Global Bank Merger

About This Project

A client in the financial sector was undergoing a major programme to merge all aspects of its global business and operations. The logistics and complexity of tracking and assessing all of the business operations and technology projects, required to support the merger activities, were much greater than the client’s experience.

At the start of the Merger the client had an Issues Management system with 20,000 issues registered. There was little or no focus or prioritisation and a tendency to listen to those who shouted loudest.

Using the Assumption Analysis technique across all significant merger projects, approximately 6000 key assumptions were identified of which 600 were considered at risk. From these, 50 showstoppers were identified that provided the initial focus. Note that this is very large number of assumptions/risks but this was a very large programme!

The achievement of the first major milestone of integrating all Global Markets IT systems was met through rigorous and ongoing application of the risk management process to all the critical IT projects across the globe. The second milestone was achieved by extending the process to cover key business projects and hence achieve a single payment system and the legal merger of the banks. The process was extended to ensure that the key post merger projects were established and using Quality Based Costing to ensure that the merger saves were achieved.

The client has publicly acknowledged that the ABCD risk management process was a major factor in ensuring that the merger was a success and has now embedded the process as part of its on-going programme management activities.

“This merger integration could not have been achieved on-time without ABCD” – Merger Programme Director”

Specific risk examples:

HR – At the start of the merger there were many issues regarding re-organisation and roles and responsibilities. These were generally ignored as moans due to their non-specific nature. Thus the agreed strategy, of not announcing the new organisation until near to the end of the merger integration, was not challenged. The idea behind this was to encourage competition between individuals in the merger integration teams. Following the initial Assumption Analysis, a focused number of specific risks were identified in this area that showed that the strategy was not working. The result was that the strategy was changed to early announcement of the new organisation and carefully constructed stay-bonuses. The effect was that the un-healthy competition within the merger teams was significantly reduced and the teams moved forward much quicker.

IT Platforms – At the start of the merger there was considerable concern regarding the integration of the IT platforms in Asia. This was taking a lot of senior management time. Following the initial Assumption Analysis it became clear that Asia was a localised risk and when prioritised against all the risks globally, a policy of accepting the risk and setting contingency was the most appropriate. This allowed the scarce IT resources to be focussed in Europe and the USA where proactive management was essential due to the criticality (and visibility) of the objectives and the impracticality of contingency plans.

Custom Field

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20 November