PwC – Director – Public Transport Consulting Practice (UK)

The Brief

PwC’s Public Transport practice focuses on tackling the challenges faced by public transport bodies through the provision of a wide range of consulting services including; organisational change, operating model design, programme management, digital & technology innovation, smart ticketing, business case development, procurement, cost benchmarking and strategy development.

This was a time of huge growth for the client, and they needed a strong candidate to come in and build the practice even further. The successful candidate would utilise PwC’s existing client network but would also need to have a strong contact base of their own that they could bring to the business.

Once established in the role, it was expected that this person would be responsible for c£2.5m. There was also a development path to reach Partner level.

While PwC were open on the type of work this person could focus on; and therefore, the skillset and experience required. It was critical that candidates had a strong track record of work winning with public sector transport clients.

The Process

The requirement for work winning capabilities meant that the search exclusively focused on the levels within management consultancies that would be winning this volume of work -Senior Manager and Director (or equivalent).

Major management consultancies and SME’s were searched to uncover all the available talent across PwC’s services lines within the public sector practice.

To widen the net even further, candidates with previous management consulting experience currently working within transport organisations were also considered. Opening up the brief to consider candidates with less management consulting experience, meant that we were able to attract more diversity to our shortlist.

Alongside traditional research methods, we made use of industry conference lists and networking events to uncover less obvious individuals. Candidates who are winning this level of work are regularly attending events to widen their own networks.

The Outcome

The shortlist that was presented to the client was made up of 44% female candidates and 33% ethnically diverse candidates which is significantly above industry norms.

The successful candidate was a diverse placement that joined from BAE where he was winning c£3m worth of new business. Before this he had several years management consulting experience. His client base included Network Rail and National Highways, which are key accounts for PwC.


Grant Klein Partner & Public Sector Transport Leader at PwC said:

We retained Newsom Consulting to help us find and attract several new Directors for our Public Sector Transport practice. Jim and his team really listened to what we needed, understood our values and the expectations we have for anyone joining our team. They cut to the chase on any thorny issues, which speeded up all our interactions and decision-making. We were able to hire several high-calibre candidates from the search.