Case study | Partners in Performance | Global Management Consultancy

Case Study

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Business challenge

Our client, a South African Life Insurer, was experiencing negative jaws between the revenue and cost base of their retail business.


Revenue had remained flat over prior years while costs had escalated by ~10%. Previous expense management and cost strategies only succeeded in keeping cost increases in line with inflation. The business required a comprehensive cost reset to meet business requirements.

We were engaged to assess the overall cost efficiency potential across two divisions of the retail business and identify priority improvement areas.

Business impact


overall cost reset opportunity identified


a cost reset agenda focusing on productivity, process automation and organisational streamlining


key stakeholders and executives on the process, findings and priorities

  • Reviewed prior cost initiatives and other cost data to see what had been tried previously
  • Developed a transparent view of the size and structure of the cost base across the retail life insurance business
  • Conducted benchmarking of the cost base in the in‑scope business functions to identify “cost‑overweight” areas using our proprietary database of input and output insurance cost KPIs
  • Identified the cost drivers and size of the cost reset opportunity in “cost‑overweight” business areas
  • Conducted deep dives into operations and finance functions which represented 25% of costs and 45% of headcount
  • Built alignment on the cost opportunity in deep dive areas
  • Developed a high‑level execution roadmap to prepare the organisation for delivery

Key Takeaway

  • Understanding “cost‑overweight” business areas helped our client identify their biggest cost‑saving opportunities
  • Working in collaboration with the client and building capability gave their team ownership over the cost reset opportunity
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