Using economics to develop a new business plan at HighGround

23 May 2017

HighGround is a small charity that prepares serving and ex-military personnel for work in the land-based sector. Pro Bono Economics matched HighGround with economic consultant Julian Laite to support the charity with its business plan, using insights from economics. The new business plan will enable HighGround to plan its activities, measure its impact, and secure funding from a more diverse and sustainable funding base.

Over a period of three months, Julian supported the HighGround CEO to clarify objectives, design performance indicators and targets, undertake monitoring and evaluation, gather data, draft reports to support the business plan and prepare for Board meetings. The outputs of this work were a planning process and a draft plan that have already enabled the CEO to better assist the new Chairman and the Board to understand the aims and activities of the charity and support it through a period of development.


About Julian Laite

Dr Julian Laite is an independent consultant with 25 years’ experience of undertaking public sector reform assignments in the UK and abroad. He specialises in organizational development, corporate planning, finance, and performance monitoring and evaluation.

After graduating in Economics from Cambridge University, Julian obtained a PhD from Manchester University on international development. He became a Senior Lecturer at Manchester University, and then joined the FCO as Assistant Director at Wilton Park Conference Centre.  From the FCO, Julian became a senior official at HM Treasury. His posts included responsibility for monitoring local authority capital finance; monitoring the expenditure of the Department of Education and Science, including schools’ funding; overseeing the establishment of the Department of National Heritage; co-ordinating one of the Government’s first Private Finance packages; and progressing the establishment of several executive agencies.

In 1994 Julian became a Managing Consultant in the International Division at KPMG/Atos Consulting, where he led and managed large international public sector reform projects. In 2003 he was appointed Partner for International Development at PA Consulting, where he was a member of the Partner Board for the Infrastructure and Development Services Group. While at PA he developed a multi-million pound public sector reform business, leading projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and South Asia.  After leaving PA he set up his own consultancy firm, continuing to undertake international public sector reform projects.

From 2010 to 2012 Julian was a Non-Executive Director of Herts Community Services NHS Trust, an organisation with £125 million pa turnover and 2,600 staff. He was Chairman of the Finance and Business Investment Committee, and Vice-Chairman of the Audit Committee.  Recently, he has helped the charity Friends of the Elderly to measure and cost the activities and health impact of its home support workers, as well as assisting HighGround draw up a business plan.

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