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Steve Sollars

Consultant, UK

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Steve Sollars

Consultant, UK

Connect on Linkedin

1  What’s different about Berkeley for our clients? 

Berkeley only hire consultants who already have a certain depth of experience and knowledge under them – typically about 10 years in other consulting firms. This means that we don’t approach clients with the ‘pyramid’ – large numbers of junior staff supported by decreasing numbers of management.

Instead, the Berkeley teams that join clients are normally only one or two people strong. This means that each client gets a transformation consultant who is already a seasoned pro, and who will easily dovetail into a client's organisation and culture to provide immediate impact.

Our experience and professional success also means that we are trusted by Berkeley leadership to autonomously deliver the right job for each client, without the need for overextended layers of review. It means we can get right into the weeds of a client’s challenge and work as an integral part of their team to turn that challenge into sustainable value.

2  What’s been your favourite assignment and why?

I helped completely restructure a UK bank in response to ringfencing regulations. Essentially an institution hundreds of years old had to be carved into two separate entities with distinct IT systems, people, processes, buildings and organisational structures. It was a huge undertaking. 

One of the reasons I enjoyed it was because I saw it through from start to finish. We started from scratch, designing the new entity down to the very last detail – how would systems work, what was the finance and operating model, who would sit in what seat etc. 

Implementation then required months of design and delivery including complex IT changes, and finally a number of dress rehearsals of the actual weekend over which the entity was to be split into two – including some surreal overnight shifts in the office. It was exhausting, but a great pleasure to see such a huge structural change through from origin to fruition.

3  Why did you become a management consultant?

I won’t pretend I applied for university, or even studied, with the intention of becoming a management consultant. What I did work out during that time though is that I enjoy solving problems, and that I’m pretty strong on the analytical stuff. Spreadsheets, coding, the odd bit of maths – these were the things that I found myself working on for hours late into the night without taking breaks. 

Combine that with a slightly over-romantic love of using the written word to explain things, and it dawned on me that if I could find a job that brought all this together, I would at least be reasonably content. And thus, I became a consultant. At first it was sustainable energy consulting, then a stint in the financial services industry focused on regulation, and now at Berkeley, I’m delivering strategic transformation across a range of sectors.