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Case Study: Global Financial Services Business

HR Transformation to help support change

Business challenge

As part of new government legislation, the UK government had advised our client to sell off its insurance arm. To comply, our client needed to create within its insurance business a best-in-class, fully operational, standalone HR function to cater for the company’s 14,500 employees.

Although they already had plans to divest the business, they needed at least two months of operational separation to satisfy the analysts early, which meant that the HR separation programme needed to go live rapidly.

Our approach

Given the tight deadline and the project’s complexity, we designed and developed a functional separation programme that could:

  • Establish a standalone HR function pre-divestment
  • Set up and deliver a new reward proposition for all employees – including moving all 14,500 of them onto a new set of terms and conditions
  • Deliver payroll, human capital management, benefits, recruitment, a learning management system, and case management systems and associated processes
  • Implement a target operating model and associated end-to-end processes, including the creation of a new HR shared service centre and the establishment of a local HR support model
  • Build and deliver an effective HR change management process that would deploy and embed the required HR change within the business

We knew that engaging with our client’s key decision makers was critical, so as our first step, we set about meeting senior stakeholders from all major functions – Separation, Finance, Operations, IT and HR – to understand their needs and start building relationships. This meant we received the support we needed, when we needed it, right across the company. We also set guiding principles to ensure everyone had the same understanding of how the programme would operate.

To ensure that we met our deadline, we modified the standard Workday deployment methodology – and found a way to accelerate testing without reducing quality. Without this kind of innovation, it would have been impossible to deliver the programme on time.


The divestment created £2.6bn of value for our client.

We had delivered a fully transformed, standalone HR function with a new set of capabilities and accountabilities.

The function was underpinned by 300 new HR processes (aligned to new policies, organisation and systems), transformed HR organisation structures and seven new systems with multiple integrations and policies.

Contact us

Ben Thornton

Ben Thornton

SuccessFactors Practice Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7808 106704

Jeremy Lief

Jeremy Lief

HR Transformation and Technology Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7718 339701

Prasun Shah

Prasun Shah

Workday Practice Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 365055

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