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Prospects Mutuals Service - Successes

03 July 2015

Large nationwide public sector employer

Prospects advised the Board of one of the largest public sector bodies scheduled for mutualisation. Based on an extensive gap analysis of the organisation’s mutual readiness, Prospects advised on critical transformation aspects of the transition including leadership, management, culture change, employee engagement and employee relations. The assignment also involved dialogue with trade unions represented in the business.

First mutual venture to spin out of local government

Prospects was selected by three London boroughs as the minority partner of their shared school support services – with the new company, 3BM Ltd, becoming the first such venture to transfer out of local government. Prospects advised the new business on commercial readiness, its transition to majority employee ownership, its new representative structure and a transformation of its culture. Read the press release.

Potential mutual in adult social care

Prospects was selected by the Cabinet Office as the adviser to this South Coast service which had won funding to plan mutualisation under the then Government’s Mutual Support Programme. Working with staff and management, Prospects provided a business plan, five year financial model involving significant savings to the parent authority, an outline marketing plan, detailed transition plan and a mutualisation readiness review.

National Whitehall Non-Departmental Public Body

Working with our legal partner Fieldfisher LLP, Prospects conducted an options appraisal for this prominent public body on possible alternative corporate structures as a response to government intention to transfer it from the public sector balance sheet. Based on analysis with the organisation’s Board our report set out proposals for an innovative mutual structure involving employees and customers.

Local authority owned business

Prospects was commissioned to evaluate the scope for mutualising parts of this successful business support company, while retaining its overall ownership by a group of London boroughs. Our analysis, involving staff and management focus groups along with 1:1 interviews, set out the benefits and transition impact of introducing partial employee ownership; and advised on culture change aspects and, via partner Fieldfisher, a new legal and governance structure.

Innovative mutualisation by a city council

This large city council in the North East commissioned Prospects to analyse the scope for a mutual joint venture – involving staff, a private sector partner, and the council itself - covering a wide range of services from adult social care to street cleaning, refuse collection and other environmental services. Our advice included soft market testing the interest of potential investors in such a joint venture; benchmarking research with comparator mutuals; an options appraisal of corporate structures; and a full mutualisation ‘route map’.

County council explores social care mutualisation

Prospects was selected to advise a Northern County Council on two assignments: how staff of a residential home scheduled for closure could form their own spin-out social enterprise; and the transfer to mutual ownership of a learning disability day service. Both projects involved an options appraisal, outline business case including five-year financial model, and transition pathway plan. Enterprise development workshops were provided to both groups of staff, while Prospects also advised on access to social finance and to support networks each could use following spin-out.


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