curzon Consulting, is delivering a transformational 30% improvement in productivity and can realise a multimillion pounds in savings by 2030.

Over the past twenty years, the construction sector has struggled to demonstrate meaningful productivity improvements. NH set a challenging target of a 30% productivity improvement and a 5-10% cost reduction over Road Investment Strategy 2 (2020-25) and appointed Curzon as its strategic delivery partner.

Significant progress has been made over the last year (23/24). There has been an average of 30% productivity improvement across monitored assets, and the percentage of hours lost has been significantly reduced. This achievement demonstrates the robustness of the standardised systems and processes that have been developed and deployed.

Core enablement of the productivity improvement lies in the timely capture and reporting of performance via an innovative and interactive App, rolled out initially across the Tier 2/sub-contractor supply chain. This has enabled NH to make faster, informed decisions where there are significant variances to plan, enforcing greater accountability on the supply chain, identifying and specifying standards and best practices, and raising supply chain awareness of what good performance looks like. In turn, this has fostered greater collaboration between NH and its supply chain without requiring contractual amendments. Increased scheme predictability is tangible, with Tier 1s rebase-lining their schemes to include productivity improvements while modular design improvements and standardisation contribute additional value.

Creating and implementing a digital productivity app and dashboard has provided NH with a consistent stream of standardised productivity data and relevant context directly from the point of delivery. This has brought about a positive change in how NH and the supply chain collaborate. For the first time, NH PMs are engaging in conversations based on intelligence gathered from the dashboard. With weekly progress reports, NH can now access productivity data insights to scrutinise and challenge the supply chain, which was impossible before.

NH is using digital intelligence to collaborate with its supply chain, measure the productivity of key assets, and set improved productivity targets. They now have an efficient system for gathering, reviewing, and acting on productivity data. NH has developed a methodology to calculate productivity value and demonstrate efficiencies to the Office of Rail and Road. NH can now utilise the extensive productivity data for strategic procurement, commercial decision-making, and contracting.

The 30% target improvement is being achieved or exceeded on most asset classes, giving NH confidence that improved productivity in Road Investment Strategy 3 (2025-30) will translate into multi-million-pound benefits.

The Curzon team is making significant contributions. National Highways has been striving to set asset-level productivity baselines for over 10 years. The work we are progressing together is transforming how National Highways reviews project performance and is also beginning to inform wider industry Infrastructure Client Group.

David Bray, Programme Director, National Highways

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Concerns & opportunities: Harnessing the skills opportunities of a recharged electric vehicle sector

8th May 20243 Minutes

The recent RECHARGE UK report on ‘Harnessing the skills opportunities of a recharged electric vehicle sector’, in association with Curzon Consulting, explores how the UK can equip its workforce for the exciting opportunities emerging in the EV sector.

It’s clear from the research that various concerns are prevalent across multiple stakeholders.

The number one concern for all participants is attaining and maintaining a capable, skilled workforce. Cited through various frustrations in workforce shortages, EV skills gaps and funding. 

DNOs, CPOs & Tech-Safe accredited organisations all struggle to recruit electricians with the relevant EV experience. Many indicate the existing workforce does not have the specific knowledge required to maintain the EV sector or the capability to meet the future demands of the industry, with little time to retrain.

Forecasts predict a shortage of qualified technicians to service the growing number of electric vehicles. Skilled EV personnel are often lured by large contracts and concentrated in urban areas, leaving a limited talent pool for smaller organisations in rural communities.

Similarly, Local Authorities, especially those in rural areas, work hard to attract qualified staff for EV infrastructure projects. With limited, temporary funding, they lack the budget to hire & retain experienced staff.

Vehicle Manufacturers are concerned about recruiting staff across the entire EV design & manufacturing process. Reskilling the existing workforce will be an expensive challenge, with many traditional mechanic roles disappearing to be replaced by the shift to electric.

Software Providers have similar recruitment challenges, with software development courses too focused on marketing applications and not enough on practical engineering applications.

For those with specialised EV skills, sourcing and attracting qualified professionals is demanding due to low unemployment and high competition within the software development field.

However, it’s not all doom & gloom… the report made four recommendations to ensure the EV sector can compete globally and meet the stakeholder concerns.

