Deloitte and Willis Towers Watson advise remuneration committee of Shell

03 June 2016 Consultancy.uk

Global oil concern Shell spent more than £100,000 last year on advisory services from Deloitte and Willis Towers Watson. The firms advised the remuneration committee of the oil giant in the field of directors' remuneration and the impact thereof on governance and senior management. 

Shell’s remuneration committee, internally known a REMCO, determines, in consultation with the Executive Board, the remuneration policy and individual salary packages of the Chairman, CEO, Executive Directors and senior management of the oil company. The remuneration committee also monitors the remuneration structure and amount of remuneration for all other senior managers and makes recommendations, in regards thereof, to the Board. 

Currently, Shell’s remuneration committee is headed by Gerard Kleisterlee (Chairman), the former CEO of Philips and current supervisory board chairman of ASML; Patricia Woertz, a former Executive Vice President of oil company Chevron and former President and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland; and Gerrit Zalm, the current Chairman of ABN Amro, who was also, until the end of 2015, part of a committee at Shell that deals with sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Deloitte and Willis Towers Watson advise remuneration committee of Shell

An analysis of Shell’s most recent annual report reveals that the remuneration committee of the oil company, in the past year, spent around £108,000 on advice from two consulting firms. It concerns audit and consulting firm Deloitte and Willis Towers Watson, one of the world’s largest HR specialists. Deloitte earned the £58,000 from its advice (the services were supplied by tax experts and HR consultants), while Willis Towers Watson billed around £50,000.

It is not the first time that the Shell’s Remuneration Committee has sought assistance from external consultants. Last year the oil giant spent £100,000+ to leverage expertise from two consulting firms: Willis Towers Watson (then Towers Watson*), once again, and the British consulting firm Kepler & Associates. And also in previous years, REMCO brought in external consultants to review and benchmark its remunerations policy.

Deloitte and Willis Towers Watson were tapped by Shell, not only for remuneration advice, but also for additional advisory assignments; for example, Deloitte was engaged for tax services and Willis Towers Watson to benchmark salary data. No information has been disclosed about the fees charged for these and other additional assignments.

* Willis Towers Watson was formed earlier this year through the merger between Towers Watson and Willis Group.

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.