Experienced thought leader in shareholder value/managing for value (MFV), with a proven track record of more
than 13 years in supporting Boards of major companies in the UK, US, Continental Europe and South Africa.
- Passionate about working with clients to develop and implement pragmatic business solutions and to achieve
challenging value creation goals.
- Developed a unique and powerful set of methodologies to help senior managers better understand the company’s
key value drivers in a systematic way, and then to mobilise the business around these, thereby enhancing overall
business management and promoting value maximising commercial decision making and performance
- Adapted the concepts of MFV and applied them successfully in a public sector context.
- Interacting effectively, building credibility and adding value at top management/Board level.
- Leading, integrating and managing client/consultant project teams – often working on complex multi-stream
strategic, organisational and operational projects.
- Strong inter-personal and client relationship skills and ability to build trust, through constantly exceeding client
- Aptitude for quickly understanding client’s business and their market and generating breakthrough insights and
adding value from an early stage of any new relationship.
- Facilitating clear, logical, strategic and commercial thinking, based on a rigorous understanding of key value drivers.
- Applying strong analytical skills, e.g. structured value based methodologies, financial analysis and modelling, to
support and enhance business decision making.
- Identifying and supporting the delivery of key strategic, organisational and operational value improvement
opportunities, designed to ‘beat the competition’.
- Development of ‘step change’ organic and non organic business growth strategies.
- Value maximising brand and channel strategy development.
- Value based strategic cost management/reduction programmes.
- VBM CONSULTING LTD, Surrey UK • 1996-Present
- Boutique strategy consulting practice specialising in working with senior managers and Boards to develop and
implement pragmatic business solutions designed to create and sustain maximum shareholder value.
- Stephen established the practice in 1996, having identified a demand for a more practical application of MFV. He
developed highly effective value based methodologies for addressing key strategic, organisational and operational
business issues. Stephen’s approach places more emphasis on working with clients to develop a thorough
understanding of key value drivers (KVDs), and less emphasis on designing and implementing complex new
business processes and value metrics. A key theme characterising his work is a relentless focus on high quality
commercial thinking – the key to survival in today’s challenging economic climate. During his time with VBM
Consulting, Stephen has developed a respected reputation amongst business leaders in companies such as
Barclays, Alliance Boots, WH Smith, Avon Cosmetics and others.
MARAKON, London UK • 1993-1996
- Marakon is a strategic management consultancy business with offices in New York, London and Chicago -
recognised as leaders in the application of Managing for Value in large corporations.
- Managed a series of major multi-stream consulting engagements at Boots PLC, Lloyds TSB and others. Example
of some projects included: valuation and sale of Boots Pharmaceuticals to Knoll – 1995/6, review of entire Boots
support services strategy and introduction of Shared Service units e.g. in Engineering Finance etc, Disposal of Do-
it- All, DIY chain, Support for new revenue growth strategy for retail banking at Lloyds TSB.
THE HENLEY CENTRE, London UK • 1990-1993
- The Henley Centre is a leading macro and micro economic analysis and consultancy.
Chief UK Economist
- Led a team of 6 senior economists, producing macro-economic forecasts, analysis and advice for major corporate
client such e.g. BP, Cadbury Schweppes, Financial Times and others. Carried out numerous consulting
engagements on behalf of clients e.g. the development of pricing strategies for major companies such as Coca
Cola, Diageo etc. The role also involved a significant amount of media (radio and TV ) exposure.
CLIENT WORK – EXAMPLES
Avon Cosmetics – South Africa
Having operated in the South African market for over 10 years, there was a need to turbo charge the acceptance
and growth of the Avon brand in South Africa. The brief called for an initial assessment of the ‘size of the prize’ in
South Africa and then for the development and implementation of a value maximising ‘step change growth strategy’ for the business. Working with senior management in SA and the US, a strategy to maximise coverage and brand
awareness was developed and is currently being implemented. It is now unanimously accepted by management
that the output of this work will be the key to Avon’s growth and success in the South African market in the next 5
The Boots Company PLC (Alliance Boots)
Commissioned by the Board of Boots to review the Wellbeing Services Strategy and make recommendations re future
participation. Stephen’s work demonstrated clearly that this strategy was not a value maximising course of action for
Boots, conclusions which the Board fiercely resisted. Later developments however, completely vindicated his
conclusions as virtually the entire Board was relieved of their positions. The new CEO subsequently exited Services
as per Stephen’s earlier recommendations.
Commissioned by the CEO to lead a £100m strategic cost review – involved managing 7 major simultaneous work
streams across the business, developing implementation plans and securing buy-in from the Board. The project
required maximum sensitivity on the part of Stephen and the project team, due to the highly political environment
within which the work was carried out.
Barclays Bank PLC
Commissioned by Board to develop the content for Barclays’ Managing For Value (MFV) in house interactive training
– worked with Epic PLC a major e learning company to develop this intranet based training which has proved to be
highly successful. Worked with Barclays University Business School in support of The Lead to Win (LTW)
Programme, a programme for future Barclays leaders in association with London Business School.
Worked with Executive of Barclaycard in Northampton to support their ‘Deep Change’ business transformation
programme. The impact of this project was highly commended by Barclaycard senior management and was the basis
for the development of a wide range of major strategic, organisational and operational initiatives.
Worked with the UK MD of the UK subsidiary of this German Pharma company to develop a business turn around
strategy. Prior to commissioning VBM Consulting, the future outlook for the business was exceptionally bleak, facing
as it was a serious threat of closure. Within two years, the business was completely transformed, with sales and
profitability more than doubled. The UK business is now held up as model of success which other BI operating
companies around the world are being encouraged to emulate. Our initial sponsor at BI, the UK MD has now been
promoted to a senior global role and is expected to join the Board in the near future.
- 1985: BCom (Cum Laude) University of Port Elizabeth South Africa
- 1986: BCom (Honours) Economics (First Class) – University of Cape Town
- 1988: MPhil Economics: St Johns College, Cambridge University
- Co-author of a leading publication on value-based strategy, marketing and management, The Value Mandate
(2001) widely praised by the Financial Executives Institute (FEI), The Corporate Library and others as one of the
leading publications in this field.
- Co-author of a book on Internet companies, their valuation, and efficiency implications for Net-responsive
companies, Net Value (2001).
- Accredited Associate of the National School of Government in the UK.
- Active support for development/investment in South Africa
- Children/Youth work connected with local church
- Attendance at as many of my sons’ sports events as possible! – rugby, cricket, swimming etc.