I spent several years as a ‘traditional contractor’ through my previous consultancy. The ‘traditional’ model was to take on full-time contracts for several months with a main client, possibly with some smaller contracts as well. There is definitely still a market for that kind of approach, and Polynya is very happy to work with clients on that basis.
However, in renewing ties with old friends and colleagues in the independent consulting market, and exploring new opportunities, it’s become clear that the traditional approach is in the middle of a spectrum.
At the smaller-scale end of that spectrum, I’ve had discussions with clients about performing a targeted review. For example, some firms are interested in expertise and challenge on specific aspects of forthcoming Internal Model major change applications. The duration is a week or two, and the deliverable a report with recommendations about how the approach, or its documentation and presentation to the PRA, can be refined.
The relatively small scale of the engagement doesn’t detract from the core purpose of using expertise and experience to help the client achieve its objectives. It also builds knowledge of the client’s business, and working relationships with its staff, giving a potential springboard for further mutually beneficial engagements.
At the other end of the spectrum are much larger projects. One approach here is to engage a ‘Big 4’ consulting firm, and there are clearly cases where this remains very sensible. However, where very specific expertise is needed, the Big 4 aren’t always in the best position to provide it. And engaging multiple independent contractors comes with an overhead to the client to coordinate their delivery.
Many independent contractors – and I am no exception – thrive on the independence. But we only make a living by delivering value to clients through our expertise and experience. A middle path is for independent consultants to join forces with each other through ‘collectives’, while retaining their independent identities. This enables delivery at scale, with the collective coordinating its own activities. And even though the expertise is much more focused, the pricing is nowhere near Big 4 levels.
So I’m delighted to report that Polynya has joined the R Calc collective of credit risk experts, led by Leigh Baker. Across the collective we have deep knowledge of credit risk from multiple industries, and look forward to bringing that pooled expertise to bear for clients’ benefit. Whether that’s life insurers who are looking to widen their range of credit assets, or banks and building societies who would benefit from a breadth of expertise not just with mainstream lending, but also with more specialised products like equity release and retirement interest-only mortgages, R Calc stands ready to assist.
In conclusion, Polynya is pleased to assist clients at a wide range of scales, from targeted reviews, through traditional contracting, to participation within collectives. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can help.