Movera’s momentous moves: Transforming into a client-centric leader

Legal tech leader Movera is steering the charge on a customer-first approach. Inflexion is providing support in Movera’s ambition and journey, plus its focus on service and tech, creating a first port of call and a brand new experience for home moving.

Movera is the UK’s leading B2B tech‐enabled provider of property and remortgage conveyancing services, with its 600+ people completing over 300,000 conveyancing transactions and 145,000 remortgages annually. Inflexion invested in the business (then ONP Group) in 2019 and set straight to work on building the foundations for future growth and investment.

Inflexion’s funding brought ONP together with Grindeys Conveyancing as part of the original investment. Then in 2020, Cavendish in London was brought into the group and the business’s digital evolution accelerated with investment into legal app InCase.

Just as momentum was gaining pace, the pandemic hit – but unlike many others, Movera didn’t stop moving: it boosted its vertical integration strategy with the acquisitions of LMS and Conveyancing Alliance.

By 2022 the industry was coming off stamp duty relief and the resulting large spikes in demand caused operational stress across the market. This period exposed the fact that there wasn’t a true market leader with the foundations to carry them through such exceptional periods.

Moving momentum

Movera set out to change that, with Nick Hale brought in to drive the business’ transformation into the leader for home moving. He joined the firm in 2022 as Group Chief Executive, with his experience in building growth businesses rather than Movera’s industry telling of the firm’s direction of travel: the relaunch would combine a diverse skillset and reinvent the old school.

Key to this was building out the management bench, introducing new talent for roles that were previously non-existent at Movera. These roles included market specialists in data and insights, brand and marketing, technology, customer experience, and people and culture. Movera believes that blending talents and experiences from outside the legal sector with those from within is a winning formula for growth and success.

He cites the example of accountancy, where there is a clear top 4. “Our industry lacks that, so we’re trying to set the pace for change and be the first port of call for all aspects of people’s moves.”

Significant investment has been committed into learning and development as well. The Movera Academy was set up and consists of a training team and an online learning platform to level the playing field by providing qualifications and opportunities for career progress. “The academy enables anybody at Movera in any function to support their learning pathways under each of our five businesses. This and our trainee programmes help us with talent attraction and our employee proposition.”

The keen focus on staff extends to Movera’s client focus. Nick explains that in a digital world, Movera sets itself apart with a welcome call to a new client on the first day of instruction to build rapport, set expectations, and make them feel reassured we’re on their side. “Movera is digital when it can be, and personal when it needs to be,” Nick stresses. They also simplified the transactions for clients – communicating when they need to rather than when they don’t.

The efforts have seen Movera’s NPS score soar to above 70, a Trustpilot score above the industry average, and a recent staff engagement survey that reveals strong support for the strategy and a commitment to be part of the journey in the long term.

Tech: offence and defence

Following Inflexion-backed investment into client-facing software, Movera makes annual organic investment of over £10m to progress its platform, helping it to drive efficiency, quality and turnaround times, deploy best-in-class solutions and break down silos across the five business units.

“Ultimately it's investment in people, in innovation and tech, and in other enablers that support the ambition of individual brands within the business,” Nick says.

Its focus on tech goes beyond growth in the age of growing cyber threats.

When a cyber attack impacted a cloud hosting provider to over 80 conveyancing firms last year, Movera had mitigated the issue within days to restore 100% of operations, while many competitors were still not fully online even months later. Inflexion’s cyber expert supported Movera to bring in external experts and ensure the safety and security of systems and data, with affected customers contacted and the client relations team expanded to support additional enquiries.

Movera’s swift and effective handling of the crisis ultimately cast a positive light on its preparedness for such an incident, with its market share growing markedly in the six months since. It also attracted new strategic partnerships with innovators in other parts of the market.

Looking ahead

“In 2023 we built the foundations for future sustainable growth, and we’re seeing the impact in 2024 as we scale to be the leading home business in the UK. We have an employee brand I’m proud of and a model we can scale, which puts us in good stead to ride the peaks and troughs ahead with interest rate changes and upcoming elections,” Nick says proudly.

Nick is adamant any future acquisitions will be to bring in differentiated solutions rather than merely grow headcount. “We have no plans to acquire others to bring in people; our team is flourishing and it’s better to grow the talent organically. Any future M&A will be to create value in adjacent spaces or accelerate growth of our core business.”

He is clear Inflexion have struck the right balance of support and freedom. “They led a robust and structured process as we built out our three-year plan with real substance and depth of thinking. The rigour of their analytical thinking has absolutely stretched our views of what we can do and the pace at which we can achieve it at,” Nick recalls.