United Kingdom

June 2022

Anne Boden at Starling Bank: Disrupting an industry

By Herminia Ibarra, Luisa Alemany, Nick Mickshik, Ken Mark

The case describes the start-up and evolution of UK-based digital bank Starling. Founded in 2014, Starling offered personal and business accounts, and lending products, promising a better customer-service experience, faster approvals and a more digital-friendly approach than traditional banks. By 20...

March 2022

Refinitiv: A private equity-led transformation

By Julian Birkinshaw, David Craig

In August 2019 CEO David Craig was considering the likely benefits and challenges of merging his company, financial-markets data and infrastructure provider Refinitiv, with the London Stock Exchange Group. Craig had led a turnaround of Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk division (F&R), then...

February 2022

TrueLayer: Innovation, regulation and the future of financial services

By Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark, Farhan Lalji

In April 2021, having just raised $70 million in a Series D funding, Francesco Simoneschi, Co-Founder and CEO of TrueLayer, was thinking about expansion plans. Should the company focus on product innovation, broadening its line-up within the 13 countries in which it operated, or should it look to gr...

September 2021

The fall of Greensill and the future of supply chain finance

By S. Alex Yang, Lisa Duke

In March 2021, Greensill Capital, the UK-based leading supply chain financing provider, with 16 offices across the world, filed for insolvency; its Germany-based bank closed by regulators. Less than two years earlier, Greensill had received a $1.5 billion investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, va...

November 2021

Pass the Keys (B)

By John Mullins

The past year, 2019, had been an exhilarating one for Alex Lyakhotskiy and his team. Buoyed by a new franchise model that was working well for opening new cities, alongside better execution in some of the company’s existing cities, Pass the Keys’ growth had accelerated. Happily, it was looking l...

November 2021

Pass the Keys (A)

By John Mullins

It was a cold, blustery February morning in 2019. Pass the Keys co-founders Alex Lyakhotskiy and Zoe Vu were reflecting with their team on the three and a half years that their fast-growing company had been in business. “We’re now managing 480 properties in nine cities across the UK. Most of our...

September 2021

Treeapp: Plant a tree for free, every day

By Ioannis Ioannou

The case describes the launch in the UK and Ireland in April 2020 of the mobile app Treeapp, intended to help combat the effects of climate change by enabling users to plant trees for free. The app is funded by Treeapp’s brand partners, who pay £1 to Treeapp every time a user watches an advert on...

February 2021

ProMed Ltd

By John Mullins, Robert M Johnson

For Sid Worley, it was decision time. He had spent the last two years courting the management and the family owners of his largest competitor, and finally (and unexpectedly) they had indicated that they would be receptive to “a serious offer” to buy the company. Worley was excited and determined...

February 2021

Valuing Privately Owned Companies: Valuation Techniques – Technical Note

By John Mullins, Robert M Johnson, Steve Pesenti

It is commonly said that the valuation of companies is more of an art than a science. The essence of this statement is that arriving at a valuation is a matter of judgment, balancing the consideration of various factors, rather than the mechanical application of a mathematical formula. This is espec...

January 2021

Pharma UK: The Transdermal Technology – Compact Case

By Julian Birkinshaw

Pharma UK was the UK subsidiary of Pharma, a major international pharmaceuticals company with expertise in oncology, hormone replacement drugs and fertility. Pharma UK was responsible for selling drugs in the local marketplace. However, it also had 50 people in R&D, doing local development work ...