MCA Awards 2020 - Shortlisted individuals and projects

We are pleased to announce that we have been recognised by the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) with 15 shortlisted individuals and projects in the 2020 MCA Awards.

2020 marks the 23rd MCA Awards, which are the benchmark for quality within the consulting industry. These awards are a real testament to the transformational work that we deliver for clients.

Shortlisted & winning individuals

Emma Booth
MCA Awards 2020 Winner logo

Emma Booth

Team Leader Consultant of the Year

Emma is a director in our Customer Strategy & Experience practice. She has an impeccable record of delivering customer-led transformation at some of the world’s biggest and most complex financial services organisations.

Over the past year, Emma has put in an exceptional performance leading combined client and consulting teams across multiple high-profile projects in the UK and Europe. These include customer-centric transformation across clients in both retail and commercial banking, and delivering radical organisational change among leading challenger banks.

What’s particularly special about Emma is that she has a highly engaging leadership style that builds strong, long-term client relationships, and a management style that makes our teams want to work with her. In short, Emma is an excellent team leader. Her passion and thoughtfulness for people, coupled with her energy and can-do attitude, allow her to create true followership with clients and colleagues alike.

Andy Woodfield
MCA Awards 2020 Highly Commended logo

Andy Woodfield

Outstanding Achievement

Andy Woodfield has made an outstanding contribution to the Consulting industry. He is Lead Partner in our International Aid Development Consulting practice, coordinating the global network of member firms to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. He also works in our Government & Health Industries team, focused on delivering meaningful outcomes for our clients and their communities.

Meanwhile, Andy has also pioneered new and inclusive Leadership, Culture and Talent programmes within the firm and with our clients, with a focus on helping individuals to be the best that they can be in safe and welcoming working environments. He was also the founding and first sponsoring partner for our inclusive business network, GLEE@PwC.

Andy breaks the mould. He’s fascinating, inspiring, unconventional, challenging and always willing to try new things. He started his career straight from school, working in IT before joining PwC as a cybersecurity consultant.

This sense of inclusion and fairness has run through everything he’s done since, including helping 100,000 kids off the streets in Pakistan through his client work, launching an LGBT network, becoming our first Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, and leading our Alumni network.

Humaid Motola
MCA Awards 2020 Highly Commended logo

Humaid Motola

Best New Apprentice

Humaid’s drive and determination have enabled him to seize a range of challenging opportunities, working on high-profile and sensitive engagements across the UK and in the Middle East.

He joined us as an apprentice and over the past year, he has led pivotal workstreams with key clients, delivered interactive presentations in schools across the UK, and has taken on complex tasks requiring excellent analytical and interpersonal skills.

He is to be particularly commended for his contribution to a landmark engagement that resulted in him presenting to the Cabinet Office alongside our chairman, Kevin Ellis.

As a former apprentice, Humaid is keen to repay support he’s received and is now a champion for recruits from diverse backgrounds. He’s responsible for six new joiners into PwC so far, and continues to mentor people both within and outside the firm.

Beyond client work, Humaid is hugely passionate about supporting the BAME community, and has also set up our Muslim Network in the North. The group holds social, educational and networking events, as well as doing charity work for local communities.

Jessica Newton

Jessica Newton

Rising Star

Jessica is a stand-out consultant. Working as a performance coach, she’s been the lynchpin in delivering a successful performance improvement programme in Saudi Arabia for one of the world’s largest aerospace companies. This has required a special set of skills: tact, diplomacy, resilience, maturity, the list goes on. Jessica has these qualities in abundance, alongside a natural inquisitiveness and passion to learn about new people and cultures.

What’s most notable about Jessica’s performance is how she managed to build capability and confidence in the people she coached, particularly female Saudi nationals. Those female employees are now, for the first time, speaking up alongside their male colleagues in meetings, and playing a role in the workplace they previously didn’t think possible.

Jessica thrives on new experiences and problem-solving; on meeting people from all walks of life. She has actively sought out a career where each day presents a new challenge, where she needs to adapt, be flexible and learn the subtleties of how different people like to work.

