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minimising risk...protecting reputation...maximising performance

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Kathryn Riley

Owner Durance Ltd


Chartered Fellow - CIPD

Accredited Coach/Mentor (CIPD/Oxford Brookes University)

RSPP Accredited Mediator

Advisory Board, Faculty of Business and Management, Regent’s University London

Advisory Board Member, BA International Business, BA Global Management, Regent’s University London


Summary Profile:

Kathryn is an experienced Human Resources Director with corporate, consultancy and interim management experience at Director and Board level in a wide variety of sectors including, utilities, transport infrastructure, public sector, services, pharma, mobile telephones and financial services.  She has a successful track record in delivering interim management and consultancy assignments, covering strategic HR, people strategy, cultural transformation, people engagement, organizational development, leadership, coaching and dispute resolution.


Selection of recent major assignments:


•Swiss Re (January 2014 to February 2014)

Recruitment project for Finance – Swiss Re Reinsurance.  The Finance Division is undertaking a major and complex transformation program, in 4 stints over 8 years. Providing an independent assessment to the CFO and HR Director of the suitability of the candidates for the leadership roles.


•EnServe Group Ltd (September 2012 to November 2012)

Developed a People Strategy for a 3-year period, together with the costs of implementation.


•F. Hoffman-La Roche AG (July 2011 to July 2012)  

HR consultancy project – HR4HR. Determined the HR agenda for 2012 to 2014 to ensure that HR had the skills and competencies needed for business success now and in the future.  Project managed the design and development of an HR Leadership Academy for Roche HR with the Corporate Leadership Council.


Corporate Career, Interim Roles and Consultancy :


Thames Water (May 2007 to June 2010)


HR Director (reported to the CEO and a member of the Executive Management Team)

Thames Water is the UK’s largest water and wastewater Services Company with approx 5,000 employees providing a service to 13 million customers across London and the South East of England.


•Development and delivery of a People Strategy, including transactional and transformational interventions

•Cultural transformation and people engagement program, improving the engagement of employees

•Organizational and Talent Management process, including Resourcing, leadership development and succession planning

•Change program within HR, restructured, developed a new HR operating model and downsizing the HR function to best practice levels. Become a best practice HR function, as measured by the Gallup Organization’s employee engagement methodology as well as being a finalist at the HR Excellence Awards in the category of Best Team

•Implemented SAP HR

•Improved the relationship with the three recognized trade unions (Unite, Unison and GMB) under a partnership agreement



Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland (April 2006 to September 2006)

Member of the Pharma IT Leadership Team. Providing strategic HR support to Pharma Information Technology (Global CIO function, consisting of approx. 2000 people on a world wide basis).  


The Pension Service (July 2005 to December 2005)

11,000 employees, changing its operating model from paper based assessment to being customer focused by utilizing Contact Centers.  In the process reducing to 7,000 staff in order to achieve financial targets set by Gershon.

Acting Head of People Engagement (reporting to the HR Director and the Transformation Director). Led the People Engagement team (combination of TPS staff and strategic consultants). Developed an integrated people engagement strategy and a communications strategy, both presented to and agreed by the Pension Services Management Team.


The Highways Agency (November 2004 to March 2005)

Acting Human Resources and Services Director and a Board Member, (reporting to the Chief Executive). Provided leadership to a Directorate of 127, covering HR, Estates and Facilities. Inputted into HA’s strategic direction to support the implementation of the Agency’s vision. Developed and aligned the HR Strategy and structure to deliver the vision.


Network Rail (January 2002 to July 2004)

•Project 1 – Jan 2002 to Oct 2002

Acting HR Director of the Network Rail bid team - the objective being to get Railtrack out of Administration. Led the technical advisers for Organisation and Management, developing that part of the Business Plan. Responsible for the development of the HR Strategy and four Organisation Action Plans:  Organisation Structure, Cultural Transformation, Performance Management and Manpower Planning.

•Project 2 – Oct 2002 to Nov 2002

Action Plan Leader - Cultural Transformation

Led the Cultural Transformation team in the analysis and diagnostic of existing culture and proposed cultural transformation interventions and people engagement process. Was a facilitator on the Senior Leadership Team Building events for 200 managers, comprising 26 two-day experiential events. Researched and sourced a people engagement process and implemented two waves of The Gallup Organisation Q12 employee engagement methodology.

•Project 3- Nov 2003 to July 2004

Internal Communications

Led the out-based internal communications team, responsible for enhancing communications to the operational railway.



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