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Oak Group: developing a purpose-led business




Financial Services

Our client, Oak Group, is a private client, corporate services, and fund administration business. Oak supports individuals, family offices and corporate clients with a wide variety of wealth management and investment structures. Oak recently became a purpose-led business with the help of our sustainability experts. By weaving ESG into the fabric of their culture, strategy and operations, Oak could differentiate themselves in the financial services space.

  • Outcome 1: Aligned leadership and team with the vision of creating a more sustainable organisation
  • Outcome 2: Created internal sustainability strategy, capabilities and governance required to execute on the vision
  • Outcome 3: Contributed to new external rebrand, retaining and winning new business due to ESG goals and values

The Challenge

ESG is not simply a “nice to have”, but a fundamental part of futureproofed business models. Only by incorporating ESG values into a company from the top down will businesses make genuine progress on their sustainability journeys.

Oak Group, a private client, corporate services, and fund administration company, recognized that they needed to be more sustainable as an organisation. They wanted to improve their environmental and social impact, in turn helping clients progress their own sustainability journeys. Drawing from our team’s extensive knowledge and experience in the ESG space, we helped Oak create a more meaningful, purpose-led business with sustainability at its core.

The Approach

We worked alongside Oak’s team to kickstart their sustainability journey. We initially ran a series of discovery workshops with senior leadership and colleagues to understand their sustainability views, preferences and materiality. These sessions highlighted the team’s commitment to “building a sustainable business and supporting clients on their own sustainability journeys,” says Oak’s managing director. Using these insights, we created a strategic recommendations report for the senior leadership to act on in order for Oak to be truly purpose-led. It was also important to make sure the organisation was working towards the agenda of the UN Global Compact, so we set up related internal sustainability governance, action plans and tracking methods. This meant Oak could hold itself publicly accountable to meet its ESG targets.

In addition, we helped Oak to articulate its carbon footprinting objectives, suggesting they partner with a specialist footprinting firm or technology provider to undertake a full analysis of Oak’s global carbon emissions and make recommendations for setting and achieving net zero targets, and track and report their progress against these.

We also helped them create assets to kickstart a growing catalogue of technical sustainability copy and content for marketing purposes, including thought leadership, as digital support for Oak’s sustainability-led rebrand. And finally, we translated our work into a brief for Oak’s creative agency to execute on the rebrand.

The Impact

Throughout the process, we worked collaboratively with Oak’s senior and wider colleague teams to ensure they were fully aligned with the vision of creating a more sustainable organisation. This included training the entire global team on sustainability concepts and sustainable finance opportunities to create sustainability innovation capabilities. Ultimately, this means the team is equipped with the foundational knowledge and passion to continue to build a sustainable business as part of BAU.

As a result of our work, Oak has rebranded as a sustainable organisation and its new positioning is attracting new clients and talent, while having a positive impact on existing clients in progressing their own sustainability journeys, and on people and the planet as a whole. Find out more about the work Partner Emiko Caerlewy-Smith led here.

More on our sustainability services

“Oak’s aspiration to become a leading purpose-led business with sustainability at the forefront has given us the chance to collaborate with a community of change-makers. We are committed to training our people so we are able to lead by example in the financial services sector under the three sustainability pillars; environmental, social and governance.”

James Tracey, Head of Sustainability at Oak Group

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Emiko Caerlewy-Smith

Emiko Caerlewy-Smith