About the client
Operating in some of the most affluent parts of central and West London, Octavia is a registered Social Landlord (RSL). It provides thousands of people with good quality, affordable, sustainable, and well-managed homes, alongside care and support services and community projects too.
Octavia seeks to lead the way in providing good quality, affordable homes that enable people on lower incomes to live in London. The organisation believes in supporting diverse neighbourhoods, so that people can live well, be independent, make connections and thrive. It aims to deliver equality through homes, with the opportunity to support vibrant communities for better lives for all.
Octavia has built on its legacy and stayed true to its social purpose for more than 150 years, as it continues the pioneering work of its founder, Octavia Hill, putting people and communities first.
Octavia employs a diverse workforce of 435 people, 370 core employees, and 65 bank staff. It aims to recruit, promote, and retain the best talent. However, last year, the organisation was experiencing a significant turnover of its senior staff.
Octavia’s Assistant Director for Risk & Assurance indicated their intention to leave the organisation in July 2021, with the date of their departure set for August 2021.
C.Co was engaged to provide part-time capacity to effect a safe handover from the departing officer, and provide continuity of support, covering:
- Support to the Finance Director as part of the Finance Management Team
- Risk management framework and reporting
- Management of the external contract for Internal Audit
- Transfer of the Company Secretariat function into Finance
- Supervision and management of the Company Secretariat team
- Risk and Governance support for the Executive Team and Chief Executive
- Liaison with and support for Board, Audit & Risk Committee members
- Facilitation of and preparation of papers of Audit & Risk Committee
C.Co provided dedicated, part-time support from mid-July 2021 until the end of the year. This enabled Octavia to:
- Increase awareness, ownership and accountability for risk management and wider governance
- Introduce greater rigour and challenge to the work of the internal audit provider
- Improve the quality and timeliness of Audit & Risk Committee papers, including minutes
- Work with Audit & Risk Committee members to improve the presentational style of corporate and directorate risk reporting
- Safely transition the Company Secretariat team into Finance
- Increase the confidence of the Executive and committee members in the organisation’s governance and internal control
C.Co’s support and assistance to Octavia provided a safe handover and Risk and Governance capacity during the recruitment process for a permanent postholder, enabling the continuity of risk, governance, and relevant assurance during this period of transition.
Beyond this, C.Co was able to use its experience, knowledge, and expertise to challenge behaviours, processes, and cultural norms to drive improvement in order for Octavia to work more effectively with key stakeholders, including Board and Committee Members and the Chief Executive, and leave a positive impact from its time with the company.