Baringa Partners launches new risk analytics offering

05 January 2015

Consulting firm Baringa Partners has recently launched a new offering that aims at helping banks develop more effective risk management strategies and capitalise on the value of data. The new area, dubbed ‘Risk Analytics’, falls within its Risk & Compliance practice, and is headed by former Barclays banker James Belmont. Expansion and active recruitment is well on its way.

Baringa Partners (Baringa) was established in 1999, and since has grown to a team of 35 partners and approximately 350 advisors, working from offices in London and Düsseldorf. The business advisory distinguishes itself in the marketplace with a focus on three sectors – financial services, energy and utilities sectors – and helps clients with a range of management consultancy services.

Risk & Compliance
In line with the growing demand for risk & compliance services in the financial services industry, Baringa in Q4 last year expanded its portfolio with a risk analytics offering. The new proposition complements the existing services in the practice, which include among others risk governance, regulatory compliance and capital allocation. “This move is a direct response to a need that is emerging within the capital markets and banking sectors, and is a natural complement to our existing Risk and Compliance capability,” explains James Nicholls, Partner at Baringa.

Baringa Partners - Service Offerings

With the latest addition to its portfolio, Baringa aims to tap into one of the fastest growing segments within the consulting industry. Recent research from analyst firm Source shows that globally the financial services sector has in the aftermath of the crisis regained its momentum, growing in 2014 with 5% - 10%, from $24 billion in 2013 to around $26 billion last year. From a functional perspective, risk & compliance is with a distance the key service offering in the FS market, accounting for up to 80% of all consultancy work in the sector, and acts as a key driver of future growth. Another study, released last month by the MCA, also earmarks financial services as one of the highest demand areas within the UK consulting market

Combined with growing client demand for analytics, another high growth domain, the combination of the two areas will undoubtedly be a consultancy sweet spot in the years to come. Baringa’s new capability will focus on two key areas: develop risk management strategies to maximise capital efficiency and support treasury functions with interest rate and liquidity risk management.

Baringa - Reputation built on results

James Belmont
The risk analytics service will be headed by James Belmont, who joins Baringa as a Director from Barclays, where he worked since 2006, in his last role as Head of Modelling within the Treasury team. Prior to that he spent 2,5 years as Head of Economic Capital at Alliance & Leicester, after he started his career as a Consultant with PA Consulting Group. “James’ combination of consultancy and industry experience means he will be ideally placed to support clients, bringing a strong understanding of the practical and commercial considerations,” says Nicholls.

“Compliance with the demanding regulatory agenda has played a strong role in steering banks’ risk management strategies in recent years,” comments Belmont. “We’re now starting to see a desire to move beyond ‘simple’ compliance, however, with banks looking to leverage their investments in compliant models, processes and infrastructure to implement more commercially progressive risk management. That is precisely what we’ll be working with clients to devise and implement, to ensure that Risk and Treasury are supporting the overall business in the most effective way.”

James Nicholls and James Belmont

In the coming months Baringa will focus on expanding the practice, both in service depth as in headcount. “As ever with Baringa, we will be focusing on recruiting the strongest possible calibre of consultants to build the team, with a real emphasis on industry experts with the experience to deliver value to clients from day one,” Nicholls concludes.


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

11 April 2019

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.