Husband and wife Nigel and Katy Adams launch consultancy

22 October 2019 4 min. read
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Two senior professionals from the financial services industry – husband and wife Nigel Adams and Katy Adams – have teamed up to launch Hetton Advisory. 

Based in Melbourne, Hetton Advisory focuses on helping financial services institutions professionalise their operations, including in areas such as customer services, operational risk, payments and financial crime.

Since launching a few months ago, the new consultancy has gotten off to a flying start and currently works and has relations with a number of players in the financial services industry. “Our clients can range from a small regional bank or a mid-tier digital bank to a big four bank or national service provider to the financial services industry,” said Nigel Adams.

Nigel Adams’ decision to stand on his own feet comes on the back of a 15 year career on banking. Most recently, he served as ANZ’s General Manager of Group Services, in the role overseeing operations managing billions of dollars flowing in and out of the bank every day. Prior to that, he was Dean of Operations Management at NAB and held a leadership role in NAB’s payments division. 

Husband and wife Nigel and Katy Adams launch consultancy

Once a consultant…

As a consultant, Nigel Adams believes his experience across banking and finance provide a competitive edge. “I've delivered transformational change in financial services operations across complex delivery networks, and led large teams and small teams across many countries and locations. I can point to verifiable, tangible, world-class outcomes from the practices and principles I believe in.” 

The world of consulting is by no means new to Nigel Adams. Before venturing into the banking scene, he spent some 15 year in consulting, having served the management consulting arm of Big Four giant KPMG and worked for Melbourne-based consultancy Fordec. In those years, he worked “worked in the public and private sector, manufacturing and services, in an advisory capacity and as a line leader.” 

Joining Nigel Adams in his entrepreneurial ambitions is his wife Katy Adams, who brings over 25 years of financial services expertise working in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia to the table. She gained most of her experience as a lawyer in professional services (law firm King Wood & Mallesons and HR consultancy Mercer) and with regulator ASIC.

Katy Adams formerly also worked as an ombudsman at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), an external dispute resolution scheme for consumers who are unable to resolve complaints with financial services organisations, where she focused on insurance, investment and pension disputes. At Hetton Advisory, Katy Adams specialises in legal advisory, as well as board and management team governance and change management. 

“Our main goal is to change the perception of operations from being a support function to a function that sets the strategic agenda. We need to raise the capability of operational leaders.” 

In-house capability building

Alongside providing advisory and implementation services, Hetton Advisory aims to help clients with building their in-house operations capability for successful digital transformation. A key area of focus in today’s rapidly digitising era – according to one estimate by McKinsey & Company, over half of digital transformations are failing to meet their objectives. In banking and insurance, the success rate of digital transformations was found to be even lower than most other industries. 

Having authored the book ‘Match Fit for Digital Transformation’, which provides leaders a practical guide on how they can build and nurture digital transformation capabilities, Nigel Adams believes Hetton Advisory is well positioned to advise clients on the matter. “I'm more convinced than ever of the critical role that operations play in this transformation. But not all organisations have the internal capability to take advantage of the opportunity – Hetton Advisory helps them with achieving this,” he concluded.