Mike Britch - Managing Director, Norse Group

Workshop C: Profitable Partnerships in tough times
Mike Britch, Norse Group Managing Director
“LAs must consider fundamental changes to
the way in which services are provided.”
“Partnership working between Councils and
other local agencies is key to re-designing
public services and to ensuring good outcomes
at lowest cost.”
Department for Communities and Local Government
“An agreement in which parties agree to
co-operate to advance their mutual interests.”
“An agreement entered into by two or more
parties, each of whom intends to create one or
more legal obligations between them.”
Partnership versus Contract
Lower risk/reward
 High reward/high risk
 Requires detailed
 Can drive win/lose behaviours
 Certainty of outcome but
change can be expensive
Profitable partnerships?
 Public/Private partnerships
• Requirement for full OJEU process
 Public/Public partnerships
• Use of Teckal exemption
Ingredients for a successful
 Common objectives
 Valuing each other’s contribution
 Knowing what success looks like
 The partnership being greater
than the sum of its parts
Ingredients for a
successful partnership
Freedom to:
Generate profit
Do things differently
Experiment/get things wrong
Be successful!
What can partnership offer?
 Financial return over and above initial savings
 Vehicle for service transformation
 Flexibility
 Operational freedom:
• expand skill base
• capacity
• commercial culture
Profitable partnerships need . . .
To combine public service ethos with commercial and
entrepreneurial skills
 Commercial and dynamic leadership
 Cultural change by staff
Career opportunities
Business focus
Client centric
 Robust monitoring and reporting systems
 Built around service specifications and KPIs
Profitable partnerships need . . .
 Accountability and personal ownership
 Commercial systems
• HR
• Finance
 Sales Function
 Awareness of importance of cash flow
The Norse Group
 Formed in 2002
 Grew out of DSO/DLO and set up in response to CCT
 Staff transferred to company
 NCC single Shareholder
 Board of Directors to ensure NCC strategic control
 2002: Turnover = £47m
 2012-13: Turnover = £250m
The Norse Group Joint Venture Model
 Separate joint venture companies limited by shares – 19 in place already
 Board of Directors
2 senior Partner Authority nominated
3 Norse Group
 Shareholding split 80% Norse – 20% Partnering Authority
 Profits split 50-50
 Norse Group takes commercial risk
 Equal Shareholder rights
 Shared vision and objectives
Via its partnerships, the Group has:
responded to market failure
• Care Homes
• Affordable Housing
• Contract failures – Connaught
created new opportunities
• Energy management – CRC
• Waste disposal
changed with the market
• Free Schools
• Academies
Driving value from
 Doing the same things via a different
vehicle will not deliver a step change or
 Use the partnership to change the outcome
in service delivery and client commissioning
 Success can only come from growth.
Service efficiencies will only go so far
Mike Britch
Managing Director
Norse Group
01603 706100
[email protected]

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