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Henderson Global Investors
Bruner, Robert F.; Hall, Dennis; Mitchell, Roger; Ruff, Craig Case F-1330 / Published May 10, 2001 / 20 pages.
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Product Overview

In March 2001, the chief investment officer of this U.K.-based asset management company is reflecting on the firm's dramatic transformation in the 1990s and on how it must continue to adapt in the future. Ongoing forces of change in the industry compel a careful re-examination of the firm's strategy and structure. Three discrete issues are addressed: a) the extent of centralization versus decentralization; b) the location of equity analysts (centrally in London or "on the ground" around the world); and c) the suitability of Henderson's top down, theme-based approach that emphasizes sector analysis. The case can be used in both executive and degree programs as a program opener, because it raises many themes and creates a sense of drama about the strategic turbulence within the industry. This case helps set the stage for more detailed case problems and motivates students to examine carefully any assumptions about the evolution of the global asset management industry. Three chief lessons emerge from the discussion: (1) Corporate transformation is driven by strategic turbulence in the industry. Understanding the sources of turbulence as a foundation to setting strategy and designing the structure of an organization is necessary. In this industry, key sources of turbulence are globalization, technological change, deregulation, increasing integration of capital markets, and demographic change. (2) Core competencies are a useful focal point in considering the design of strategy and organization. Traditional strategic planning is focused on market position. More recent approaches employ analysis of core competencies that create strategic advantage. The main question for Henderson is how to exploit the competencies it now has and how to build new ones. (3) Change leadership is, in essence, process management.


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  • Overview

    In March 2001, the chief investment officer of this U.K.-based asset management company is reflecting on the firm's dramatic transformation in the 1990s and on how it must continue to adapt in the future. Ongoing forces of change in the industry compel a careful re-examination of the firm's strategy and structure. Three discrete issues are addressed: a) the extent of centralization versus decentralization; b) the location of equity analysts (centrally in London or "on the ground" around the world); and c) the suitability of Henderson's top down, theme-based approach that emphasizes sector analysis. The case can be used in both executive and degree programs as a program opener, because it raises many themes and creates a sense of drama about the strategic turbulence within the industry. This case helps set the stage for more detailed case problems and motivates students to examine carefully any assumptions about the evolution of the global asset management industry. Three chief lessons emerge from the discussion: (1) Corporate transformation is driven by strategic turbulence in the industry. Understanding the sources of turbulence as a foundation to setting strategy and designing the structure of an organization is necessary. In this industry, key sources of turbulence are globalization, technological change, deregulation, increasing integration of capital markets, and demographic change. (2) Core competencies are a useful focal point in considering the design of strategy and organization. Traditional strategic planning is focused on market position. More recent approaches employ analysis of core competencies that create strategic advantage. The main question for Henderson is how to exploit the competencies it now has and how to build new ones. (3) Change leadership is, in essence, process management.

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