Howard Partners, a portfolio of expertise in response to major business issues.
Our positioning as a partner in the transformation of organizations teaches us that the most successful players shape their operational model and engage their forward-looking thinking around 16 differentiating axes.


Performance measurement

Performance measurement must enlighten and guide Corporate Transformations in view of the issues of the company and its environment.

Current economic, social and societal issues directly impact the changes expected in terms of measurement and steering of corporate performance. The main reasons for this are:

  • Competitive pressure and the slowdown of economic growth:
    • Stepping up of measurement and steering of corporate profitability, risks, and solvency, in a manner more closely linked to customer pricing,
    • Stepping up of measurement and steering of changes in non-payments, claims, operational performance, etc. in order to control costs and productivity, 
    • Stepping up of knowledge of competitors and their adaptation to market developments.
  • The necessity for companies to know their customers ever better, as well as their behavior and their immediate and future needs, implying permanent monitoring of current sales and marketing practices to adapt the offer and its communication to customer contexts.
  • The necessity for regular adaptation to the new economic, regulatory, social, societal, environmental and governance issues of companies; the measurements and steering such issues elicit have taken on particular importance as part of management of corporate risks, crisis and decision-making.

In short, confronted with the ever-faster pace of economic, social and societal events, senior executives can no longer manage their company by merely measuring and steering, relying only on the economic and financial indicators available to them.

Today, their performance is measured also according to their ability to anticipate, in a holistic manner, all the market risks and opportunities that companies have to assume. This calls, first and foremost, for a holistic, reliable and forward-looking measurement. This is the responsibility of senior executives.

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Artificial Intelligence Economy

Companies are only just beginning to start exploring the innovative solutions driven by the use of data, algorithms and digital technologies.

Based on corporate strategy, new data uses offer business solutions and constitute an opportunity to stand out, rethink the company’s model, and reconsider the place of both users and end-customers.

The data/AI combination enhances what is valuable in the customer relationship, customizes products and services, automates operations, and simplifies their steering.

A combination that has proven most beneficial to corporate strategy in the face of two threats, namely competition and impalpable disruption:

  • Competitive strategy (short and medium-term): reflection on the digital transformation of corporate activities to integrate technological contributions all across the company and respond to productivity and innovation issues by implementing new uses. This strategy optimizes what already exists.
  • Forward-looking strategy (long-term): once automations and contributions of AI are integrated into all corporate activities, reflection on the future of the model and its position in a society turned upside down by disruption and searching for meaning. This strategy revolutionizes and sets a course.

Orchestration of the implementation of both strategies requires as much technical know-how and experience as it does business knowledge, together with great attention to the missions to be carried out by collaborators, once the project is complete, in order to deliver all the value that company and customers alike are entitled to expect.

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Risk, compliance and ethical control

Lay down the key factors of corporate success by means of a system aimed at risk control, particularly as regards Ethics.

This last decade has been one of transformation in the financial services sector. Regulatory bodies in the USA and Europe have ramped up markedly the level of expectations in terms of resilience of the financial sector, as well as of compliance with the regulations laid down.

To cope with an increasingly complex and exacting regulatory environment, companies have reinforced considerably their risk management and compliance functions to make their operational models more robust confronted with market developments and with all the risks they face.

In this light, the risk of non-compliance of these institutions continues to be a major, strategic issue due to the penal, financial and loss-of-reputation consequences it may have. It also implies an ethical business conduct adapted to regulatory changes, in order to avoid serious penal and financial consequences, but also to enhance their image, uphold their reputation, and thus bolster the confidence of stakeholders and their clients.

Implementation of an ethical business conduct calls for a holistic approach by companies in order to:

  • Understand and anticipate the new ethical risk areas driven by the changes in business and in the activities that underlie them,
  • Increase the reliability of these activities, while respecting the development of the business and operational activities initiated,
  • Introduce or optimize robust systems in line with existing regulations and best practices,
  • Utilize information systems to detect deviations and their impacts on business,
  • Investigate cases of non-compliance.

In short, while financial institutions seem to focus today on control of their operating costs, on stepping up their nearshoring/offshoring strategies, and on implementation of industrialization programs to tap and integrate the new technologies into their everyday activities, it is nonetheless true that such transformations require ongoing examination and reinforcement of their capacities to control their risks, their compliance and the ethics of their business.

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Holistic vision of the Finance Function

The Financial stream, together with the Control and Risk streams, must enlighten and guide corporate transformation strategies.

Current economic, social and societal issues oblige CEOs and, consequently, CFOs, to steer and communicate on corporate finances in a holistic and forward-looking manner.

Consequently, the Finance Function must continue to grow in strength on its fundamental missions given the ever-increasing expectations in terms of financial, regulatory and risk control performances, enhancement of its functioning and operational efficiency, harmonization of the various streamss, transparency of its financial communication, and management of its stream’s human capital.

However, CFOs can no longer afford to be just the guarantors of corporate financial health. They must also face up to new challenges, some of which we have already addressed in our offer portfolio, in which CFOs have to play a holistic role, while also counting among the guarantors of the vision of corporate strategic transformations. This implies:

  • New corporate vision and economic models,
  • Generalization of partnerships,
  • Sustainable development,
  • Risk, compliance and ethical control,
  • Corporate performance measurement.

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