Principal Business Consultant 284 views

Role Purpose

  • Transformation Principal Business Consultants / Heads of are typically responsible for leading a team of Senior Business Consultants, working with the Global Business Functions, to shape and initiate the transformational change which will enable HSBC to achieve its strategic goals in the relevant global markets.
  • The role is instrumental in supporting and driving the business to come to well-reasoned decisions in matters of strategic, organisational, operational and technological investment and alignment working with and supporting the Portfolio Directors. Core to the role will be to manage the Design & Initiation team that will ensure the timely and high-quality initiation of approved order book projects.
  • The focus of the role will be to add value to the global businesses and function by providing proactive consultancy services at various points of the Change Lifecycle/Agile Method, in particular during initiation and prioritisation. By supporting the activities to gather quality high-level business requirements and design of leading class solutions / options, the role will help the Bank achieve optimum strategic alignment whilst providing pragmatic solutions to ensure the delivery of the business benefits. In addition, the Principal Business Consultant / Heads of are responsible for driving demand / opportunity origination.
  • The Principal Business Consultant / Heads of will be aligned to a business domain and / or type of change specialism and executive presence.
  • The role will often play a people / team management role within the projects / programmes they work on.  As members of the Design & Initiation management team, they will also have line management responsibility for a group of more junior resources within their resource pool (as related to their job family).


Key Accountabilities

Value Creation

  • Build and sustain trusting relationships with internal customers by consistently delivering value-add consultancy services.
  • Use key relationships and knowledge of business strategy, trends and key events to identify new consulting engagements.
  • Work with executive management across Customer Groups and key stakeholders (Compliance, Audit, Finance, HR etc.) to constantly challenge ‘perceived wisdom’, to achieve buy-in for the recommended solution and its implementation approach, to manage the impact of change and to ensure monetisation of benefits.
  • Deliver step change in operational performance (cost, service levels, and customer satisfaction) through the shaping of business change – aligned to global strategy and global / regional priorities.
  • Facilitate stakeholders through decisions, consulting them, influencing them, resolving conflicts and disagreement etc.
  • Manage business development initiatives and origination pipeline.
  • Work with the businesses and delivery partners to develop objective, quantitative recommendations that are driven by ROI.
  • Act as trusted advisor to business partners and Transformation executive management.
  • Promote a culture of strategic and pragmatic thinking, aligning short term decisions and investments with longer term vision and objectives.
  • Identify and recommend innovative solutions which leverage emerging technologies and solutions but which are pragmatic and implementable.
  • Proactively use customer knowledge to direct work efforts towards both existing requirements and new improvement opportunities; ensure change has positive customer impact.

Operational Performance

  • Drive and embed a culture of achievement and pace by identifying and removing barriers to success.
  • Represent Business consultancy engagements in relevant Global Transformation and/or business steering committees, design authorities and at board level.
  • Actively support the Consulting pipeline and resource management process, including the regular pipeline calls, leadership meetings and community events.
  • Promote and take accountability for engagement quality, identifying opportunities to improve delivery.
  • Work across global and regional teams to ensure commonality of understanding and objectives – i.e. local teams are focused on delivering against global imperatives, whilst those same global imperatives are shaped to reflect the business needs of the region.
  • Contribute to the active management and rationalisation of the global businesses’ change portfolio, ensuring prioritisation is based on risk/return, resource availability/skills and rigorous commercial criteria.
  • Ensure that assignments are delivered using the appropriate technologies and tools including Group standards.
  • Contribute to enhancing Transformation methods, tools and standards, in particular Global Transformation Business Consulting Framework.
  • Support the definition of programme strategy and develops a roadmap ensuring all constraints of time / resources / regulation are met.
  • Capture key learning from each engagement and feed these back into Global Transformation methodologies, best practice and ways of working.
  • Manage large-scale programmes effectively as part of a global function; support global thinking

Capability and People Development

  • Lead a team of Senior Business Consultants/Business Consultants to ensure quality and consistency of approach, and in the development and sharing of best practice across the global businesses.
  • Define high level responsibilities and objectives for business consulting engagement teams.
  • Manage and support the consulting pipeline and resourcing process, identifying and escalating resource requirements.
  • Contribute to creating a new Transformation culture across the organisation, fulfilled through the development of Global Transformation.
  • Collaborate with other regional/local Transformation teams to ensure commonality of approach, methods and tools and consistency of advice and solutions.
  • Act as a role model to foster a collaborative team environment which supports and encourages professionalism and development.
  • Drive a performance management based culture to manage and improve performance, including effective management of underperformers and contributing to calibration processes.
  • Continuously support capability build of the Consulting Practice i.e. through sponsoring and advocating community events, sharing relevant articles / studies / ideas, ensuring regular development and sharing of Global Transformation consulting case studies, cascading practice communications, supporting recruitment activities etc.


Major Challenges

  • Operate at an executive level, working across global business and regions and maintaining a global perspective on business transformation.
  • Management and control of multiple complex global programmes/business transformation which have ambitious goals and high change requirements.
  • Demonstrating the value of Global Transformation consulting in helping to shape the Global Businesses change agenda and achieve quick wins for the business, whilst also developing the long term roadmap for a change initiative.


