How we can support your business?
Our Core Offering
Business model analysis: Your business through a regulatory lens
Through our business model analysis, we can examine your income and revenue streams and identify any potential conduct risks that may impact your model’s overall sustainability and work with you on pragmatic, practical solutions for your needs.
Prudential and conduct healthcheck
Tapping into experience and insights from the wider market, we can provide independent and objective insights, getting to the heart of the key issues. We can deliver credible and relevant, independent assurance. Our crisp perspective combined with our depth and breadth of expertise means we can make practical recommendations and offer pragmatic solutions.
Our team’s range of experience, including in senior regulatory roles, conducting reviews for the regulators, and relevant industry experience of manging the outcomes of regulatory interventions, means we are well-placed to help you prepare for and manage your regulatory relationships effectively. We have acted for a number of firms as “trusted advisor”, breaking down the theory into real, practical help and assistance, gained from our experience with a range of firms facing similar issues.
We can support you specifically in the following areas:
– FCA and PRA interviews and meeting preparation
– S.166 preparation and dry-run
– Regulatory engagement strategy
– Authorisation applications
– SMF approval process – mentoring and preparation
– New product launch
We can review your governance and control frameworks, using a forward-looking, outcomes focused approach and our in-depth understanding of regulatory drivers, as well as good business sense. Our focus is on looking at how well your arrangements, both on paper and in practice, deliver clear and transparent governance and clarity in decision-making.
SM&CR Implementation Review
Our experts have worked with a range of firms on their SMCR delivery programmes, from ‘limited scope’ brokerages to large-scale multinationals. We have a range of training programmes and document suites that we can adapt for the specific needs of your business. Alongside our deep knowledge of the regulatory requirements, we can offer practical advice on your Statements of Responsibilities, Fit & Proper processes, Responsibilities Maps and Conduct Rules programmes.
Culture review and framework
Our culture framework provides a structured approach to help you navigate the challenges of defining, understanding and managing your culture. From examining your people and customer experiences, we can help you identify practical ways of delivering your business objectives, purpose and ambition.
Our focus and expertise on fair pricing practices brings together the various FCA initiatives and the recent General Insurance Pricing Practices Market Study, and considers the issue ‘in the round’ with product value measures, customer demand and needs, treatment of vulnerable customers and communications transparency. We can help you navigate the myriad regulatory requirements to deliver clear pricing strategies, supported by robust governance frameworks, aligned to your business model and customer base.
Our experts have provided practical solutions, including building appropriate governance and oversight models, supported by MI and KRIs that can test and evidence fair value in pricing, products and services. We have helped firms design and implement pricing strategies, providing guidance and oversight, along with hands-on support in drafting documents to meet regulatory expectations. We have also helped build appropriate product governance frameworks, aligned to value measures and delivery of fair customer outcomes.
We are also well placed to provide insight and oversight to your product and pricing strategies and plans, using our extensive regulatory knowledge and understanding of industry good practice.
Co-sourcing of your control functions – risk, compliance, audit
Working in partnership with you, we can enhance your assurance functions whilst keeping you in control. We give you immediate access to wider skills and experience, combined with the deep understanding of the business of the in-house team. We can provide a cost-effective, relevant solution, tailored to your specific needs, focused on current and emerging risks and the latest regulatory and market insights.
Alongside our ‘health check’ / review service for your complaints handling, we can help you look beyond the regulations in DISP to identify practical solutions to deliver the customer outcomes that will improve advocacy and retention of your book.
Regulatory Horizon Planning
We are well-connected to regulatory change agenda and areas of focus and keep our clients up-to-date with impacts for their business to not only meet the regulatory requirements, but also looking at opportunities from a commercial perspective, such as customer retention. Using our multi-disciplinary expertise, we can help you cut through the complexities and go beyond the headlines to understand the key elements for your business and potential opportunities for you to get ahead of the pack.
A well-organised, detailed approach to due diligence is essential for any successful M&A process. Our experts can review and validate value proposition assumptions, understand financial, operational and conduct risks and issues and provide actionable feedback. We have assisted a number of firms throughout the M&A lifecycle, from preliminary business case, through to detailed analysis reviews and deal closing confirmation.
Operational Risk Management & Quantification
Our operational risk management framework enables you to identify, monitor and report the risks to which your firm may be exposed currently or potentially. Our risk specialists can help you to understand the sources of risk and minimise the impacts. We partnered with Elseware to deploy a structured scenario-based approach to operational risk management and quantification
Climate Change financial risk management
We have developed an approach to integrate the impact of climate change into your existing risk management framework. Our framework covers 4 dimensions: governance, risk management, scenario analysis and disclosure.
We partnered with Elseware to bring a climate change scenario model to the market to assess the impact on assets and liabilities, capturing transition and physical risk. Already implemented by several financial institutions, this approach supports setting strategy, regulatory reporting and stress tests (e.g. Bank of England BES scenario analysis) and external disclosure (e.g. TCFD).
