Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer – Valuable Training for Finance Business Partners

Case Study


M&S wanted to achieve a step-change in the business partnering capabilities of Finance. In particular they wanted to invest in the ‘commercial savvy’ of their teams, having separated their organisation into ‘commercial finance’ and ‘business support’.

How we helped our client

  • Shared our views on best practice Finance Business Partnering in ‘M&S Learning Week’
  • Ran working sessions with the Leadership Team to identify the priority skills gaps
  • Delivered highly-interactive training using very experienced trainers and coaches
  • Developed tailored content and techniques for the M&S courses, based on Arcus best practice tools and techniques
  • Topics include:
    – the roles of Commercial Finance
    – best practice performance management and reporting
    – challenging and influencing senior business colleagues
    – prioritising value decision opportunities
    – personal capability gaps and development needs



  • Foundation business partner training delivered to 100 mid-to-senior level finance people
  • Every participant takes away learnings on how to address their specific individual skills gaps, based on input from M&S business colleagues
  • Personalised coaching and development feedback in an intimate and safe setting
  • Individual action plans to increase the value of financial input through more insightful reporting, business judgement, and prioritising time for the most valuable decisions
  • Leadership Team review of capability gaps to inform discussions on the future role of Finance

Arcus have delivered so much more value for us than any off-the-shelf business partner training. We keep getting fantastic feedback from everyone who attends their courses. We’re now working with Arcus to develop and roll-out an Advanced training journey for our senior finance teams.

Sally HinksSally Hinks
Finance Director, Marks & Spencer

The style of the Arcus team has been perfect for us. They are very knowledgeable and practical about what it takes to be a successful business partner, and their finance backgrounds really help in getting the message across and building a trusted relationship with our teams.

Barzin JavanshiriBarzin Javanshiri
Senior Finance Manager, Marks & Spencer

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