Kemi Ogunremi

Kemi Ogunremi

Best New Apprentice

Kemi consistently exceeds expectations, operates beyond her experience level, and demonstrates the emotional intelligence and curiosity of a future leader. She takes responsibility for her work, uses innovative approaches, and has a ‘can-do’ rather than an ‘it will do’ attitude.

She has been a champion of behavioural change, often being called on to develop communications that are sent to over 2,500 people. And, using skills acquired during a placement in our Risk function, she has helped implement processes to support mobilisation across large, complicated, multi-country engagements. Essential risk-management support delivered flawlessly.

It’s clear from the moment you meet Kemi that she’s found what she really wants to do in life. From the very first day of her apprenticeship, she’s dedicated herself to putting into practice the theory she accumulated through her studies. She gets an obvious buzz from learning everything about our clients, the problems they face, and how to fix them.

Penelope Fesenko

Penny Fesenko

Young Consultant of the Year

Penny joined as a graduate, looking for a varied career and the chance to travel with work. What she perhaps didn’t anticipate was that she’d be based in New York just a short time later, thinking about the MCA Awards whilst running a huge client transformation programme with a billion dollars on the line.

As a young Consultant, Penny already has exceptional technical ability, and experience that spans retail, telecommunications and financial services. Her infectious enthusiasm motivates clients to change the way they do business, convincing sometimes reticent stakeholders about the benefits of transformation.

Technology transformation is Penny’s natural home; an area where she’ll stay and develop her skills further. With so much advancement in technology at the moment, it’s an exciting field of work, and she sees great value in honing her expertise to take to industries beyond her current portfolio.

Penny has led the recruitment of Finance graduates into our firm. This role really plays to her strengths with people, where she’s instrumental in retaining our staff through making our business a fun and interesting place to work.


Richard Thompson

Team Leader Consultant of the Year

Richard is a senior manager in our Technology Consulting business. He excels in challenging delivery environments, deals extremely well with ambiguity and has a talent for delivering business change in complex settings. He comes into his own leading multifaceted delivery teams, using his team-working skills to build consensus and support from a range of stakeholders.

Richard recently played a leading role in our work with Highways England, where he and his team managed the delivery of a range of cloud based systems to help the client support a step change in how they managed a portfolio of c£4bn per annum. It was a complex engagement where he led a team made up of multiple organisations who were geographically dispersed. To ensure the project was successful, he built trusted relationships, played to the diversity of strengths in the team and helped to build sustainability at the client.

Richard has a passion for technology, and enjoys seeing the positive outcomes of the large programmes he works on. His work has an impact on our everyday lives; and he’s proud to see the improvements in speed reduction, safety and reliability of journeys on the country’s most important roads.

Shortlisted & winning projects

Bedfordshire Police
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Bedfordshire Police

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

In 2018, the murder rate in Bedfordshire had doubled, and violent and serious crime were on the rise. Bedfordshire Police knew they needed to respond quickly, while not compromising other vital work.

Despite the challenging operational context, Bedfordshire Police remains one of the most underfunded Forces in the country. They urgently needed to revisit a fundamental challenge: how best to align resources with their growing public-protection demands.

Given the increase in serious crime, the pressure was on to see results quickly. In just four months, our objective was to refocus operational priorities and make at least £3m of savings to reinvest in areas that would have the greatest impact. To do this we worked hand in hand with the force, blending direction from management with insight from the frontline. We then explored ways the force could refocus and do things differently.

Against a target of £3m of savings, Bedfordshire Police released £7m for reinvestment from just £70m of scope. This enabled the Force not only to maintain operational policing in the county, but also to invest in improving processes and deploying additional officers to tackle issues affecting some of the most vulnerable members of society. Bedfordshire has now added an additional team directed towards gang activity and knife violence; improved the response to instances of serious assault and domestic abuse; and built capability to handle cybercrime.

