MCA Management Awards 10 Year Anniversary: Business Strategy in thePrivate Sector


Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Little more than two years ago, Resolution Life Group (RLG) had just two employees - founder Cliver Cowdery and COO Brendan Meehan. But what the pair lacked in colleagues they more than compensated for with vision: to buy up closed life assurance funds (sometimes known as 'zombie' funds) and run them more efficiently while exploiting economies of scale.

The idea was a good one, but how were they to start their business from scratch and make their first acquisition with no in-house resources? Cowdery and Meehan chose Atos Consulting to help make their vision a reality and interface with their many business partners, such as tax advisers, actuaries, legal advisers and investment banks.

The consultancy put together a small team to help RLG develop a blueprint, defining its size, structure, outsourcing model and development plans.

Together they designed a virtual business model that could evolve as the organisation grew through acquisitions. Atos' fees, for example, were linked to the success of RLG's strategy.

The team evaluated Royal & SunAlliance Life (RSA Life), giving Cowdery and Meehan a view of the operational benefits of an acquisition and issues to be resolved in the negotiations.

RSA Life was bought for £850m in September 2004. Swiss Life (UK) was aquired three months later for £205m. In a highly regulated environment, both acquisitions were completed securely with the backing of investors and regulators. The Atos team then worked with RLG to design and implement a programme of organisational integration, ensuring that staff remained informed of the changes taking place. Atos helped to define a new operational blueprint, which included a relocation from Sevenoaks to Liverpool and new customer advice arrangements.

Further success followed in September 2005, when RLG merged with Britannic Group to form Resolution plc, the UK's leading closed-fund consolidator.

From offices in Liverpool, Birmingham, London and Glasgow, Resolution now manages 6 million policies worth £35bn and employs more than 1,000, plus another 1,200 under outsourced set-ups. As a result, Resolution is ready for its next major deal.


Atos provided the expertise for RLG to tackle a programme of acquisitions.

As Resolution plc, it now manages 6 million policies worth £35bn.

- Retain vision and focus at all times.

- React to issues as they arise and ensure the plan is always adaptable.

- Foster innovative skills within the team - but retain your completer-finishers too.

SHORTLISTED Consultancy: Mercer Human Resource Consulting Client: Hanson Consultancy: Troika UK Client: Bradford & Bingley

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