Planning and forethought are the single most important ingredients in a successful post-merger integration. The planning process must start during the due-diligence phase, which is when the acquirer needs to take a close look at the target’s entire technological architecture, products, services, locations and decide how the combined bank will operate. We have outlined a few of the plans we utilize in merger integration engagement:
Road Map Document
Documenting and communicating new strategies and business objectives based on the original rationale for the transaction is the key first step towards developing an effective integration plan. We prepare detailed integration workplans and performance milestones that will track integration progress. We focus attention exclusively on what is best for the financial institution, rather than on issues surrounding hierarchy and turf battles.
When a merger transaction fails to achieve desired results, poor communication, more than any other factor, is often to blame. We assist with the structuring of the communications plan that will announce the transaction and, over time, its transition details to key stakeholders, including investors, customers, suppliers, employees, the media and industry analysts. We utilize a proven and effective communications methodology that can be tailored based on the specifics of the transaction.
Human Resources Plan
We assist with planning for the retention and integration of human resources after a merger or acquisition, including the board, senior management, middle management, technical, clerical and front-line employees spanning all functional areas. We work closely with management to define the optimal organizational design based on revised business objectives. We help to create new organization charts and rationalize disparate titles, benefits plans, and compensation schemes. When appropriate, we assist with “reduction in force” initiatives to achieve cost savings driven by post-transaction redundancies in human resources.
Management Information Systems Integration Plan
Integrating two different technological systems, while continuing to run each institution can be a massive challenge. It requires proper planning for phased transitions, extensive preparation, intensive testing and training and more training. We work with other members of the integration team to define workable implementation plans as to what needs to be integrated, when it should happen, and how it can be done successfully.
Product and Service Integration Plan
We work to define the go-forward product and service mix and ensure that product teams understand and support the new plan. We help set priorities for new product development and we define feedback mechanism to track progress and obstacles. We identify and pursue product synergies.
Operations Integration Plan
We prepare a detailed integration plan for operations, including all functional areas, such as accounting, loan servicing, item processing, day 2 operations, marketing, purchasing, and branches. We establish a detailed vision of how things are going to work in the future and what steps need to be taken to get there. We create a forum for issue identification and resolution (e.g. a customer say it will stop doing business with us unless we commit to continued support for an old product line).