Barnett Waddingham, a leading independent UK professional services consultancy across risk, pensions, investment and insurance, has posted double-digit annual revenue growth at £15 million for the 2018/19 period, representing a stand-out performance in this market.
The latest figures mark a significant acceleration of revenues to £99.3 million – a near 50% increase since 2016.
While the organisation has grown consistently year-on-year, the results show a significant acceleration of revenues alongside the expansion of headcount, services and solutions.
"We firmly believe that our success is really driven by our true independence..."
Nick Salter, Senior Partner, said: “While we have always been an ambitious organisation, our latest financial statement has gone beyond even our own expectations, proving that our business continues to surpass its claims to delivering a superior quality of service that delights our clients.
“We firmly believe that our success is really driven by our true independence as a firm, which is something our competitors simply cannot offer.”
Among Barnett Waddingham’s major achievements in the past year, consistent quality scoring for service delivery has been a mainstay, including a coveted ‘gold award’ in July from Investor in Customers (IIC) for outstanding customer experience and loyalty across all of our trustee services, and a PASA ‘gold standard’ for the quality of our pensions administration team.
Marcus Whitehead, Managing Partner, added: “This summer, BW celebrated its thirtieth year in business and while that’s a fantastic achievement for us, we are less concerned about basking in our results than with maintaining our momentum to propel us forward into the next thirty years.
“Our heritage underpins our success, but our focus is on the future to ensure that we continue to innovate and help our clients to solve their complexities”.
Barnett Waddingham’s workforce now exceeds 1,270 members of staff across eight offices, of whom 73 are partners. The business welcomed over 350 new people throughout the financial year, providing valuable consulting, administration, IT and operational resource to the organisation’s risk, pensions, investment and insurance practices.
Thanks to this growth, the organisation has also been able to welcome a larger intake of 27 to its annual graduate programme and 25 to its apprentice programme, with training and mentorship provided by some of the firm’s most experienced partners.
Both financial and headcount growth have been reinforced by efforts to further corporate social investment, sustainability and people-focussed activities, including support for diversity and inclusion.
Recent Barnett Waddingham charity drives have supported causes that cover research for cancer, physical syndromes and disabilities, and those suffering with terminal illness and bereavement, to name a few. A project committed to supporting 1,000 young people through financial donations, educational sessions, mental health initiatives and youth enterprise schemes, has also been launched.
“Clients want a partner they can trust to do the right thing, whether it’s in day-to-day business or in our involvement with local communities – and they like to see us instilling the same values in the next generation of Barnett Waddingham partners,” said Salter.
Barnett Waddingham has continued to expand on and augment the services it offers, developing a number of new income streams that have further strengthened its accounts and created a pathway for future success.
Among them, the organisation’s insurance business has grown by 50% in both revenue and headcount over the past twelve months, having produced work for more than 70 clients throughout the year. The firm is also becoming a formidable presence in management decision analytics and the enterprise risk advisory market with a number of significant hires and client wins in 2019.
It remains heavily involved in PPF cases as one of the leading providers of these services, particularly in relation to large and high profile schemes. Over the year the firm has provided administration, actuarial and consultancy services to a range of schemes, including British Steel, Carillion and BHS.
Having offered self-invested pension services since 1989, this business area has taken a further leap forward during the past financial year. Barnett Waddingham now has more Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS) assets under administration than any other administrator in the country, while the Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP) service surpassed 20,000 clients and over £5 billion in assets under administration in 2019.
Meanwhile, the firm’s workplace, health and wealth (WHW) services continue to work closely with the corporate consultancy practice to deliver a bespoke service for a dynamic and evolving workplace.
With bespoke client services in mind, Barnett Waddingham has continued to invest in proprietary technology and software solutions in the past year. This includes ongoing attention to Me2 – its suite of digital tools that allow employees to independently monitor and adjust pensions and workplace benefits, recently adopted by the Football Association (The FA) – and its development of ANNalytica™, a platform that enables visualisation and automation of information for the insurance industry.
“Carefully developing our services and being unafraid to step into new business areas remains at the heart of our efforts to continue to evolve with the needs of our clients,” said Whitehead.
“But every change we make is calculated. Every gain is measured against our ability to deliver the same consistently strong service for the benefit of our clients.”
Barnett Waddingham’s future-oriented strategic plan has already proven instrumental to its financial success, with client feedback identifying the organisation’s continued pledge towards longstanding partnerships and remaining as independent consultants and administrators as two key attractions.
The organisation has also continued to expand its reach in the global market. Barnett Waddingham’s joint venture with US-based management consulting company Milliman has seen development throughout the year, leading to the recent addition of a new partner in the form of Germany-based consultancy Lurse. The venture, now known as MBWL International, is recognised as the leading independent alternative to the ‘big three’ consulting firms for global pensions and employee benefits advice worldwide.
Comprising over 5,000 people across 26 offices and over one hundred years of combined experience, MBWL International will bolster existing services available for clients that operate outside the UK as well as create new international prospects.
When it comes to strategic thinking, Barnett Waddingham is already setting bold ambitions for the future, with the aim to maintain and evolve its role as a leading influencer in the market by focusing on enduring relationships.
“The approach we take with our clients is, in essence, the same approach we take for our own business: a long-term partnership that requires long-term thinking,” said Salter.
“Our business map is measured not in years, but in decades, and our latest financial results prove we are setting the ideal foundations to get us there.”