LOC Consulting, a management consultancy specialising in the delivery of business change and IT programmes and projects, has successfully supported Woodford Investment Management (WIM) in its launch. LOC took responsibility for leading the programme, IT testing and set up of a project management office (PMO), ensuring everything was in place to meet WIM’s launch deadline of 1 May 2014.

WIM achieved FCA approval on 30 April 2014 – less than four months after LOC was appointed, and with the SJP segregated mandate under WIM’s management, a fund worth over £3.5bn. With contracts in place with Bloomberg, Northern Trust, Salesforce, 6 Degrees, St James’ Place and the major fund platforms, WIM’s first trade, for £15m, was successfully executed the same day. UCITS fund authorisation followed on 7 May 2014, two months ahead of the typical duration of the approval process.

“Delivery of a new, fully authorised investment management company with significant funds under management was a difficult challenge,” says Nick Hamilton, COO, Woodford Investment Management. “Doing so in four months without any input from one of the principal owners significantly added to complexity. LOC partnered with the WIM leadership team from start to finish and were instrumental in the successful launch of Woodford Investment Management on 1 May 2014.”

As an IT and programme delivery partner, LOC was engaged with many aspects of the launch. It included selecting and implementing IT infrastructure with 6 Degrees, managing the requirements process and test case creation for Bloomberg and outsource partner Northern Trust, and coordinating the creation, collation and preparation of material for FCA submission. In addition, LOC supported office selection and negotiation of the lease. As the programme developed, LOC also coordinated the marketing and creative teams building the brand, marketing collateral and website.

“With Neil Woodford unable to participate in the process of setting up the new company due to employment restrictions,” says Paul Crowe, director, LOC Consulting. “CEO, Craig Newman, appointed LOC Consulting on his behalf to lead the programme, IT testing and programme office. We are proud to have successfully supported a programme of this complexity, using an approach based on a repeatable framework that can be tailored to similar company launches and associated regulatory approvals.”
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