The Investment Management Consultants Association rebrands

20 October 2017

The Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), a body for investment and wealth management professionals, has been rebranded as The Investments & Wealth Institute.

Established in 1985, The Investments & Wealth Institute is a professional association for financial advisors, investment consultants, and wealth managers. The institute has members in over 35 countries around the world, collectively providing investment consulting and wealth management services to individual and institutional clients. The Investments & Wealth Institute provides the industry with professional standards, education, and offers a number of professional certifications, including the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) and Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®) certifications. According to the institute’s website, its certification programme hosted more than 6,000 professionals last year.

As part of a strategic plan focused on improving the organisation’s positioning and relevance, US-based IMCA has changed its name to the Investments & Wealth Institute. “For over three decades, our organisation has been at the forefront of investment and wealth management education, and the expectation for advanced knowledge and professionalism in the industry is rising,” said Scott Thayer, chairman of the board. “We’re here to meet that growing need. Our new name – the Investments & Wealth Institute – more accurately reflects who we are and what we do, as well as elevates the institute’s mission by recognising the contributions we’ve made to the profession’s body of knowledge and our commitment to increase public trust and improve outcomes for investors.”

The Investments & Wealth Institute

Parallel to the rebranding, The Investments & Wealth Institute has unveiled a number of initiatives that are aimed at enhancing its offerings to its community. The launch of a new Online Learning Center is one, aimed at boosting members’ learning experience and help participants move more efficiently and effectively through their course work. “As we continued to expand our online learning programmes, we needed a more robust platform that could accommodate a greater depth of content and create a more meaningful learning experience,” said Devin Ekberg, managing director of education at the body. “This investment in our technology infrastructure is all about improving the experience for the end-users: our members.”

Other improvements that the institute is working on include the launch of a new website, investments in technology and the acquisition of the Retirement Management Advisors (RMA) designation to enhance its education offerings and add curriculum for retirement income planning and retirement management.

Last month, in a joint bid to raise the professional standards in UK’s £9 billion consulting industry, the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) teamed up to launch a new professional accreditation for management consultants: the Chartered Management Consultant award.

More news on


Fast growing consultancy Step5 rebrands for next growth phase

18 January 2019

Innovative transformation consultancy Step5 has completed a rebranding of its corporate identity as it looks to push forward with rapid growth into a fifth successive year. CEO Howard Dickel told why the change in image is so important, and how the consultancy as a whole has grown in recent years.

Step5 was established in 2010 by co-founders Clive Fenton (current Chairman) and Jim Berrisford (incumbent COO). In 2014, the firm’s present CEO Howard Dickel joined, a year before Step5 hit £1 million in turnover. Building on that, for the past four years Step5 has enjoyed growth of more than 30%, and now boasts more than £1 billion in programme budgets managed and an expanding team of over 60 consultants.

Dickel took up the top job at the company last year, and is now keen to kick on from the firm’s recent success, particularly after Step5’s recent rebranding. The new brand identity was developed with creative agency gt&i, and aims to capture the essence of the business today. Step5’s CEO believes this essence is “quietly confident, with an inner strength”, thanks to a diversity of unique skills among the firm’s talent, enabling Step5 teams to constantly innovate and surprise clients. According to Dickel, the rebrand marks the next stage in the company’s development, supporting Step5’s aim to compete on a world stage.

Fast growing consultancy Step5 rebrands for next growth phaseExplaining the firm’s new identity further, Dickel told, “High value, high cost strategic consultancy provides insight but leaves the challenge of implementation.  Step5’s strength lies in bridging the gap.  We work closely with our clients to develop and deliver complex business transformation projects and get failing projects back on track.  In the words of our new strapline: Together we can.”

Step5 is one of the UK’s fastest growing business transformation consultancies, and as with many new competitors in the professional services sector, aims to offer clients an alternative to the Big Four. As is the case with other firms looking to do this, Step5 differentiates itself from the quartet’s ‘impersonal’ approach by working to develop a trusted partner relationship with clients and drive change from within companies.

Long-term ambitions

In order to tackle this challenge, Step5 remains on the look-out for forward-thinking individuals, whether already working in the sector or looking for something new. In the long term, its ambition is to grow within the private sector, and in particular the FTSE 250 companies, and to reach its target of £20 million in turnover by 2020.

Among clients already tapping into Step5’s services are the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Barclays, Experian, Serco and Sopra Steria, among others. As well as building a reputation in the private sector, Step5 consultants have worked on some of the UK’s most challenging public and private sector initiatives – including the £1 billion recovery of the spine programme for the NHS and management and delivery of all telecommunications for the London 2012 Olympics.


According to Dickel, recent engagements are particularly encouraging for the firm moving forward. Lately, the firm supported a leading bank’s move into the £32 billion UK motor finance market, and worked to deliver a complex organisational transformation programme for the world’s leading information services company to better support its strategic goals and deliver savings across all services.

Dickel added, “We also transformed an internal IT function for a European leader in digital transformation, including people, process, operating model and market positioning. This has provided them with a robust, industry best practice function that delivered savings across the company and increased the internal IT capability from an Application, Infrastructure and Management perspective.”

Reflecting once more on the rebrand, he concluded, “Step5 offers clients an alternative to the Big Four consultancies – and it is recognised by its clients as the people who make complex business transformation projects happen... Step5 has grown and developed over the years. The company has come a long way and now it’s time to transform itself to reflect that.”