The group of companies specialises in conveyancing-related risk identification and offers insurance solutions. These solutions are provided through two distinct avenues: a volume-based operation focused on residential property transactions and a high-value operation centered on commercial property transactions. The operations redesign involved leveraging both open-source and proprietary databases to identify risks effectively.
The companies within the group have experienced varied growth rates, with some being more established than others. As an entrepreneur-led consortium, the group places high value on innovation and the nurturing of fresh ideas, believing this to be its core strength. The CEO’s mission was to streamline and define the relationships within the group. The aim was to distinctly categorise the different operational streams, making it easier to pinpoint distinct business opportunities for potential investors.
Objectives of the CFO
- Collaborate with designated business leaders to pinpoint the actual operational costs of the businesses. Establish a mutual charging framework between them and the central services company.
- Undertake a comprehensive operations redesign of the central services company’s processes. The goal is to maximize value for individual businesses while clearly distinguishing and justifying these expenses. This redesign also encompassed significant senior-level recruitments.
- Ensure stringent adherence to both internal and external regulatory standards, especially for FCA-regulated businesses.
- Foster a service-oriented culture that emphasizes continuous enhancement. This involves periodic reviews of interactions between the various entities and an authentic portrayal of these interactions.
What the CFO did
Provided Leadership and Strategic Insights
Our CFO initiated a thorough review of the group services function’s needs. A strategy was then crafted and executed to address these needs, fostering a culture of transparency and open communication.
Designed and Delivered a Transformational Change Roadmap
Post the organisational review, the CFO embarked on reshaping the resource structure. The operations redesign focused on altering how the central services interacted with the other businesses. A detailed change roadmap was formulated in collaboration with key stakeholders, keeping in mind the needs of employees, operational demands, and service users. This roadmap was accompanied by a clear plan with trackable milestones.
Day-to-day Management of the Business
The CFO played a pivotal role in transforming the company’s culture, promoting an environment where improvement ideas were welcomed and implemented. The CFO also spearheaded the recruitment of additional senior resources, preparing for the divestiture of specific business units. Throughout this process, the emphasis was on maintaining a culture of transparency, accountability, and enhancing staff feedback and engagement.
Disposal of Business Units
Given the CFO’s overarching responsibility for all support functions and the confidential nature of the transactions, they were instrumental in the preliminary stages of Information Memoranda for two disposals. One involved two business units in the UK and Europe, sold as a single entity. The other was a complex deal involving an entire business unit and a partial divestiture of another. This was due to the buyer’s specific valuation and the need for simultaneous completion because of the buyer’s Canadian listing. The CFO was also central to the due diligence processes of these overlapping transactions and represented the seller, offering support and transition services as the entities transitioned.
- Reduced group service overhead by 45% from £5.2m pa to £2.8m pa while simultaneously improving resources and capability.
- Maintained staff engagement during turbulent COVID, Furlough, Redundancy and then two significant disposals with 0% (unplanned) staff turnover.
- Two successful business disposals valued at £57m and £35m each.