As expected, the EV sector offers significant, job & career opportunities, for a diverse workforce, across the entire sector. However, a reform in education is required to ensure qualified, and capable individuals meet the needs of the industry.

Upskilling and retraining to support the continued improvement and promotion of opportunities to the existing workforce and reskilling programmes, to ensure that those in the workforce without relevant skills, outside of the EV sector can access the growing number of opportunities on offer.

However, for the sector to meet the demands, these recommendations require collaboration between the Government, the EV industry, and the Education sector.

Details of the full report can be found here.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Harnessing the skills opportunities of a recharged electric vehicle sector

23rd April 20242 Minutes

We are honoured to be the official supporter of a new report “Harnessing the skills opportunities of a recharged electric vehicle sector”. The report was prepared by RECHARGE UK, the EV arm of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) in association with Curzon Consulting. The report examines how the UK can equip its workforce for the exciting opportunities emerging in the EV sector.

Research compiled from industry stakeholders explores four key recommendations all requiring collaboration between the EV sector, local & central government, and educators, to ensure the UK workforce is prepared for, and, has the opportunities to learn the relevant skills needed to shape a sustainable, capable workforce.

 

Matt Western MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Electric Vehicles, said:

If we are going to decarbonise our economy and take advantage of the green opportunities of the future, we will need a workplace capable of delivering it. That’s why this report by the REA is so important and I hope it positively influences the debate.

There’s so much enthusiasm for the climate agenda among young people we need to harness. I want to see the Government commit to supporting colleges to specialise in the technical skills needed to build electric vehicles, as well as reform the apprenticeship levy to unlock funding for retraining and reskilling employees in the automotive sector.

 

Andrew Morgan, Managing Partner at Curzon Consulting, said:

Our contributing research with industry stakeholders on the frontline of the EV revolution shines a light on the exciting new career paths it is creating and the determination they are making to grow and develop the talent pool. It also underlines the urgent and continued need to do more and for industry to be supported by Government to match the efforts and underpin the continued expansion of the EV sector.

Details of the full report can be found here.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

2024 Resolutions: Means vs. Ends - A Business Leader's Perspective

5 Minutes

We’re almost through the first quarter of 2024, and the airwaves are still buzzing with predictions about the major trends that will dominate our business landscape. Consultants, advisors, and thought leaders offer a plethora of “means” to navigate this complex terrain – AI, digital transformation, sustainability… the list goes on. But amidst this information overload, a crucial question arises: are these experts truly addressing the “ends” that matter most to business leaders?

This analysis summarises the major trends identified in various industry publications, providing a comprehensive business outlook for 2024 – the “means”.

Seven Key Themes – The “means”

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI): The emergence of Generative AI is a dominant theme, impacting all business functions. Experts emphasise the need for proactive integration of AI at the core of operations, not as an afterthought.
  2. Economic Landscape: Prolonged high-interest rates and inflation in the first half of the year, coupled with slower progress, necessitate strategic adaptation for businesses to maintain growth.
  3. Sustainability: Environmental and social sustainability require significant investments. Businesses are urged to accelerate their transition and embed climate change initiatives into their core strategies.
  4. Talent Acquisition: The ongoing “war for talent” necessitates focused strategies to attract and retain top talent for business success.
  5. Digital Transformation: Leveraging technology for intelligent automation and digital transformation is critical to avoid falling behind competitors.
  6. Geopolitical Risks: Potential disruptions due to global conflict are anticipated, impacting supply chains, resources, and energy prices. Companies need to build resilience to weather these challenges, particularly in a year with widespread global elections.
  7. Data Management: Publications highlight the importance of data as a distinct focus area beyond digital transformation. Businesses should prioritise data security, governance, and utilisation for informed decision-making.

However, our analysis of industry publications reveals a disconnect between the “means” prescribed (above) and the “ends” desired by executives. While the predictions paint a picture of necessary transformations, they often neglect the fundamental question: what do we realistically want to achieve this year?  

Executives crave practical guidance on achieving specific outcomes, not just a list of challenges and technologies.