With a wealth of experience in the financial services sector, and a focus on the insurance sector, we can provide you with guidance and support to update your GDPR policy frameworks, training and awareness delivery and process alignment to ensure a continued compliance with the regulations whatever the outcome.
Pre-paid funeral plans
Legislation to regulate the provision and distribution of pre-paid funeral plans was introduced in January 2021, and regulation extending to providers and intermediaries will start on 29 July 2022. The new regime will represent a significant change for some providers – on an aggressive timetable that allows them very little time to adapt.
Sicsic Advisory can support your firm with the following:
- Support in responding to FCA consultation
- Carrying out gap analysis and developing action plan
- Supporting your firm throughout your application and authorisation process
Client Success Stories
What was the project?
In the context of the FCA initiatives on pricing practices in the insurance market, our client needed to improve their overall approach to pricing practices with the development of a formal pricing strategy and a governance and control framework around it.
Sicsic Advisory involvement
SA provided both Board-level guidance and consultancy to help shape the direction and strategy of the firm’s approach to pricing, as well as day-to-day hands-on support and assistance in the design and drafting of the pricing documents.
SA engaged with the Board and senior management on ensuring the approach to pricing was focused on the key areas of regulatory attention and customer outcomes.
Our consultants worked closely with senior individuals at the firm in the design of the Pricing Strategy, Pricing Rules and the Governance and Control Framework, including providing insights into the areas of regulatory concern, challenging certain assumptions from a regulatory conduct perspective, as well as practical assistance and support in structuring the documents and drafting suggested content.
The SA team undertook a considerable amount of detailed analysis into the firm’s pricing practices and charging models, to be able to gain an in-depth understanding of the firm’s approach and to be able to provide practical, pragmatic advice and support.
- The SA team quickly established sound working relationships with the senior individuals at the firm responsible for pricing decisions and were able to respond very quickly in respect of answering queries and reviewing / updating documents.
- The timeframes for responding to the regulator’s request were very stretching, so it was a real success that the firm were able to meet the required deadlines, including allowing sufficient time for Board reflection and approval.
- The SA team also provided advice and support to the second-line function, by undertaking a gap analysis review of the firm’s response and pricing documents against the FCA Thematic Review and Dear CEO letter, and other relevant regulatory pricing requirements.
Areas of expertise:
What was the project?
A successful FTSE100 insurance group, which offers consumer general insurance products in the UK and continental Europe, appointed Sicsic Advisory to provide advice and hands-on assistance to the second phase implementation of its SM&CR (senior management accountability) programme.
Sicsic Advisory involvement
There had been increased regulatory scrutiny following the first phase of the programme and the particular challenge was to re-design the previous approach and ensure timely delivery in a way which:
- Sought to enhance rather than impair the Group’s successful dynamic, collegiate culture and strong record of success
- Enabled a consistent roll-out across five regulated entities with a variety of business models, which assisted the Group Board and functions to exercise more effective oversight
- Met heightened regulatory expectations
- Used and built on as much of the first phase work as possible.
Sicsic Advisory’s senior consultants, whose own experience includes relevant up-to date senior executive and non-executive roles across a range of other organisations, worked flexibly and collaboratively with a wide range of senior and delivery manager stakeholders. We worked closely with the firm’s programme management and consulted regularly with and trained senior executives and non-executive directors at Group level and in all the relevant business entities. This ensured appropriate and consistent senior level focus on the delivery of desired outcomes to a demanding timetable.
All the objectives of the programme were achieved, with signoffs from the regulated entity and Group boards, within the required timescale and agreed budget.
Areas of expertise:
360 Healthcheck – Review of governance and risk management practices
What was the project?
One of the world’s top tier private firms had recently bought out a FTSE250 key player with a strong consumer profile in the UK general insurance market. Sicsic Advisory was appointed to assist the newly appointed CEO of the acquired firm in reviewing its governance and risk management practices, and advise on where it should focus in order to meet both rising regulatory expectations of firms in its sector and specifically of the firm given its market presence and growth ambitions.
Sicsic Advisory involvement
Sicsic Advisory performed diagnostic assessments covering:
- Business Model sustainability
- Conduct & Prudential regulatory readiness
- Governance & Risk Management practices
Having unique insights into market practices and areas of regulatory focus on pricing and value for money in general insurance products, sales process (including IDD requirements), culture & governance and cyber & operational resilience, enabled Sicsic Advisory to produce a rapid, highly targeted analysis and of the firm’s gaps. With deep practical relevant experience of working in similar firms, our consultants were able to produce a series of prioritised highly actionable recommendations to address these within the short window ahead of closer regulatory scrutiny. The recommendations were framed around strengthening the firm’s business model for the medium and longer term, and thereby enabling it to play a greater part in influencing industry and regulatory change.
- Our report and recommendations were readily accepted by both the firm and its new owner and formed the basis of an 18-month programme of tactical actions and strategy development for the firm.
Area of expertise:
- Health check