Community Mutual Insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Ohio)

One of the nation’s largest health insurance companies in the US with 3,300 employees and 350 managers experiencing dramatic competition and loss of business. We transformed the organization, improved operations, developed management capabilities while reducing complacency and creating a sense of urgency. Vector Group, working in partnership with our client, achieved improvement in 32 management practices for 350 managers. An independent internal audit showed 600+% return on investment with additional $8M benefit related to behavior change. CMIC achieved a $13M increase in profitability through improved operations.

Prudential Assurance (UK) was a 158-year-old FTSE 100 financial services company with gross written premiums exceeding £16 billion with more than £170 billion in funds under management and was not meeting revenue targets,  had steadily eroding margins and a cost to income ratio that was unsustainable. A new Managing Director was brought in to decrease cost of sale, increase sales force productivity and improve employee commitment and morale. Vector Group was hired to diagnose the underlying causes of the performance issues and carry out improvement recommendations. Improvements in all areas of strategy, culture and infrastructure were needed to enable the sales force to compete effectively.

Following an organizational scan (diagnosis), we launched concurrent multi-faceted interventions to transform this business. We guided their top management in development of the capstone pieces including Mission, Vision, Values and Objectives. Their Managing Director came up with the key values appropriate for their renewed organization.  These values were Commercial Awareness, Customer-Driven, Honesty and Openness, Working Together, Spirit, Dependability and Quality. We facilitated their establishment of organizational management practices that supported those values. We designed a customized 360 degree survey/feedback process that measured their management and leadership behavior on 28 different practices they had decided were critical to their success.

We directed concurrent projects building infrastructure supporting attainment of strategic goals. An international faculty delivered Leadership Mandate, a 5 ½ day residential leadership development program for the top 500 sales managers designed to transform the sales organization. We provided individual executive coaching and follow-up at 90 days for individuals and teams. We simplified and redesigned the work processes, structures and systems, held team effectiveness workshops at each level of the organization, conducted cross-functional partnering sessions and designed and facilitated one-day staff involvement workshops for all employees on business strategy and their role in achieving success

At the end of an 18-month engagement, cost of sale was reduced by 110 basis points (from 2.65:1 to 1.5:1). All totaled, we made 1182 process improvements throughout the organization. The final numbers showed cost of sales down 34.7%, sales productivity up 64.6%, internal processes down 29%, all while increasing the number of sales channels. This program focused 75% on leadership and management development programs, 20% process re-engineering and 5% infrastructure adjustments. We achieved consistent ratings of nine or above (a 1-10 scale) from management development program participants on “value to themselves” and “value to the company.” Many participants indicated that this was the best management session they had ever attended, with life-altering insights into themselves and the contribution they can make.

We were instrumental in building internal resources to carry on sustained change with a skills and knowledge transfer. This “SWAT team” of dedicated people from HR and from sales took on responsibilities for driving the change within the organization and monitoring progress. They intervened when necessary.

The overall result was that we brought this 158 year old company into the 21st century.