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British Building Society

Finance Transformation Programme


One of the UK’s leading building societies was facing an uphill struggle to return to profitability after the 2008 crash, and like its peers was also under pressure from regulators to demonstrate its processes to enable change to be delivered were robust and fit for purpose.

With a raft of change programmes planned internally, the organisation simply did not have the capability to prioritise or deliver all of them. They called in Novo Altum’s experts to lead them through this period of dramatic business transformation.

Our strategy halved the number of “necessary” change programmes being undertaken and helped the core society return to profit by the end of the year. Mechanisms are now in place to ensure on-going change delivery is managed within agreed risk frameworks.

The Challenge

With more than 80 potential change projects in the pipeline, there was significant concern about the organisation’s ability to actually deliver the changes necessary to satisfy the FSA and raise profits.

Our task was to lead a process of evaluating the client’s change portfolio, tracking its programmes, and mapping them against its core strategy as it sought to transform its business model.

We would then not only have to develop a plan to help them take forward necessary projects, but perhaps even more challengingly, also instigate the termination of unnecessary ones. Working closely with the senior executive team would be vital to ensure organisational buy-in for our strategy from the top down.

The Solution

By defining a governance framework and setting up a “portfolio office” in which internal resources were guided by external experts from Novo Altum, we established an infrastructure for assessing, managing, and maintaining appropriate change programmes.

Key to this was the delivery of a target-operating model specifically designed around the organisation’s core strategy – a previously lacking but fundamental ingredient in the on-going success of the whole programme. Close collaboration with the client to design and build this was vital so that they could ultimately take over ownership of it.


By helping the client focus on its core objectives and halving the number of change programmes being undertaken, we enabled the client to meet its key target of returning to operating profitability by the end of the year.

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