Established in 1863, Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) has become the UK’s largest consumer co-operative with some 6.5 million customers, employing over 68,000 people. Its business group includes Co-operative Insurance (CIS) and The Co-operative Bank and together they offer a range of financial products.
The Business Challenge.
During a programme of restructuring within the CFS business, the company wanted to recruit an Interim to help manage large business-critical projects.
The company turned to Russam to find the right candidate who was Graeme Honeyborne.
Graeme was tasked with handling a range of projects across the CFS portfolio, which included examining the new business model and channels to market and identifying ways to improve them. He also undertook research focusing on new regulations which were affecting the CFS business to ensure that the company was compliant.
The company needed an experienced manager as there was no time for a learning curve – someone to deliver projects relating to the day to day running of the business very quickly. His taking on these projects allowed the senior management teams to focus solely on restructuring the core business including selling various business divisions and creating new management structures. He was appointed within 10 days, compared to five months, which is the average time it takes to appoint a permanent senior executive. This was a very attractive proposition to CFS who was working to tight business integration timescales.
Commenting on what makes a good Interim Manager, Graeme adds:
“Interim managers should be viewed as a safe pair of hands by the team, not as a threat. They are not there to take their colleague’s job or to undermine the existing management team- they will work closely with a team and bring a fresh perspective to any project. They will share skills and knowledge as well as embed processes to ensure the successful completion of a programme."