FAQs About Management Consulting

Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most

Clients

For how many Global Systemic and Important Banks and Tier 1 banks does Sia Partners UK work?

Globally, we work for about 20 G-SIBs from Europe, US and Asia. In the UK, we work with 12

At what level in organisations does Sia Partners UK traditionally have relationships?

We have relationships with clients at all levels and regularly engage with customers at the CEO, CFO and CIO levels

Does Sia Partners UK work in support of the Public Sector?

Yes, we mainly work for economic regulators in the Energy and Water Sectors

Does Sia Partners UK work for UK and European utilities?

Yes, Electricity, Gas, Water and Transport Utilities across the UK and Europe

Does Sia Partners UK work for the European Commission?

Yes, we work for the Commission on a range of European Energy Market integration issues

Sectors

Which market sectors does Sia Partners UK support with its business consulting services?

Energy (including upstream and downstream oil, gas and utilities) Financial Services (including Corporate and Investment Banking/Capital Markets, Retail, Private Banking), Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Retail, Entertainment, Media, Education, Technology, Travel

What compliance experience does Sia Partners UK have in the Banking sector?

We have helped various banks to comply with most regulations including AMLD4, MiFID 2, MAD/MAR, EMIR, Basel II and III, BCBS 239, GDPR, IFRS 9, Dodd-Frank, Volcker Rule. We have also vast experience in helping compliance to review their organisation and Target Operating Model either to increase efficiency or to answer requirements from various regulators.

What regulatory experience does Sia Partners UK have in the Energy & Utilities sector?

We advise on electricity and gas network regulation, both for the regulatory and for the utilities.  We also have regulatory experience working for the water regulator and for water companies. We also undertake regulatory projects in the competitive sector, particularly retail price analysis and regulation.

What smart metering experience does Sia Partners UK have in the Energy & Utilities sector?

Consultants in our team have worked for the UK Government and Ofgem advising on the smart meter implementation programme.

In which sectors does Sia Partners UK work?

In the UK our focus is on the Financial Services and Energy & Utilities sectors, primarily, but our transformation & change practice does support a more diverse client base with the range of specialist services, helping our clients to design and then deliver significant, transformational change projects and programmes.

In which area of financial services and which business lines does Sia Partners UK work?

We work across all Financial Services business lines (Corporate and Investment Banking/Capital Markets, Retail, Private Banking, Asset Management). In Investment banking we work across Equities, Fixed income, Commodities, FX, Corporate Finance, structured loans, Cash Management, trade finance, etc.

Services

What is project management?

The discipline of managing several activities and resources, which together deliver an outcome or result, ensuring they are delivered on time, to cost and to the right quality. In doing so ensuring all risks, issues and dependencies are managed effectively.

What is software project management?

See “what is project management”, applied to the successful sourcing, development, deployment etc of specific software. Increasingly companies are adopting faster, more agile approaches to software development and deployment, through the adoption of Lean, Agile and ‘DevOps’ methods and ways of working

what is a program management office?

A small team that provides support to the project or progamme manager to manage risks, dependencies, issues, costs, plans and reporting for either a single project or a set of projects that together make up a programme

What is change management?

Creating the conditions under which changes to a business can occur, ensuring the business is ready to adopt new or changed ways of working, technology, processes, structures, roles, performance measures etc., and that benefits are realised.

What is strategy consulting?

Analysing in quantitative and qualitative terms the market and competitive landscape for a business and determining the most appropriate way to compete in the future, including determining at a high level what needs to change in the business to compete more effectively.

What is program management?

The management of several projects at the same time, each with a defined outcome or result, that together deliver a bigger outcome or result

What is organisational change?

The delivery of new or changed structures, roles, skills etc. designed to help improve performance.  Typically, it refers to those changes in a project or programme that relate directly to people and the way they are organised, the accountabilities and skills they need and how they are led and managed more effectively.

What is a change management process?

A series of activities designed to help people adopt changes through effective communications, engagement, leadership, training etc.

What is change management consulting?

The assessment of how proposed changes will impact on people in a business and the development of appropriate communications, engagement, leadership and training / development activities to support adoption, including advising and coaching leaders and teams throughout the implementation of changes.

Will project management work in all companies?

Yes, it provides necessary discipline to help achieve specific outcomes and results, even in companies that are highly creative or organised more loosely than others. It is important in process or functionally driven companies, but perhaps even more so in highly matrixed, networked or geographically dispersed companies where the boundaries of accountability and responsibility are more blurred.

How does Sia Partners UK define their business consulting services?

Sia Partners is more than a traditional consulting firm. We build internal capability for our clients by providing consulting services and access to our IP. The Sia Partners IP consists of our methods, processes, tools, and templates which we deploy to solve our client’s issues and build their long-term capability.

