Professional services firms sign up to Fifty Thousand Homes pledge

27 January 2017

In a bid to support talent across London meet their basic housing needs, the cost of which can be onerous on low and entry level pay, Fifty Thousand Homes recently launched a pledge for businesses and organisations to support staff with their housing challenges. A number of professional services firms, including Grant Thornton, Arup and Mace, have signed up to the pledge. 

The capital has, in recent years, developed a considerable housing deficit. One estimate from research by Fifty Thousand Homes – a collaboration between businesses in the city – shows that the shortfall has increased from 46,000 in 2010 to more than 210,000 last year. The housing crisis in London has reached new heights, with the city now one of the world’s most expensive places to transfer staff for businesses.

The consequences of the shortfall is that a range of businesses and startups are hamstrung when it comes to attracting talent. The creative, tech, retail and hospitality industries, according to the organisations, have housing shortfalls for the staff in the order of 150,000.

Fifty Thousand Homes campaign

One of the organisations seeking to create an improved situation for staff across London is the ‘Fifty Thousand Homes’ campaign. The campaign recently launched a number of pledges for businesses and organisations across the capital, the pledges range across a range of staff benefits, from a Living Wage for all staff and offering direct financial support, such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, to developing flexible working and providing guidance and advice to employees experiencing housing difficulty.  

Professional services firms and Major sign up to Fifty Thousand Homes pledges

To support the efforts of the programme, and lead the way for business and organisations across the city, the Major of London has signed all the pledges on behalf of a range of civic organisations, including City Hall, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

A number of professional services too have so far signed up to the Fifty Thousand Homes pledges, including Optimity, Arup, Mace Group and Grant Thornton.

Aside from alleviating conditions on workers, the Major has secured £3.15 billion in funding from the UK Government, as well as opening up planning laws, thereby creating the conditions to add 90,000 new homes to the city’s stock in the coming years.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says, “It is unacceptable that so many hard-working Londoners continue to be priced out of their own city – it is bad for Londoners and bad for the future economic success of the capital. We know that building new homes to tackle the housing crisis won’t happen overnight – it’s a marathon, not a sprint - but in the meanwhile we need to do whatever we can to help Londoners struggling to meet the soaring cost of housing. That’s why I am pleased to announce City Hall and the entire GLA family is now committed to offering tenancy deposit loans to staff, and I would urge all London businesses to sign the Employers’ Pledge on housing too. We must do all we can to retain and attract the best talent in our capital and to make sure we remain a city for all Londoners.”

Robert Hannah, Chief Operating Officer at Grant Thornton, one of the companies to sign up, remarks, “Solving London’s housing crisis could unlock economic growth in the capital by helping businesses keep hold of the skilled people they need, as well as addressing some of the issues around social integration that are becoming more apparent. It is only through collaboration that we will be able to tackle the growing problem of housing in London and as a large employer of people in London, we want to take our share of that responsibility.”


Grey Consulting and Makerversity announce strategic partnership

05 April 2019

Grey Consulting has forged a new alliance with Makerversity, a 500-strong community of the brightest creative innovators, headquartered at Somerset House, London. The partnership hopes to tap into the experimental community to develop pioneering solutions for Grey Consulting’s clients.

In August 2018, one of the world’s largest design agencies surprised the business world by launching a dedicated consulting outfit. The news came as the two industries continued on their trajectory towards a historic synthesis. The consulting industry has been engaged in a pitched battle with the advertising and design space for the past few years, as the former increasingly encroaches on the territory of the latter via a protracted campaign of mergers and acquisitions; but there had been little traffic moving in the other direction.

At its launch, Grey Consulting was not billed as a direct competitor to established consultancies. However, the firm behind the new entity hopes that its creative experience will give it a competitive edge in winning consulting business from its existing clients. The Grey Group is a global advertising and marketing agency with headquarters in New York City, and 432 offices in 96 countries, operating in 154 cities. Grey Consulting opened its doors with a view to aiding clients within the areas of business and brand design, innovation and digital transformations.Grey Consulting and Makerversity announce strategic partnership

Now, as the firm looks to further expand its footprint in the market, Grey Consulting has unveiled details of a ground-breaking new alliance with Makerversity, a 500-strong community of creative innovators headquartered at Somerset House, London. The alignment with Makerversity is hoped to unlock the potential of collaborating with one of the world’s most experimental communities.

Makerversity curates and convenes the best talent across product design, fashion, art and experimental architecture, sustainable materials, IoT, digital manufacturing, and coding. It provides spaces and workshops for professional makers to develop and create their work, supported by Somerset House Trust. The alliance is expected to enable Grey Consulting to develop pioneering solutions for its clients, together with innovators who make something amazing for a living, every day. 

Leo Rayman, Grey Consulting CEO, commented, “This gives our clients the potential to access a network of some of the most diverse and innovative individuals in the world today. Being so tightly connected to a community of makers means we don’t just develop transformational strategies but can quickly realise them in three dimensions. This sets Grey Consulting apart from the pure play strategy houses who are sometimes criticised for not making their thinking real at the pace modern businesses require.” 

Fiona Dent, CEO of Makerversity, added, “Makerversity acts as a catalyst for unexpected encounters, fostering collaborations between an incredible range of the brightest leading creators and innovators. Our experimental approach and engaged members, whose own practice is defining our world, create highly original new outcomes. We are delighted to bring this philosophy to a wider audience and generate interesting projects for Makerversity members through our partnership with Grey Consulting.”