Yuliya Polyakova

My Services

I have 10+ years of experience working on strategy, commercial due diligence and innovation projects working with large corporate (FTSE100) and private equity clients as well as start-ups and small and medium businesses, helping them create strategic plans, develop business cases for new products, plan entry into new geographic markets and customer segments, create new pricing strategies and reposition product portfolios. I have a 'can-do' attitude, excellent research skills and ability to get to the most difficult data points. I have designed compelling presentations, conducted complex quantitative analysis and conducted 100’s of customer and expert interviews to provide insight on the market and feedback on customer products, either through cold calling, LinkedIn outreach or leveraging expert networks. I have deep expertise in Financial Services (retail and commercial banking and fintech) and Media (consumer and business media, e.g. exhibitions and business intelligence products) as well as recent experience in Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Industrials, Transport & Logistics, Travel and Education. I have led teams of junior consultants on most of her recent projects but am equally happy to work individually on a specific project task or as a one-person team.

Advisory type


Service line

Innovation, Strategy, Transaction Services / M&A

Automotive, Banking & Capital Markets, Consulting, Consumer Products, Education, Entertainment, Hospitality & Leisure, Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, M&A, Manufacturing, Mining & Metals, Private Equity, Publishing, Services Industries, Transport & Logistics

Previous Employers

SPACE GLOBAL / OTHER (Tier 2 strategy consultancy / Leading UK university) London, UK Freelance consultant Dec 2016 – Present  Led several commercial due diligence projects assessing Media, Transport & Logistics, Travel and Industrial companies o Managed teams of 3-5 consultants and research professionals o Analysed target companies’ financial performance, industry size and growth, customer demographics and satisfaction, competitive positioning, price elasticity, and product roadmap o Conducted customer and expert interviews to assess the strength of the product portfolio and market dynamics o Developed a list of growth options and estimated upside potential  Developed digital strategy for a top-tier UK university o Produced a proposal for a digital course pipeline; conducted a series of interviews with the department’s faculty and EdTech partners to identify ideas and developed a framework for course prioritisation o Mapped current digital capabilities and proposed a new operating model for digital delivery MONITOR DELOITTE London, UK Manager Nov 2015 – Nov 2016 Led end-to-end projects including teams of 1-3 consultants; contributed to sales of ~£500k (led on £200k) with Digital Strategy and Financial Services teams within Monitor Deloitte  Conducted due diligence on a UK challenger bank, estimating revenue synergies o Reviewed combined branch footprint and worked with Deloitte’s Customer Analytics team to create visualisations of the post-merger branch network and estimate cost synergies o Produced a blueprint of the operating model of the end-state organisation o Analysed commercial attractiveness of the target’s product portfolio including retail and business banking products and relationship manager sales performance  Developed proof of concept for a digital tool optimising fuel efficiency in manufacturing equipment o Conducted customer interviews and desktop research to develop a ‘long list’ of ideas o Evaluated feasibility and impact of specific features to prioritise product modules o Worked with a web design agency to develop customer interface mock-ups  Formulated innovation strategy for a Magic Circle law firm o Supported Head of Innovation in articulating ‘the case for change’ to the firm’s leadership o Proposed a portfolio of innovation initiatives based on the review of Legal Tech landscape  Evaluated revenue synergies from the merger of two European capital markets player o Quantified estimated value to be included in the public deal announcement  Estimated pensions saving gap at a pan-European level for a leading UK life & pensions provider o Worked with 9 European markets to collect data and develop estimates of the additional savings required to achieve target retirement income o Report results published in national (The Independent) and specialist publications ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND COMMERCIAL AND PRIVATE BANKING London, UK Senior Portfolio Design Manager Jan 2015 – Oct 2015  Managed the division’s strategic investment plan and transformation roadmap o Responsible for portfolio and programme design and prioritisation of investment initiatives o Supported business case development and organised ‘dragon’s dens’ to review investment Proposition Development Manager Feb 2014 – Jan 2015  Developed new products, services and solutions through stages including ideation, initial problem / opportunity definition, concept design, voice of the customer, business case formulation, through to delivery o Formulated an innovation agenda for the division based on the analysis of current trends o Launched a partnership between RBS and P2P lending platforms including Funding Circle o Assessed fintech players to identify potential partners and conducted negotiations o Led cross-functional teams of 10+ colleagues from Risk, Technology, Legal and other areas o Developed business cases, modelling incremental revenue o Co-ordinated launch activities with the regional frontline teams o Performed risk assessment and ensured compliance with regulatory requirements o Presented proposals in internal governance forums, securing formal approval Head of Operational Strategy Aug 2012 – Feb 2014  Key responsible for strategy work in a 300-person Business & Commercial Chief Operating Office team o Formulated strategic priorities and created an implementation roadmap covering Product, Propositions, Data & Analytics, Digital, and Operational Excellence investment areas OCEAN STRATEGY London, UK Boutique consultancy specialised in growth strategy for the media industry Nov 2009 – Aug 2012 Consultant Managed workstreams and end-to-end projects for UK and European clients in consumer media (print and online publishing) and B2B media (exhibitions and conferences, trade magazines, online information providers)  Developed growth strategies for B2B and B2C media players  Designed digital products and packages around specific consumer segments  Participated in due diligence projects; identified and prioritised acquisition targets MCKINSEY & COMPANY Stockholm, Sweden; Kiev, Ukraine Associate Sep 2008 – Oct 2009  Reviewed corporate strategy for $4B Swedish multinational consumer goods company  Analysed branch network efficiency at a leading UK high-street retail bank  Performed diagnostic of cash tracking and management approaches at $2B Ukrainian steel producer

College / University Degrees


University of Chicago


English, Russian, Ukrainian

My Snapshot

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  • Rate/hour ($): 1-50
  • Experience level (yrs): 10+
  • Size of typical clients: