100 new hires in the first 12 months

How SOLA helped Rathbones build their digital transformation teams, fast and at scale

The challenge

Rathbones‭, ‬one of the UK’s oldest and most respected wealth management companies‭, ‬recognised it needed to modernise its technology infrastructure to stay‭ ‬ahead of the competition‭. ‬To undertake this digital transformation‭, ‬they needed to bring in more people with the technology and‭ ‬change management skills and experience to help‭, ‬and they wanted to do it fast‭.‬

Having struggled to find the right people through a variety of recruitment suppliers‭, ‬they looked for a new strategic partner with expertise in technology and transformation who also understood them and what they were trying to achieve‭. ‬SOLA proved to be‮—‬and continues to be‮—‬that partner‭.‬

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At a glance

Company‭: ‬Rathbones Brothers Plc

CEO‭:‬‭ ‬Paul Stockton

Founded‭:‬‭ ‬1742

HQ‭:‬‭ ‬Finsbury Circus‭, ‬London‭, ‬
with offices throughout the UK

Sector‭:‬‭ ‬Personal investment management

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SOLA entry

Date‭:‬‭ ‬2020

Plan‭:‬‭ ‬To undertake a digital transformation and deliver a full life cycle staffing strategy by working as an exclusive retained partner‭.‬

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SOLA exit

Date‭: ‬Ongoing

New hires‭:‬‭ ‬150+

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build a transformation team fast & at scale

SOLA's approach

The beginning of a project like this is crucial as both parties must be willing to invest time‭, ‬energy‭, ‬and effort for it to be‭ ‬a success‭. ‬Together‭, ‬SOLA and Rathbones developed an ambitious plan to build out a transformation team‭, ‬quickly and at scale‭.‬

From the outset‭, ‬SOLA listened and learned so they truly understood Rathbone’s requirements and culture‭. ‬This helped them profile ideal candidates‮—‬in terms of both skills and values‮—‬‭ ‬which accelerated successful placements and the entire project‭.‬

Strong relationships are one of the hallmarks of SOLA’s approach to client partnerships‭, ‬and the Rathbones transformation project was no exception‭. ‬The two companies developed great‭ ‬communication and rapport at all levels‭. ‬This created a high level of trust and cooperation across the board and proved crucial‭ ‬in overcoming the challenges inherent in a project of this size and urgency‭.‬

Client testimonials


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Challenging conditions

Shortly after the relationship began‭, ‬Covid-19‭ ‬hit‭. ‬This added extra challenges to an already tough environment‭. ‬However‭, ‬the companies pressed forward with the plan‭, ‬employing flexibility and technology to overcome the restrictive pandemic conditions‭. ‬

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The results

In the first 12‭ ‬months‭, ‬SOLA helped Rathbones hire 100‭ ‬people to drive their transformation agenda‭. ‬Over the subsequent year‭, ‬a‭ ‬further 50‭ ‬people were hired as teams continued to be enriched‭.‬ Together‭, ‬Rathbones and SOLA built a strong foundation for continued success‭. ‬They are well integrated‭, ‬which puts them in an excellent position as they continue to work together to help Rathbones thrive‭.‬

SOLA’s Approach

After initial discussions and diagnoses, SOLA designed a detailed scope and project plan.

SOLA leaders visited Sendbird's offices in the US for a deep dive into the company's purpose, mission, vision and values as well as the key drivers for success.

From that work, the SOLA team developed an employee value proposition to help them present Sendbird to prospective candidates. And a strategic gameplan and timeline were agreed.

SOLAarc IncubatorTM Solution

SOLA deployed its SOLAarc Incubator solution, creating a "virtual subsidiary" to support Sendbird’s EMEA expansion. This included:

1. Talent identification
SOLA drew on its deep sector knowledge, executive search expertise, and extensive candidate networks to identify, entice and hire exceptional local talent, incubated within a Virtual Subsidiary for Sendbird.
2. Tailored employment lifecycle & infrastructure support
Onboarding, compliant employment contracts, policies & processes, fully managed payroll & expenses, benefits management, employer insurances, background screening, HR support, employee performance management, and off-boarding.
3. Compliance with local employment laws and regulations
The Virtual Subsidiary was legally compliant across employment contracts, management taxation and benefits. It removed candidate doubts about working for a US HQ business and positively appealed to key hires. And it provided data & IP protection for Sendbird.
4. Path to exit
SOLA worked closely with all Sendbird’s stakeholders to facilitate a seamless transfer of incubated employees into a true UK Sendbird subsidiary, without loss of continuity of employment.

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"We have been able to hire at a pace and a quality we have never achieved in the past. And that comes from our partnership with SOLA."

Martin Leah, Change and Transformation
Director of Rathbones Brothers Plc