What is Sia Partners UK’s point of view on Business Transformation?

Companies are adopting digital technologies at an increasing rate, transforming the development and delivery of products and services to customers. Robotic process automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence are increasingly at the heart of this transformation, necessitating new skills, more agile ways of organising and challenging the nature of work in many companies. The challenge for our clients is to harness this technological change and to engage their people to deliver a step-change in performance in often highly regulated environments. Our Business Transformation services enable clients to design new strategies and operating models rapidly and to manage the transformation delivery in a way that delivers sustainable change.

How do your strategy consulting services differ from those of the main strategy boutiques and Big Four consulting firms?

We focus on operationalising strategies which we help clients define their core capabilities, how they are structured to deliver on their objectives and the operating model they required to make sure the processes, systems, data, people, metrics, culture and behaviours are in place for success. We are passionate about doing this from the perspective of our clients, working with them directly, on their sites and with their people so that they succeed.

How does Sia Partners UK support clients through organisation design?

We believe organisation design is a repeatable process that starts with real clarity about what is driving a client’s strategy. We work collaboratively with leaders and their teams to understand every facet of the current organisation and to work through our proprietary methodology at the necessary pace to deliver a redesign that is fully implementable. We bring our knowledge of what works well in other clients to inform the design process, however we rely less on benchmarks and so-called ‘best practice’ and more on guiding our clients to a solution that works for them. We stick with our clients through implementation if necessary, providing coaching and subject expertise or support through programme and change management.

How does Sia Partners UK define Change Management and how does it differ from Project Management?

Change Management is the discipline of preparing individuals, teams and organisations to transition to and adopt new ways of working, new technologies, skills or roles. It relies on a combination of creative ways of engaging and communicating with people and strong adherence to change plans. The context for the change will dictate the extent to which certain activities take priority, however we expect all change programmes to be clear about the vision and case for change, and to cover key activities in benefits realisation, developing the capability of the organisation to lead and manage change, engaging and communicating with stakeholders, assessing the level and nature of impact and preparing sound business readiness plans. We believe that strong project and programme management is fundamental to delivering effective change, and to ensure the more technical parts of the programme are delivered on time, to budget and to quality. There are elements of project management and change management that are common to both, however we believe the two are complementary and both necessary to deliver effective transformation

What is a typical consulting project management lifecycle at Sia Partners UK?

There is never really a typical consulting project, each one is unique. But there are some common aspects, starting with engaging the business, and then supporting our clients to analyse the problem, select and define the right solution before executing a defined plan and, finally, putting in place the sustaining mechanisms to make sure that the changes we make stick long after we leave.

What trends does Sia Partners UK see in organisational change?

We see an emerging coexistence of drivers for change, between the new and disruptive (digital, robotics, AI), and the traditional (M&A, cost reduction, simplification). The fundamentals of good design do not change; however, we must now execute in a more iterative, agile way. The need to engage people in the transformation process is now more important than ever, and now more possible than ever with mobile technology enabling real-time engagement, communications, learning etc. However, the fundamental processes through which change is implemented, such as employee relations, remain the same. The change expert today needs to be as comfortable with innovation as they are with regulation.

How are utilities transforming customer services?

Utilities and regulators are placing a stronger emphasis on customer services.  Utilities are using data to measure the customer experience and identify areas of good and poor service.  Through this analysis utilities can improve service delivery in poor customer service areas.  Technology and digital transformation is also improving the customer experience.

Why is electricity interconnection important to the UK?

Interconnection allows us to import capacity in periods of electricity shortage and export capacity when we have an excess and demand exists from our European neighbours.  It helps to balance the system and more efficiently use electricity generation capacity.

What will be the impact of Brexit on the UK energy sector?

The largest impact will be on the structure of our membership of the Internal Energy Market and also the future of planned electricity interconnection projects.  It may mean that the UK needs to develop more local generation capacity, probably gas fired power generation.

What is the future outlook for Oil and Gas prices?

Stable and we do not expect a return to the high levels of 10 years ago. There is sufficient supply and demand has moderated mainly due to technology developments in the transport sector with more alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.

What experience does Sia Partners UK have in Regtechs?

We are helping various banks to choose and set up Regtech solutions, we help them from advisory (selection of the solution) to implementation, including organisational design with the new tools and technologies.

How does Sia Partners UK support financial service companies through Data Management?

We help FS companies to review their data strategy, governance and architecture, to set up data management teams, to develop CDO functions, to promote data culture awareness, data science, and data protection. We have also many experts in BCBS 239, GDPR regulations and can provide you our methodologies: data quality flash audit, Data Culture Change, automated Data Quality workflow, etc.

Do you have experience in the definition of a bank target operating model post Brexit?

