The Financial Ombudsman Service commissions an outside review of its Board’s effectiveness every three years. For 2014 we selected Judy Delaforce of FSTP, through a competitive tender process. Judy proved an excellent choice.
Judy combined rigour and thoroughness with informality, valuably getting members of the Board and the Executive to relax both in meetings which she observed and in one-to-one interviews. She also established a positive relationship with the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, who oversee our Service and took an interest in the review; this was particularly helpful in concentrating their minds on key issues of concern to them. She handled potentially sensitive issues with tact and diplomacy, satisfying the regulator that they had been fully covered, but without inviting inappropriate intrusiveness.
The recommendations which Judy put to our Board, almost all of which we accepted, reflected her common-sense and empirical approach, drawing directly on her observation of the Board and its committees and on the comments made to her in informal meetings, as well as on her wide experience of other organisations. She got the feel of the Service well, and there is no doubt in my mind that her recommendations will enable us to function more efficiently and effectively in the future. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to a Board considering a similar review to ours.”
Sir Nicholas Montagu, KCB, Chairman of the Board, Financial Ombudsman Service
I would strongly recommend “Judy Delaforce carried out an external review of the effectiveness of the ICAEW’s Audit Committee in December 2011. This was the first externally facilitated review of the Committee. The work involved a thorough examination of the workings of the committee and interviews with the key stakeholders and members. This was a substantial piece of work. Judy managed to complete the work within the very tight timetable set and delivered the conclusions in a prompt and timely manner to fit in with our reporting timetable. There is no doubt that this involved a considerable amount of effort by Judy in a very short period of time. Without exception, we found Judy to be a thoroughly engaging individual with a keen eye for detail. She managed to identify several areas where we were already performing well whilst setting out a comprehensive range of recommendations as to how we could improve. Her final report was accepted without demur by the Committee and we have implemented her helpful recommendations in full. All in all, she did an excellent job which was delivered on time, within budget, and which added considerable value to the workings of the Committee and the ICAEW. I would strongly recommend her work.
Ian Cherry, Audit Committee Chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
We would highly recommend the services of BP&E who always provide an excellent standard of training to us and we value the advice they provide to us with continual professionalism. BP&E are a trusted partner of Starr’s in respect to the regulatory and Board initiatives they provide to us, and when working with BP&E we always receive positive feedback from our employees citing their delivery style and technical expertise. In particular, our Board Members and Senior Management who commend Jayne Owen’s invaluable experience and coaching style as highly beneficial for success in their roles. We look forward to our continued work and relationship with BP&E Global
Starr Group of Companies
Judy Delaforce conducted a full external effectiveness review for the Board of the Pension Protection Fund. Her work was intelligent, thorough, insightful and useful. Judy brought a different perspective to the Board evaluation than I have previously experienced with other external providers. Not only did she provide a full analysis of the Board and its processes, but also useful insights into behaviours and attitudes enabling us to further develop our effectiveness.
I am pleased to recommend her evaluations of Boards of Directors to all Chairmen or Chief Executives who would like to enable their Boards to become even more effective.
Chair, Pension Protection Fund.
Judy has a very thorough approach to Board evaluations due to her interesting background of industry, regulation and coaching. Her findings and conclusions are not always easy to hear if you’ve been kidding yourself everything is ok and normal, and the recommendations are therefore sometimes hard to swallow, but she gave us a clear path forward, was 100% right and we are gradually putting her recommendations into place. If you want a true review of your Board’s performance and to make a difference to your business and bottom-line rather than a tick-box evaluation, then Judy’s the right person for you,
Compliance Director, Lloyd’s Managing Agent
We knew Judy through our evaluation, and as an independent NED interview panellist, so when one of our new NEDs (not one she had interviewed) had recently joined and immediately bounced in like Tigger to our sedate board room the culture shock was enormous. We thought we had made a mistake. I reached out to Judy and asked for help. Judy had three sessions with the new NED in between board meetings and I watched the NED’s approach change and become more subtle. What a transformation. The cultural fit is now fine. A year later he is chairman of one of our key committees. Thank you for waving your magic wand.
Chairman, Regulatory body
Judy, following our board evaluation we have made quite some progress with the recommendations given by you! Above all in the field of diversity, we now have a lady Board member. Excellent background in non-financial risk and exactly what we needed. Now we are looking into where to take the diversity next and what objectives we should go for given our industry and group structure. Many thanks for all your help so far, your patience and professionalism proved to be a great asset.
Company Secretary, FTSE 250 Mining Company
Judy combines a superb creative brain with the rare ability to implement projects effectively. Her organisational skills are exceptional and she can take a major project goal, break it down into realistic action steps and carry those out to time and budget. Judy is very much a deliverer and makes change happen in organisations.
Judy conducted a thoroughly professional Board Effectiveness Review and was a pleasure to work with. The differentiating factor for me was the comprehensive (and practical) list of recommendations and draft action plan that she produced. I am sure that its implementation will further enhance the Board’s performance.
Rodger Hughes, Chair, Family Building Society
Without Judy I would never have made the significant changes to my behaviour and being that have enabled my career to take off in quite such an amazing way! Thank you Judy,
Andy, Senior Manager, UK Insurance PLC
Judy really thinks outside the box. No matter why or for what you think you have employed her skills, you will always get so much more than it says on the tin!
Senior banker, UK Bank PLC