An EBC is born: John Deacon sets out Conduent’s new vision

Conduent HR Services, the benefits business formerly known as Xerox HR Services, has now launched as part of a new standalone Fortune 500 business business spun out of Xerox.
Conduent HR Services principal, head of employee benefits consulting John Deacon tells Corporate Adviser what the launch means for the UK benefits business.

ConduentLaunched on January 3rd when its CEO rang the bell of the New York Stock Exchange, Conduent is a new business that has been spun out of global copying business Xerox. With over 93,000 employees in more than 40 countries, Conduent is a £5.4bn a year revenue business with expertise in transaction-intensive processing, analytics and automation.

Benefits-focused subsidiary Conduent HR Services has a headcount of around 10,000 people globally, of whom 600 are based in the UK, with 350 in consultative roles and 250 administrative staff. The HR Services business is comprised largely of former Buck Consultants staff, as well as staff working in the former Xerox ACS/ExcellerateHRO administration business.

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-09-42-36CA Is it business as usual for staff within the business?

JD Yes and no. Yes in that everybody has turned up to work at the beginning of January and is continuing to do their jobs. But what has changed is that we have a new agenda for driving growth, which is coming from the very top of the business. Everything we do now is about driving growth and we have capital available to us to achieve this.

CA And how will this be achieved?

JD There will be a combination of hiring, and we are in the process of getting some big names on board. We have been on that warpath for some time now. We will also drive the growth agenda through investment in technology solutions. We are now 1/7 of the business, in terms of revenue, so our slice of the pie is bigger. It means we have a larger voice and get more time at the top table.

CA Dividing a huge business like Xerox in two must be a monumental task.

JD It has taken 11 months, moving 93,000 people into a new entity. The majority of the UK operation it consists of former Buck Consultants staff and people working for ExcellerateHRO in Bristol. There are no job losses planned, and we are in fact hiring new staff.

CA So what happens to the Buck Consultants name?

JD From 3 January the Buck Consultants name ceases to exist in any form other than as a legal entity and for our FCA registration. Going forward the brand is Conduent HR Services.

CA How is Conduent HR Services different?

JD We are now uniquely placed in the UK benefits space. We have a share plan business, which means that if you are an employer of a listed company that offers a LTIP or SIP or SAYE plan, we can operate, manage and design your benefits platform, soon with real time dealing, and will be able to integrate that with a workplace savings proposition all on one screen. This is not just taking a live feed from Computershare. We weren’t previously unique, but since Capita put its Capita Asset Services business up for sale, we are now, unless of course that gets bought by another benefits organisation.

CA And how is Conduent HR Services responding to the evolving benefits landscape?

JD We are currently reviewing our DC proposition. But we are also increasingly advising our clients that DC is a catchall for workplace savings. So we are looking at one portal, one solution, but with several buckets, across auto-enrolment, Isa, Lisa, and maybe Workplace Isa, as well as share plan savings. This is to meet the needs of some of our large corporate clients who are driving a new agenda about rewarding their staff with a fixed benefit spend, that they get to allocate in the buckets that are most suited to them.