Bedfordshire Police can now respond more effectively to existing levels of crime and new threats as they emerge, and is improving the safety of the residents and businesses who rely on them.

Starling Bank team dinner party
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Starling Bank

Data and Innovation in the Private Sector

In 2014, five big banks shared 85% of the UK banking market between them. The barriers to entry were substantial, and overcoming the competition for market share was a real challenge. Undaunted by such obstacles, Starling had a big ambition to build a different and better bank; one that was focused on the customer. We were involved from the outset.

We have supported the growth and diversification of Starling Bank ever since. Having originally supported the launch of their personal banking offer, we have just finished work on their business banking proposition, helping the bank secure the recognition and awards it deserves. In 2020, Starling was voted Best British Bank for the third year running, and has been a worthy winner of a £100m grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), a fund set up to stimulate competition in the UK business banking market, and improve outcomes for business banking customers.

Starling has shown that it can innovate and change the shape of the UK banking sector. Its success proves that a gap in the market for this offering existed, and that the sector needed to change and embrace that customer need. As an outcome of our work, competition is being rebalanced in the UK banking market and banking experiences for hundreds of thousands of customers have been improved.

Phoenix/ Standard Life International team photo
MCA Awards 2020 Winner logo

Phoenix/ Standard Life International

Change and Transformation in the Private Sector

There’s no escaping the fact that the UK’s exit from the EU is going to cause major upheaval to all businesses with a European footprint. For Standard Life, the implications of a hard Brexit created a complex challenge:

  • 600,000 European savings and pensions customers were serviced from the UK;
  • the business has an integrated fund that holds the savings of both European and UK customers and relied on the sale of cross-border savings products; and
  • business critical services are provided from the UK to European entities.

Standard Life knew that giving customers’ confidence that neither the service they received nor their financial outcome would be adversely impacted, for both the overseas and UK policyholders, was essential.

Our multi-disciplinary team of over sixty people worked closely with Standard Life’s one hundred strong team. Together we took on a programme that included business, legal, finance, operations and culture transformation, as well as the High Court sanctioned transfer of Standard Life’s European policyholders from the UK to Ireland.

As a result of this work, Standard Life is ready for any Brexit outcome. Its policyholders are protected under any scenario and, working together, we established one of the largest life insurers in Ireland, with assets under management of c€28bn.

MCA Awards 2020 Highly Commended logo

Best Use of Thought Leadership

PwC & Microsoft: How AI can enable a sustainable future

The information age is driving progress at tremendous speed. Artificial intelligence is enabling us to harness vast amounts of data and make breakthrough advances in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and transport.

But, as digital advances bring us benefits, they also bring complex questions and concerns. How they’ll affect the planet is among those questions, and one we have a limited amount of time to answer given the urgency of issues like climate change and biodiversity loss. Every industrial revolution in history has achieved economic growth at the cost of our planet’s health. Today’s technological revolution must break that pattern, and for the first time deliver sustainable economic growth.

Combining our and Microsoft’s joint expertise in AI, data science, economics and sustainability, we examined how AI could transform and disrupt agriculture, water, energy and transport to better understand the economic and environmental benefits for people and our planet. Our research found that by 2030, environmental AI applications could:

  • boost global GDP by 4.4% – the equivalent of $5.2Tr/year;
  • reduce GHG emissions by 4% – equivalent to zeroing out the annual emissions of Australia, Canada and Japan combined; and
  • create 38.2m net new jobs – approximately equal to the current UK workforce.

Our research has seen positive engagement with governments, opinion formers, regulators, media commentators and the public, around the long term implications and trade-offs required to plan for both the concurrent AI and digital revolution and the transition to a net zero emissions economy.

Haringey Council

Haringey Council

Change and Transformation in the Public Sector

Councils in England are being swamped with thousands of requests for adult social care every day and Haringey Council decided to act. Facing the ‘terrible trio’ of an ageing population, increasing complexity of needs and a decreasing budget, they asked us to help them improve care for their residents, at the same time as improving the efficiency of their department.