Role Context

  • Principal Business Consultants / Heads of are typically responsible for the delivery of globally driven, globally coordinated or priority market engagements. They are required to lead the change initiative in the pre-definition phase, take strategic decisions, operate at an executive level and manage global stakeholder and sponsor relationships.
  • This requires the Principal Business Consultant / Heads of to operate in the following way:
  • Work independently and have the gravitas and acumen to consult with business at the Senior Management level. They should be confident to challenge the business, where appropriate.
  • Be self-motivated and driven but able to manage and work in a team whenever required. He / she will not be subject to close supervision.
  • Be easily accessible and available to support global business sponsor needs, ensuring they are reactive to Business Partner’s needs. Typically he / she should have high energy and sense of urgency with the ability to learn quickly and assimilate information.
  • Work closely with and get support from global businesses and global functions. He / she should be able to ‘connect the dots’ between businesses, regions, priority markets and countries for the business sponsor.
  • Be able to cope and bring structure to ambiguous situations and problems. He / she will be expected to adopt an agile and flexible approach to work. Ideally, a Principal Business Consultant should have the ability to move between modes of thinking (e.g. strategic to analytical; board to drilldown).


Role Dimensions

  • The jobholder will be required to manage one or more engagements with some level of complexity and scope. That said, the value of this role should not be measured by the size of the team, but by the impact the team is expected to deliver.
  • In some cases the Principal Business Consultant is the Head of the Business Consulting team for the region or the Head of a particular Global Business Area / Function.


Management of Risk

  • The jobholder will also continually reassess the operational risks and likelihood of operational risk occurring. This will be achieved by reviewing risks associated with the role and inherent in the business, taking account of changing economic or market conditions, legal and regulatory requirements, operating procedures and practices, management restructurings, and the impact of new processes. The jobholder should then address any areas of concern in conjunction with line management and/or the appropriate department.
  • Solutions must comply with applicable legal and regulatory requirements – albeit that inherent in the role is the requirement to challenge our interpretation of these requirements to ensure that we take a commercial approach to their implementation.


Observation of Internal Controls

  • The Principal Business Consultant / Heads of are expected to maintain HSBC internal control standards, including timely implementation of internal and external audit points together with any issues raised by external regulators.
  • The jobholder will adopt the Group Compliance Policy by escalating any identified compliance risk in liaison with Global Compliance Officer, Area Compliance Officer or Local Compliance Officer. The term ‘compliance’ embraces all relevant financial services laws, rules and codes with which the business has to comply.
  • Principal Business Consultants / Heads of should adhere to the Groups standard tools and methodologies:
    • HSBC Global Transformation Frameworks, specifically, the Global Transformation Business Consulting Framework
    • Group Standard Business Case
    • Clarity



  • Be knowledgeable about HSBC’s environment including: Organisation structures; HSBC business drivers; Group and businesses’ strategy; Acquisitions and mergers; Shareholders; Processes; Systems and Current state vs. Target state.
  • Be knowledgeable about the external environment including: Main banking competitors; Regulatory environment; Key events in world / local news that could impact HSBC; Global economy; Other industries i.e. latest innovation and technologies etc.
  • Have the knowledge and expertise to support the design of solutions that must comply with applicable legal and regulatory requirements whilst also challenging interpretation of these requirements to ensure that we take a commercial approach to their implementation.
  • Have a good working knowledge and strong relationships with one or more areas within the major global business the Principal Business Consultant is aligned to.
  • Be able to demonstrate strong business knowledge and sound business sense and stay abreast of all industry trends within business and technology.
  • Have strong financial and commercial acumen and the ability to understand and contribute to business cases. Includes ability to understand complex business problems and apply a strong commercial sense.
  • Expert knowledge of banking, key domains and change industry.



  • The Principal Business Consultant must have considerable years of diverse experience and a variety of skills related to managing large and complex change, consulting engagements, business, technology or operations and people. Experience at a highly respected strategy consulting or management consulting firm would be advantageous.
  • Exceptional contributor with proven track record as both an outstanding consultant (change management or business transformation) and an inspiring leader of people.
  • Experience of developing and understanding Target Business and Operating Models and transformation business case (bottom-up & to-down).
  • Demonstrated ability to build, maintain and navigate the organisation using formal / informal networking skills.
  • Experience of working in a global environment, working across cultures and matrix organisation structures.
  • Grasp complex concepts and able to extrapolate / anticipate future trends, long term risks and potential outcomes.
  • Experience in managing others and directing work efforts to achieve objectives effectively and efficiently.
  • Strong facilitation skills and experience in managing senior stakeholder requirements / design sessions.
  • Effective & efficient in training, coaching and mentoring, and communication skills.


  • Key capabilities required and aligned to Global Transformation Capability Framework include:
  • Global Mindset
  • Customer Empathy
  • Decision Making
  • Collaboration
  • Impactful Communication
  • Commerciality
  • Business Analysis and Design
  • Change and Implementation Management
  • Planning and Plan Management
  • Risk and Issue Management
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Problem Thinking and Critical Thinking
  • Consultancy
  • Innovation and Idea Management

Qualifications and Accreditations

  • Typically qualifications would include an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Science, Business Administration, Social Sciences (e.g. psychology, economics), Finance / Accounting or a related field.
  • MBA preferred.
  • Local industry accreditation e.g. ACIB (Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers). Optional.



Within HSBC certain roles are designated as Enhanced Vetting Roles. For these roles, all internal and external applicants are required (subject to local laws), to pass satisfactorily a series of additional checks both as part of the application process and, if successfully recruited into the Enhanced Vetting role, on an on-going basis. The Group reserves its position with regard to any steps which it may take in relation to any material adverse findings which arise either when the checks are first carried out as part of this recruitment exercise, and/or if relevant, on an ongoing basis.
This role has been designated as an Enhanced Vetting Role.


As a business operating in markets all around the world, we believe diversity brings benefits for our customers, our business and our people. This is why HSBC is committed to being an inclusive employer and encourages applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of background, circumstances, age, disability, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or belief and sexual orientation.


We want everyone to be able to fulfil their potential which is why we provide a range of flexible working arrangements and family friendly policies.



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