EQPaymaster, part of Equinti Group, is a specialist pension, benefits and payments service provider, combining people and technology intelligently, to deliver high-quality outcomes for their clients and customers. As a strategic partner, they deliver software solutions and services at scale, supporting over 9 million pension scheme members, and in 2017 paid over £31 billion to 3.5 million customers – that’s one in five UK pensioners.
Compendia – Equiniti’s web-based platform, is used by EQPaymaster themselves, as well as by in-house teams to administer their own pension schemes, consultancies and other third-party administrators. It has won 10 industry awards in the past two years.
With their pensions experience dating back to 1836, EQPaymaster’s outsourced solutions help the occupational pension and life & pensions industries deliver high-quality customer service and stay one step ahead of evolving legislation. Their expertise allows scheme trustees, sponsors and insurers to de-risk through analytics, data cleanse and rectification and unlock the true value of people-related data.
Market changes in this competitive environment are driving EQPaymaster to assess what they need to do to sustain their position as one of the leading third-party administrators and providers of pensions, flexible benefits and data services to this sector.
Ric Williams, CEO, told us more about their Transformation Programme that will take them through to 2020. This will result in EQPaymaster building the capability required to optimise a simplified way to do business and engage effectively with their clients, customers and the wider market.
The EQPaymaster business has been affected by both external and internal factors. These include:
- greater emphasis on the client and customer experience
- increasing digitisation
- increasing regulation and the costs of compliance
- the appetite to remove the uncertainty around the future cost of pensions through transfer to insurance companies.
These four themes come together with the focus on data and data quality.
EQPaymaster wants to grow its share of the market. Ric Williams, and his Executive Team, stood back from the business and identified that to achieve this they needed to implement some changes.
“It is important to me that everyone in the business is thinking about the client and customer outcomes we are delivering and judges everything we do by the quality of those outcomes.”
Ric Williams, CEO
It was clear to Ric and his team that if they didn’t intervene, the business would not meet the performance levels, both financial and non-financial, to continue to grow profitably. It was important to secure the support of the Group Executive, and the budget to fund the Transformation Programme to move forward.
The approach – ‘EQP 2020’
The Transformation Programme, named ‘EQP 2020’, focuses on a three-year horizon of delivering this change. The intention is to make the necessary changes in 2018, embed them through 2019 as the business resumes growth and deliver a clear and proven competitive edge by the beginning of 2020.
‘EQP 2020’ is absolutely focused on client and customer outcomes. There are eight critical workstreams that address the following themes:
- clearly articulating how EQPaymaster can deliver complex solutions that address client needs and deliver meaningful value
- simplification of what they do for clients to increase agility, flexibility and the quality of customer outcomes; using technology as a tool to drive quality outcomes
- effective client engagement; speaking with a common voice and focusing on the things that make a difference to client and customer outcomes.
The programme is underpinned by a new Target Operating Model with clarity around end-to-end processes, responsibility and accountability for delivering the right outcomes.
Most organisations don’t have the depth of change capability in-house that is required to lead a programme of this nature, with wide-reaching complexity across eight inter-dependent workstreams. To deliver the change to the trajectory that they wanted, they needed more space, more time and more capability. Ric recognised two areas where they needed support –the Target Operating Model (TOM) work and mobilising and governing the programme.
“It was important that we started the Transformation Programme in the right way, heading in the right direction. I was introduced to Project One by our Director of Transformation and Change within the Equiniti Group, who was working with Project One on a different programme. It was clear they could bring the discipline, capability, expertise and control we needed.”
Project One – making a real difference
The Target Operating Model work was a discreet first phase completed by Project One Consultant, Marion McDonald. In parallel, Angie Glover, also a Project One Consultant, led the programme – focusing on mobilisation and governance – driving it through to the approval of the business case sign off from the Group Investment Committee, mobilising all the workstreams, delivering the work and resourcing it appropriately. Angie kept a constant eye on the benefits and milestones and ensured everything was tracking against the overall project plan.
“Angie and Marion brought experience, insight and discipline to the programme. There was rigour in the support we got, which in part comes from their own personal experiences, but also from the broader support behind the scenes from the wider Project One Team, which I think is invaluable.”
“Both Marion and Angie are extremely impressive. I think their ability to engage in a proper dialogue, really encourage thinking from my team, as well as encourage and develop the team that we have got working on the programme around them, is top class – they are both fantastic and I wouldn’t hesitate to call upon them for other complex programmes.”