But this isn’t just another story about cost-reduction in the public sector. This was about productivity, engagement and trying something totally new. Haringey has a diverse mix of workers across many locations, so the fundamental answer lay in improving connectivity among them, freeing up time to give attention to the more complex cases.

At the heart of the solution was a new digital application PerformPlus built in conjunction with the social workers themselves. This allowed us to unite them as a team for the first time. The technology we built for Haringey was totally new, and has paved the way for enabling similar change elsewhere. We had never applied our performance coaching approach (Perform) to social care, and we were co-developing the technology for the new digital tool as we went.

The leadership from the Council, engagement from their frontline teams and rigour brought by us came together to deliver a truly outstanding outcome - for the Council, but more importantly for the people of Haringey.

Highways England

Highways England

Change and Transformation in the Public Sector

Highways England is an integral yet unsung hero of the UK’s economy. The network it manages is 4,300 miles long, carrying a third of all traffic and two-thirds of HGVs. These roads underpin economic growth but were never designed for the increased load seen over the past two decades.

In 2014, the Government announced a £15billion road investment package. Simultaneously, Highways Agency became Highways England, an arm’s length governmental body with autonomy over end-to-end capital delivery.

HE needed to transform how it selected, prioritised and delivered enhancements. This meant a transformation of its Capital Projects business to manage a portfolio of around 80 road schemes in five years, with annual capital spend rising to £3bn (a six-fold increase).

Alongside colleagues from Mace and Jacobs, we were appointed as the Transformation Programme Delivery Partners and, over 4 years, supported Highways England with implementation of a decentralised operating model, underpinned by leading cloud-based programme controls.

Highways England now has the people, organisation, processes, information and technology to deliver the largest road enhancement programme in a generation.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Model of Care

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Model of Care


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recognised it needed to change its healthcare approach significantly. A growing population and increased complexity in healthcare needs had combined to place unsustainable pressure on the healthcare system.

We were called in to help. First, in a process involving 1,000 healthcare staff and 60,000 citizens, we designed a new Model of Care that’s built around the patient and focused on helping people to manage their own needs through lifestyle improvements and preventative care.

The next step was to test the new model and support Saudi Arabia in extending and embedding the roll-out sustainably. We deployed a blended team of our Middle East and UK consultants to optimise the capability and expertise provided, and together we set about bringing the new Model of Care to life.

Our strategy involved establishing pathfinder sites (trial sites in clusters of hospital and primary health centres) to trial the changes required, with the aim that Saudi-only teams would be self-sufficient in managing the broader roll-out locally. The outcomes at the pathfinder stage have been dramatic, with the new Model of Care now available to over 40,000 citizens.

Upfield team photo


Change and Transformation in the Private Sector

Upfield is a consumer foods company with a difference. It was created in July 2018 when Unilever’s spreads business was bought, resulting in a multinational enterprise employing over 3,100 people, with 26 business units across 95 countries.

This instantly made Upfield the largest plant-based consumer products company in the world, but it also made them a huge start-up with none of their own business functions and IT infrastructure. They needed to build finance, supply chain, internal audit functions and more, whilst simultaneously transforming their sales, service and marketing capability – all at phenomenal speed. So they came to us for help.

All of these components are vital for a successful and profitable global consumer business. Setting them up required an agile and highly competent delivery team from across our network, including tax, risk assurance and consulting, including Strategy& (our strategy consulting business).

Our MCA submission focuses on Upfield’s new Sales, Service and Marketing functions - critical to their growth - which were formed quickly and successfully with our support.

The result has been the delivery of significant value to the client, and as part of the wider programme has helped Upfield focus on their vision to stand up a thriving business. It has also created the standard in the consumer goods world as a model of a digital-first business, from the customer through to the supply chain.

Contact us

Paul Terrington

Paul Terrington

Head of Consulting, PwC United Kingdom

Robert Smith

Robert Smith

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)2072 133323

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