The Berkeley Partnership again Best Small Company

23 March 2015

Two weeks ago the Sunday Times revealed its list of the top 25 ‘Best Small Companies to Work For’. For The Berkeley Partnership, a ~50-man strong London based management consultancy, it is the fourth consecutive year it has made the list, and once again scores as the highest ranked consultancy. Commenting on the recognition, Hadley Baldwin, Partner at The Berkeley Partnership, says the award emphasizes the firm’s unique and different approach to consulting.

Every year the Sunday Times releases its well-known ‘Best Companies To Work For’ ranking, a list that celebrates the best small (SMEs with staff of 50-250), mid-sized (staff of 250-3,500), and big workplaces (staff of 3,500+). The lists are based on employee opinions on subjects of wellbeing in the workplace, giving back to society, strong leadership and teaming, opportunities for personal growth, and fair pay and benefits. This year 16 consulting firms have made the prestigious list: EY and Deloitte (large firms), Hymans Robertson and Cambridge Consultants (mid-sized firms), with twelve consultancies represented in the small category.

Best Small Companies to Work for 2015

The Berkeley Partnership
In the ‘Best Small Companies to Work For’ The Berkeley Partnership for the second year running leads the pack. According to Hadley Baldwin, Partner at the consultancy, the firm’s success can be attributed to its “different approach”, stating: “We have worked really hard on our employee proposition and believe we have an offer that really differentiates us from other consulting firms.” He sees four main pillars that underlie the success. 

Firstly, The Berkeley Partnership’s resourcing model is based on broadening the skills base of consultants, opposed to the deepening approach found typically at rival firms. “We encourage consultants to broaden their expertise working across industries and across the project lifecycle from strategy to delivery. We believe this is best for career development”, he says. The Berkeley Partnership for instance works for clients in Financial Services, Oil & Gas, FMCG, Retail and Media, but also for public sector institutions, and advisors tend to contribute to engagements across a variety of industries. With as result that consultants are not pushed towards focusing purely on a specific industry / functional practice, a movement that generally has been gaining ground in the industry over the past years.

Chancery Lance WC2 - The Berkeley Partnership

Secondly, The Berkeley Partnership in his view offers an attractive, but also innovative reward package. The firm’s compensation & benefits package includes generous rewards, and includes full secondary benefits such as private health care, life cover and maternity/paternity leave. “We want to reward people well and treat them well – that way, you get a highly motivated team who are really focused on delivering the best service they can to clients.” On top of the financial incentives, the management consultancy also has several innovative policies in place that for instance compensate hardworking employees, or grant consultants the possibility to take time off to deliver a social impact. One scheme Baldwin highlights is what the firm calls ‘discretionary time’ – a HR policy which allows staff to take up to 5 days’ paid time, during which they can work for a charity or undertake other, personal development activities.

Thirdly, Baldwin points at the fact that the firm’s approach differs from that of the big global consultancies. After starting his career in 1997 with consulting and IT-giant Accenture he moved to The Berkeley Partnership in 2002, and looking back he observes a key difference in consulting models. “I joined Berkeley because I was looking for more autonomy and a broader range of clients. Since then I have enjoyed both. The relationships we have with our clients are also different to that of a big global consultancy - they are more personal and our independence means we can focus on doing the right thing for our clients without any commercial distractions.”

Hadley Baldwin - The Berkeley Partnership

The firm’s culture is the fourth area Baldwin refers to, saying “I like Berkeley because the people are great and the culture is very open, positive and fun.”


Robert Park on the launch of his consultancy RWG Enterprises

18 April 2019

Following a lengthy spell as a General Manager at an international materials corporation, Robert Park was keen to rediscover his inner entrepreneur. With the launch of his new consulting firm, RWG Enterprises, Park spoke with to outline his hopes for the future of the company, and how he believes his boutique will be able to challenge the market.

Robert Park commenced his career in retail, taking up a string of General Store Manager positions with companies – including Poundstretcher and The Gadget Shop – before making the 2005 move that would lead him to a 13-year stay with Morgan Advanced Materials. First taking up a role as Production Supervisor with the organisation, Park quickly worked his way to the upper echelons of the group. By 2013, he held the role of UK Operations Manager for the company’s UK ceramic core business, Certech UK, before seeing out his final four years at the firm as General Manager, leading the senior management team and strategic direction of the business.

Despite his success with the firm, however, Park found himself getting itchy feet. A change of career seemed increasingly appealing, and by February 2019, the time to take a new path had arrived.

Park explained: “I was losing the ability to to use the entrepreneurial flair that I had enjoyed in the past; the organisation was moving more towards a structured and common approach for doing things, and that made me feel restricted. I also really enjoy the troubleshooting, problem solving side of my role. However, having been in my last post for four years, the troubleshooting and firefighting was long behind me. I realised that I am really energised by tackling difficult issues or turning around things that are clearly struggling.”

New consulting firm RWG Enterprises launches

His criteria for a new career seemed to point conclusively in the direction of management consulting, and while his CV has no formal experience in the sector, Park believes his career to date has provided him with a wealth of transferable skills. During his time with Certech at Morgan Advanced Materials, he became a Senior Manager at the age of just 21, and went on to succeed in a harsh factory environment where six former candidates had previously failed to deliver results.

Later, he became the group’s youngest General Manager in its history, and was involved in the turnaround of numerous departments. He also developed vast experience dealing with a wide range of ‘people’ challenges, including re-organisation, talent development, talent acquisition and leadership development. Along the way, Park noted that he learned to deal with large, blue chip organisations such as Rolls Royce, securing major long-term contracts worth upwards of £25 million.

Now, he hopes to take that know-how and apply it to the diverse world of consulting work. Park elaborated: “I really want to be able to help organisations that feel that there is no hope or have lost faith in the business… Having been there myself I know how helpful it would have been to have someone to refer to in times of crisis… The firm will also focus on leadership development, as I spent a lot of time with the global graduate program during my corporate career… and I was really motivated to see these individuals grow and develop… helping them to find their own way through challenging situations.

New enterprise

Park’s new Derby-based consultancy, RWG Enterprises, will focus on five key operational fronts. As stated, leadership development and business rescue will be two of these areas, as well as manufacturing – where the firm will tackle challenges such as new product introduction. RWG will also offer financial advisory services and strategic business planning offerings.

While Park is understandably guarded about the firm’s initial engagements, he revealed that he has been “speaking at length to a well-known university and business school about providing mentoring and coaching support to students.” In the long-term, the aim is for RWG Enterprises to take on engagements from clients across the industrial spectrum. He added that as “the company is very embryonic”, it would be “foolish” to become too focused on target clients at this stage.

When asked how RWG Enterprises intends to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, in an ever-more-crowded UK consulting sector, Park is undaunted by the task ahead. He stated, “I think the main differentiator is that we are small... I have operated at a very senior level for many years but I have enjoyed a very diverse background having worked in most functions within my last organisation. I also won’t take on any work or clients that I feel I cannot deliver value for, I am honest and ethical and am really motivated by seeing others become successful… The main thing I am focused on is 'can I add value' and 'can I help?'”