Charles Churchill, a participant from the Executive MBA 2018 cohort, has turned down an opportunity to merge financial consultancy CDCA in favour of growing the organisation himself.
After five years working for his family’s recyclable waste management company, Charles spent several years working as a consultant in finance and business transformation, before ultimately taking the leap into entrepreneurship.
Charles’s ambition when starting a consultancy was to build something different and aligned with his values. His goal was to set up a consultancy where hierarchy is flat, remuneration is fair, progression is supported, and participation and collaboration are always encouraged. In Charles’s experience, “enjoyment culture”, as he calls it, leads to stronger and more consistent teams that achieve better results and foster longer-term relationships.
CDCA, which stands for Charles David Churchill Associates, is a London-based business consultancy focusing primarily on retail, commercial and investment banking. Its clients to date include HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Thomson Reuters.
CDCA’s area of interest lies in financial regulation, including its implementation in business lines at banks. It assesses banks’ compliance to current regulations and works to prepare them adequately for future regulations, chiefly through team management.
“We are a business transformation consultancy that operates through one simple guiding prerogative: to be an agent of change,” says Charles, the company’s Managing Director.
“We consider ourselves a ‘brains-into-gear’ consultancy. We scrutinise decisions, challenge assumptions and push back when our clients are not pushing forward.”
“Banks face a raft of regulatory changes while needing to optimise processes, reduce risk and continually enhance their products and services in a fiercely competitive marketplace. We help clients to navigate the global business and regulatory environment and define, develop and deliver their strategy.”
Charles joined Cambridge Judge Business School’s Executive MBA programme in 2018. An ambitious and financially minded participant, Charles says he values the School’s “culture of always learning – from fellow students as much as faculty.”
“The Executive MBA has so far taught me the value of surrounding yourself with like-minded people,” continues Charles, a member of Sidney Sussex College and masters graduate in modern history from King’s College London, where he focused predominantly on financial crises and the history of the City of London.
“It is enriching to be around those who are not only successful and advanced in their professions, but who have also decided to return to education well into their careers.”
Charles recently returned from the programme’s International Business Study Trip in São Paulo, Brazil, which he described as “a total delight”. His commitment to diversity, crystallised by his EMBA experience, is a core tenet of his approach to managing CDCA, which quotes transparency, forthrightness and diversity as its guiding principles.
Charles is approaching the Executive MBA as an opportunity to broaden his business skill set, learn essential soft skills and gain new perspectives, claiming it is “a remarkable challenge – not for the faint of heart!”