We are currently helping several banks in the UK and in Continental Europe to define their TOM post Brexit

Transformation Hub

What is the Transformation Hub? How does it work?

Our Transformation Hub is our proprietary, consulting portal where we store, manage and organise our toolkits along the six practice areas: strategy, Organisation design, Operating Model, Change Management, Project Management and PMO services. All our staff have online access to this toolkit and use it every day on their projects and is regularly refreshed to ensure it is as current as possible.

Can clients gain access to the Transformation Hub?

Yes, they can. We are happy to give access to our clients on a licence basis and have often supported clients so that our toolkit becomes their toolkit

Can I use the Transformation Hub to help redesign our operating model and organisation?

Yes, and that is precisely why we have set it up. We can provide you with access to our suite of methods and tools to help accelerate your design process. These will then be immediately available as you need them to assist your teams to deliver value rather than reinventing the wheel.   Our methods and tools are built from deep experience and forged in the heat of challenging projects and programmes, and we can also be on hand to guide you to apply them effectively either through direct assistance on your programme, through short, intense mobilisation events or longer term coaching and advice.

Careers

What does the grading structure and typical career path look like in Sia Partners UK?

We have six grades in the firm: Partner, Associate Partner, Senior Manager, Manager, Senior Consultant and Consultant. We strongly believe in being meritocratic and so career paths are clear and we promote people when they are already performing at the next level, not at set times of the year.

Can I expect from an accelerated career path with Sia Partners UK?

Yes, you can. We like to think we stretch our people from day 1, giving them varied and rewarding opportunities to grow their careers at a pace that suits them.

How does Sia Partners UK operate internationally?

Sia Partners operates through a traditional corporate structure that involves a holding company in France owning all subsidiaries. Processes and incentives are in place that ensure that we operate as one client facing firm.

Are there opportunities for overseas assignments and secondments to other offices?

Yes, we encourage this. Philosophically we support the notion of Sia Partners being “one firm”. We want consultants who wish to transfer to be able to do so.

How does Sia Partners UK train, coach and develop its consultants?

We do not offer formal coaching, per se, to our staff. We place an emphasis on recruiting the best, brightest and most talented consultants who have a strong track record of delivering value for clients. One area we do offer training is on business development. It’s a crucial skill for a rapidly expanding and dynamic firm like ours. In addition, on engagements, all our people are actively coached and developed and we encourage all our team to take personal accountability for developing themselves with, of course, support from the leadership.

What does the Sia Partners UK recruitment process look like?

Typically, we have a three-stage process where candidates meet two team members at each stage and, depending on seniority, may involve a case study or presentation of a business case. We do this as it is as much about candidates getting to know us as much as we are keen to get to know them.

At what level do you recruit?

We actively recruit at all levels in the firm against our business plan, year-round.

Consulting

What is a business consultant?

Someone who can assess the factors underlying the performance of a business and recommend effective courses of action to improve, including working with leaders and teams to deliver those improvements

What does a business transformation consultant do?

Apply a broad range of diagnostic, design and implementation tools, methods and skills to work with leaders and teams to achieve ‘breakthrough’ performance. To transform means to ‘change state’ and so transformation consulting is aimed at those companies that need or want to achieve something that cannot be delivered through normal business activities.

What is it like to work as a management consultant?

It is not a career for everyone. Intellect, charisma, influence, tenacity and resilience are some of the key characteristics. You have to thrive on the unknown and knowing that two days are never going to be the same.

What makes business consulting at Sia Partners UK an attractive career?

The opportunities we give our team members mean they experience accountability and responsibility at earlier stages in their careers compared with other consulting firms. With it comes the appropriate reward and recognition you would expect from a leading consulting house.

Who does Sia Partners UK see as their competitors in the UK business consulting market?

We often compete with the Big Four and other boutique consulting firms in the market.

What makes Sia Partners UK different or better value than other firms in the UK business consulting sector?

We deliver exceptional quality at a price point that is competitive, but our approach is very personal. We invest as much time in the relationships with our clients to make them personally successful as we do in completing assignments. We like to think that clients ask us, repeatedly, to support them because of the people we are and what we stand for, personally, professionally, ethically. How many people work in Sia Partners UK? We have approximately 60 people working for Sia Partners UK today, with a strong mix of full time staff, supplemented by our extensive Associate network.

How do management consultants charge?

Either straightforwardly for their time, usually a day rate, or for the delivery of a specific activity, outcome or result.  In some cases, a fixed fee will be proposed, and sometimes an element of the fee can be withheld dependent on success, with a commensurate bonus for the delivery of additional benefits

Get in touch

To find out more about how Sia Partners UK can support your business transformation programmes and help you build your internal capability, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

We can be contacted on +44 20 7933 9333 or ukcontact@sia-partners.com.

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