After eight weeks of intense work, the first winner of the Morgan Stanley UK Strategy Challenge has been announced. The first UK Strategy Challenge ended this week when the teams presented their final strategic programmes to judges at Morgan Stanley’s London headquarters and the Community Links team was declared the winner.

The Strategy Challenge matched four charities, each with a team of five Morgan Stanley VPs and one Pilotlight coach for eight weeks to provide them with pro bono strategic consulting. The winning team developed an ambitious strategy to effectively expand Community Links’ services into the borough of Waltham Forest, helping to complement and enhance existing services in the borough.

“We have enjoyed thoroughly working with the team from Morgan Stanley and welcoming them into our organisation - their analysis and findings are going to help tremendously in our efforts to expand into the borough of Waltham Forest. The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge highlights an important new relationship being developed between charities and the private sector, and we look forward to continuing to be a part of this important initiative,” said Geraldine Blake, Chief Executive, Community Links.

For this programme, Pilotlight was involved as an expert advisor to the teams and witnessed the hard work everyone put in. “Watching the teams work together over the last eight weeks has been inspiring and shows that strong, supported relationships between business and charities can be incredibly productive and powerful.” said David King, Head of Programme Development, Pilotlight. “We are delighted to see how the charities and the Morgan Stanley executives have truly benefitted from this programme. Having worked with hundreds of senior business people we know the incredible benefits that come when they use their business skills to help coach charities to plan and think strategically. Not only do these business leaders learn more about the challenges facing charities they also improve their own skills, such as problem solving,  which they can then take back into the workplace.”