The “ends”

Here’s a closer look at the “ends” driving business leaders in 2024:

  1. Fit-for-Purpose Operating Models: Businesses need to ensure their core structures are adaptable and efficient in a volatile environment. Leaders must prioritise reforming their operating models, to remain competitive and building a solid foundation before layering on technology.
  2. Cost Control and Efficiency: Reducing costs and driving efficiency are paramount in a challenging economic climate. While AI promises automation, executives seek immediate solutions like streamlined processes and improved productivity, especially in the post-pandemic hybrid work model.
  3. Balancing Sustainability and Stakeholder Value: Executives acknowledge the importance of climate change and responsible practices, but concerns about regulatory burdens and cost implications often overshadow immediate action. Strategic investments are prioritised when balancing sustainability with stakeholder expectations.
  4. Navigating Regulatory Burdens: Overregulation is seen as a major hurdle, adding costs and hindering agility. Businesses seek a more balanced approach that ensures compliance while fostering innovation and customer satisfaction.
  5. Customer Centricity at its Core: Attracting and retaining customers in a competitive landscape remains a top priority. Businesses must go beyond cost-cutting, focusing on quality, ethical practices, and a seamless customer experience.
  6. Building Resilience for the Future: Adaptability and robustness are crucial in today’s ever-changing world. Executives see AI and other trends as potential tools, but not the only answer. Nurturing internal innovation and building resilience across all dimensions is key.

The takeaway? Business leaders are actively strategising, but they prioritise practicality and outcomes over theoretical trends. They crave guidance on how to achieve their specific goals, not just a list of “what” to do. In this uncertain environment, focusing on building capacity, formulating clear strategies, and delivering tangible results will be key to success.

So, what about you? Are you focusing on the “means” or the “ends” in your 2024 resolutions?

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2024

29th February 20241 Minutes

We are delighted to have been recognised again as one of the ‘UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2024’ by the Financial Times 

Recommended across 11 categories an increase from 8 in 2023, the annual rating, compiled with data company Statista is based on endorsements by clients and peers. It demonstrates our consistent year-on-year sector and service line growth.

Consulting companies are awarded Bronze (recommended), Silver (frequently recommended) or Gold (very frequently recommended).

Sectoral Expertise

·      Aerospace & Defence – Bronze 
·      Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals – Bronze 
·      Construction & Infrastructure – Silver 
·      Energy, Utilities & Environment – Bronze 
·      Financial Institutions & Services – Bronze 
·      Healthcare & Life sciences – Silver 
·      Public Sector – Bronze 

Consulting Services

·      Digital Transformation – Bronze 
·      Operations & Supply Chain – Silver 
·      Strategy – Silver 
·      Sustainability – Silver 

Managing Partner Andrew Morgan said

The FT Awards are a humbling recognition of our company’s continued growth and as a direct result of our team’s talent and commitment. I’m deeply grateful for their unwavering dedication, incredible drive and ability to deliver outstanding results for our clients.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Jamie Halstead

Analyst

Contact me

+44 (0)1653 628596

Jamie is a dynamic professional, known for his exceptional skills in strategy work, data analytics, and financial modelling. With a versatile approach to problem-solving, Jamie effectively applies his expertise across a variety of sectors, helping clients navigate complex business challenges with innovative solutions.

Holding a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath, Jamie combines his strong technical background with keen analytical skills to deliver data-driven insights and strategic guidance. This educational foundation not only underpins his professional capabilities but also fuels his passion for continuous learning and adaptation in the ever-evolving landscape of management consulting.

Outside of his professional life, Jamie is an avid enthusiast of physical activities, finding balance and inspiration in exercising, snowboarding, and surfing. These pursuits not only reflect Jamie’s dedication to personal health and well-being but also mirror his approach to professional challenges—tackling each with energy, commitment, and a readiness to dive into new experiences.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Uduak Ekong

Senior Consultant

Contact me

+44 (0)1653 628596

With over 8 years of experience across infrastructure, engineering consulting, and product strategy, Uduak is a seasoned professional who thrives on turning complex challenges into impactful solutions.

She blends her analytical skills, strategic foresight, and deep industry knowledge to unlock new possibilities and navigate diverse landscapes. Uduak enjoys diving into root cause analysis while using scenario planning approach to develop solutions that deliver tangible results. 

Building strong relationships is the cornerstone of Uduak’s success. Her collaborative approach fosters stakeholder buy-in and ensures project execution, consistently leading to positive outcomes. 

Uduak holds an MBA from Said Business School, University of Oxford, coupled with a foundation in Civil Engineering from the University of Southampton. 

