It quickly became clear that the logistics and complexity of tracking and assessing all of the business operations and technology projects required significant expertise that was not available internally.
Several risks required action plans that would be difficult for senior bank staff to manage alongside their day-jobs. Kearney was asked to propose solutions which led to several significant engagements:
1) Roles and responsibility risks: The two banks had many overlapping senior roles and this could easily lead to unhealthy competitive behaviours in the merger teams. Kearney produced a merger HR plan that rewarded positive behaviours and let key staff know where they stood as early as possible in the process.
2) IT exposure risks: The integration of IT platforms in Asia was causing considerable concern and taking up a lot of senior management time. Following the Assumption Analysis (Step B) it became clear that Asia was a localised risk. When prioritised against all the risky assumptions globally, a policy of accepting the risk and defining contingency plans was the most appropriate. This resulted in critical IT resources being allocated where they were most needed: in Europe and the USA. Proactive management was essential due to the criticality and visibility of the objectives and the unacceptability of contingency plans.
3) Performance measurement risks: Following the initial assumption analysis it was quickly realised that the operations of both banks were lacking in their ability to define and measure ‘success’. A Kearney team was deployed to define new metrics and key performance indicators for the merger process and beyond.
The success of the initial assessment resulted in Kearney’s ongoing participation in the governance of the new merger risk management process for the duration of the programme and beyond into post-merger initiatives in the merged bank.