Our services for financial sectors

foresightstrategy • governance • analysischangeresearch 

It is hard is to distinguish between valuable financial innovation and non-valuable . . . I think that some of it is socially useless activity.
— Adair, Lord Turner, Prospect Magazine, September 2009
There is continuing demand for government oversight; . . . by a five-to-one margin those in UK, Ireland and Spain want more regulation of financial services.
— 2014 Edelman Global Trust Barometer

In all sectors, strategy and risk are inseparable, if sometimes uneasy, bedfellows. In addition to the pressures of globalisation and disintermediation, financial services sectors are being battered by ever-more-onerous regulatory requirements and supervisory intensity around risk. Strategy has been neglected and has suffered.
It is time for firms to reclaim strategic initiative.

What strategy?

Responding to constant regulatory change has crowded out strategy in financial services. Firms must recover their strategic focus – and will respond better to regulatory change in the process

Governance, strategy & risk

Integrating governance with strategy and strategy with risk is where financial firms struggle most deeply. Boards and executives alike are often unsure of roles and accountabilities. 

Horizon: thinking strategically

Thinking strategically necessitates thinking about the future. How far in the future depends on sector and product mix but inevitably involving considering both assets and liabilities.

Rebuilding trust sustainably

Trust in all financial sectors has taken a caning in recent years and will be difficult to win back. All sectors have years of hard work ahead of them strategically and in reputation terms. What does that mean for you?

Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.
— Michael Porter

Sectors we serve:

Agriculture & Food • Media • Telecommunications • Pharmaceuticals • Biomedical research • Defence • Aviation • ENERGY • OIL & GAS • HEALTHCARE• Infrastructure & Construction

The future

Understanding better than your competitor what the future will look like is a potential source of advantage. The future is uncertain but there are trends we can understand that offer images of plausible futures. Plan ahead.

Strategic objectives

Setting objectives is integral to the strategy process. Without clear objectives, the journey cannot be planned. But some objectives, even important ones, will remain implicit, as will different peoples' competing objectives.  

Aligning strategy & capability

Regardless of sector, it is not possible to achieve strategic objectives in the absence of also holding or acquiring the capability to do so. In knowledge industries, capability defines the boundaries of achievable strategy.

Execution of strategy

Decision rights


Motivation (including performance systems).


Clear narrative of purpose and direction.

Let's get started.

Which is the best government? That which teaches us to govern ourselves.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims & Reflections, 1893
The Third Wave . . . requires governments that are simpler, more effective, yet more democratic than any we know today.
— Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave, 1980

Reform: thinking strategically

We cannot continue to govern as we have; it is unaffordable. Reform implies something more substantive than mere change; it implies defining the need for change compellingly and addressing micro-structures of the relationship between the individual and families and the state, viz. strategy.

Engagement: involving people

Strategy in government involves engaging actively with the people who will be impacted by the policy under consideration or review. Understanding people's needs and preferences has to be the starting point. The best way is to ask them.

Improving policy design

Poor problem specification and poor understanding of demand channels and user needs results in poor policy. Problems of capture bedevil public services. Understanding micro-structures – how individuals behave under different conditions – is critical.

Better use of resources

For government, effectiveness and efficiency concerns are paramount (along with probity). Both are improved by sound strategy, by sound policy design that consider actual behaviours. Formulating the right questions and listening carefully to the answers are indispensable.