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Navigating the future: AI's impact on wealth management firms

5 Minutes

In recent months, the financial services industry has witnessed significant advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), sparking both excitement and apprehension amongst wealth managers. While the potential benefits of AI are undeniable, the wealth management sector has been understandably cautious in embracing this transformative technology. This hesitation can be attributed to several factors, including a prioritisation of addressing critical gaps in services, concerns about client relationships, and the unique needs of different market segments. 

In this blog, we explore the hopes and fears of integrating AI in wealth management, balancing the potential savings and efficiencies that can come from technological advancement alongside the concerns over an erosion of personalised client services. 

Back office transformation

The potential for improved efficiency through AI and machine learning is substantial, particularly in areas like automating trade settlements, automating regulatory compliance, and risk management.

However, within the technology function of many wealth management firms, the primary focus often relates to implementing new traditional services and upgrades to address key operational gaps. Implementing non-AI solutions to enhance services such as regulatory compliance, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and digital services are typically considered more important and lower risk. 

Because of the potentially significant benefits and the remarkable pace of change in AI, we believe that wealth management firms should put aside time and budget in 2024 to carefully evaluate the potential efficiencies and cost savings offered by AI, balancing these against the benefits of their current project portfolio. This assessment will help determine if prioritising AI integration is a strategic move that aligns with their operational goals.

Front office dilemma

We are starting to see the emergence of more AI-powered tools that can transform the front office experience for wealth managers and their clients. Early adoption of these innovations has the potential to allow client advisors and relationship managers to better serve “mass affluent” clients. Use of AI in this environment could combine the advantages of a human-led personalised service and advisor judgement with the scalability and insights that AI can provide. 

However, implementation of AI in the front office remains a challenge. Securing funding to develop new AI capabilities requires proof of value to the organisation and clients. Wealth managers must also weigh up the benefits against factors such as data and integration challenges, evolving financial services regulations for AI, and the perceived lack of trust from clients in insights generated from AI.

Industry evolution

We believe a small number of early adopting wealth managers armed with AI capabilities are likely to start disrupting the industry at some point in the next year. Developing a strategy, plan, and business case for AI integration is important to avoid being left too far behind.

Key considerations

  1. Early adoption dilemma: The decision to be an early mover or a follower with respect to AI in the wealth management market needs careful consideration of the associated risks and rewards.
  2. Barriers to progress: For those who decide to invest in AI, there are some foundational elements that could act as barriers to AI progress if not addressed:
  • Data governance and quality: Building a foundation of sound data governance and ensuring data quality is imperative for effective AI implementation. This discipline is important in any organisation but vital to get the best out of AI solutions.
  • Robust data infrastructure: Modern platforms with adaptability to change swiftly are most suitable to form the backbone of successful AI integration.
  1. Skilled resources: The availability of appropriately skilled individuals is critical for navigating the complexities of enterprise AI.

Conclusion

As the wealth management sector contemplates the role of AI, a delicate balance must be struck between embracing innovation and preserving the personal touch that defines many client relationships. While challenges exist, we believe that the potential rewards in terms of cost savings, productivity gains, and enhanced client experiences will make the journey towards AI integration worthwhile.  Wealth managers should consider their strategy for when and how to look at the opportunities that AI can provide for them to ensure that they don’t fall behind their competitors.

Contact Pav

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Aziz Yuldashev

Senior Consultant

Contact me

+44 (0)1653 628596

Aziz has 12 years of experience in international relations and diplomacy before his consulting career. He gained his strategy, stakeholder management, operations and change management expertise while performing his duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, the Embassy in Singapore and the UN office.

Aziz holds an MBA from the Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester. He is interested and enjoys solving complicated and challenging issues with clients by delivering well-structured, innovative and efficient solutions that bring long-term lucrative outcomes.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us

Edward Hunt

Analyst

Contact me

+44 (0)1653 628596

Edward is an emerging professional with a growing track record of success in supporting operational efficiency and procurement projects. By combining his understanding of business fundamentals with proficiency in data analysis, he supports clients by extracting valuable insights that drive informed decision-making.

Prior to joining Curzon, he specialised in the audit of financial services companies at a leading accounting firm. His background in audit has equipped him with an understanding of the regulatory landscape and the ability to assess internal controls and recommend enhancements to mitigate risk.

Edward holds a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP

Contact us