Elix-IRR named as the UK’s Best New Consultancy

Elix-IRR’s work with Standard Bank of South Africa won the Commercial Excellence Award, and Elix-IRR also picked up the Best New Consultancy Firm Award for this project.

Elix-IRR is a strategic advisory firm, offering bespoke, differentiated advice to plan and execute achievable transformation that creates demonstrable business value. They provide inspiration and drive at every step of the process, from defining strategy, through operating model design and strategic sourcing, to the alignment of major change initiatives. The team is comprised of senior professionals from top-tier consulting and services firms, as well as experienced practitioners from industry.

Founded in 2009, they have grown from strength to strength into a multi-award winning firm that provides insightful, practical and pragmatic advice giving real results.


Elix-iRR with Standard Bank – 2014 Commercial Excellence Winner

Elix-IRR and Standard Bank of South Africa have worked together on a large scale, cost-cutting engagement for the Bank’s Global Card operations and business divisions. The Bank needed to make significant cost savings across all divisions, and the Global Head of Card engaged Elix-IRR to help improve vendor management, increase efficiency, and implement the necessary changes to make these cost savings.

Over the last two years they have helped Standard Bank realise more than $51m in bottom line P&L improvements, with our work spanning the full value chain.

Elix-IRR produced a global, end-to-end Card value chain and financial cost tree analysis,identifying cost reduction and other value creation opportunities, and giving executives a better view of the end-to-end business and cost drivers. This enabled them to enact key governance changes to drive a more holistic and integrated view of the global card business.

They identified Card Association contracts as a key opportunity for potential cost savings and began to explore how they could drive greater value from the relationships they held with the bank. They rejected several uncompetitive offers from vendors that lacked flexibility, and instead ran a competitive sourcing process that put the Bank back in charge. By ensuring that vendors were responding to Standard Bank’s requirements and forecasts for future growth and expansion across Africa, they ensured that any offers would be appropriate before they were signed

Elix-IRR led the end-to-end sourcing process, from vendor engagement, response evaluation, negotiation, through to final contracting. They utilised a strong competitive sourcing discipline and experience, combined with scenario-based financial modelling, to extract considerable additional value for our client. Furthermore, because they ran an accelerated sourcing and contracting process we were able to finalise a decision with the Group board and COO in under 3 months – “faster than any other contract Group Legal had ever signed” – allowing value to be realised sooner rather than later.

The deal signed was a landmark 5 year pan-African contract with a major Card Association vendor, and contributed $33m of value at lower risk over 5 years towards the total cost savings. Their unique scenario-led methodology ensured that there is a significantly reduced risk of not hitting the required volume for the contract to deliver this value. These cost savings are equivalent to a reduction of at least 40-50% of total fees (forecast over 5 years).

In the past, Standard Bank had managed its card vendors poorly and had failed to realise the promised benefits of previous deals. To ensure the long term success of the deal Elix-IRR worked with Standard Bank to design a new Card Scheme Management team. They designed the roles and responsibilities of the team, and set up processes and reporting templates, including a core management dashboard to track contract performance against forecasts to ensure that the full value is being delivered.

As a result of putting the client first and delivering significant value over the last two years, Elix-IRR have a continuing relationship with Standard Bank. Standard Bank's most senior card executives turn to Elix-IRR when they need strategic guidance on a wide range of issues, and they hope to be able to continue helping Standard Bank grow their business as they expand across Africa.

“We worked closely with the Elix-IRR team over several months on a project that delivered significant revenue upside for the bank. The Elix-IRR team brought expert skills to the table and were able to support the bank through delivering robust, analytically driven solutions to complex problems. Over the course of the project, we also appreciated the diligence and persistence of the team, particularly the team’s ability to work through uncertainty and to overcome data gaps to come to sensible recommendations”

Chris Sweeney, Global Head of Card