As Campion Willcocks celebrates fifty years, we look back over the decades at the key developments that have driven its growth from humble beginnings to become a leading provider of interim management, consulting and compliance in financial services.
The Sixties was a decade of almost unprecedented social and economic change in the UK and it was against this backdrop that Campion Willcocks was founded. The company established itself as a supplier of skilled management with manufacturing backgrounds and helped increase productivity and reduce costs for some of the most successful and leading British companies, including BP and British Gas.
When Britain’s manufacturing base began to decline in the late Seventies and its economy became more service-based, Campion Willcocks shifted its focus to help companies increase office productivity. During this time, the company became increasingly involved with central and local government, as well as the NHS, and the interims it supplied were mainly professionals with financial and office systems knowledge and experience.
Our long association with financial services began in 1973 when Barclays needed specialists to advise and train staff on how the introduction of VAT would affect their business. 46 years on – Barclays is still a client.
The UK entered a recession in the early Eighties – with falling output, rising unemployment and a fall in the inflation rate. The recession particularly hit the manufacturing sector and Campion Willcocks’ earlier decision to expand into additional sectors put us in a strong position during a period of economic volatility.
By the late Eighties, the explosion of technology changed the way companies would do business forever. In the world of finance: the switch from traditional face-to-face dealing to electronic trading helped London outpace its European competitors and it became a compelling destination for international banks. This helped fuel Campion Willcocks’ continued development in financial services as a trusted provider of project, programme and change managers.
A combination of the economy strengthening in the early Nineties and an underlying trend of falling interest rates led to a growth in lending and a financial services boom. Many of the larger building societies converted to banking status. As the economy picked up, clients increasingly turned to Campion Willcocks to provide interim managers to help accelerate plans, deliver change and drive growth.
By the turn of the Millennium, demand for our experts increased further as organisations experienced the clear benefits of specialist expertise for defined periods of time: perhaps following an acquisition or during a major transformation. It was a time of double-digit growth with new offices, investment in new technology and increasing numbers of specialist staff and interims to meet the demands of the market.
The digital era has rapidly changed the market landscape and the way in which organisations operate – shifting customer expectations, disruptive technology and increasing regulatory requirements has reshaped the financial services sector and seen new challenger brands emerge.
This decade has been one of substantial growth for Campion Willcocks; diversifying and expanding to meet clients’ needs. “Our mission is to help clients shape and deliver their strategic agendas, meet the challenges they face today and ensure they have the capability and skills to address tomorrow’s requirements,” says Richard Clifford, Managing Director. “We listen to our clients to understand which service is best positioned to support their specific needs, whether it’s access to exceptional talent through our interim management division; or for us to provide thought leadership or delivery expertise through our consulting and compliance businesses.”
A legacy of trust
With less than five per cent of companies reaching a 50th anniversary, we are very proud of our legacy: Campion Willcocks has provided expert services and dedicated professionals to more than 3,000 clients in the commercial, financial and public sectors. So, what’s our secret?
“We invest constantly in understanding clients’ evolving needs and the speed of that evolution only ever increases,” says Mark Campion, Executive Chairman. “Delivery earns you trust, trust earns you the opportunity to be part of a client’s future.”
As we look to the future, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, Campion Willcocks will continue to adapt to changing customer requirements and industry demands so we can continue to deliver for our clients and continue to earn their trust.