Bank mergers require integrating two financial organizations and their processes, technologies and personnel into one unified, new institution. This requires an understanding of the environment and culture of both organizations, as well as training for the new infrastructure.
Financial institutions are not immune to merger and acquisitions. Bankers, lawyers and investment bankers are concerned that there will be a new a wave of bank and financial institution mergers , branch and other consolidations. Whether that is good news is a matter of perspective, since many mergers do not work out as anticipated.
What makes a merger "work"? Mergers are most effective when the synergies between two companies are realized. The obvious ones, financial consideration and management team issues, are addressed up front and receive the headlines. So much effort is placed on completing the deal but it is the nuances that actually make a merger work. That is where a training consultant can add the greatest value with managing change.
The first step is to develop a strategy for implementing the merger. Two separate companies must merge their respective technology, people , sales, HR , business lines and customer services. It's important to explore the synergies and develop a post merger vision of what the new organization will be.
Our experience with de-novo banks that have consumed other banks is that this envelopment is frequently completed at a rapid pace. Frequently this is done without a full understanding of the details of how to best utilize the strengths of each of the organizations. Many smaller institutions lack the knowledge or staff to develop the implemention strategy and many larger organizations have staff spread thinly dealing with mortgage, Dodd-Frank and regulatory fallout.
The top areas where banks can improve the integration process and therefore maximize the transaction value include:
- Pre-closing. Identification of synergy areas and mapping of scheduling and responsibilities can facilitate the process of merger integration.
- Work Processes. Defining processes between partners can eliminate silos and foster a greater team approach.
- HR and enculuration training. Merged or acquired entities need to share the vision of the future. What are we going to look like going forward, is there a new brand, sales or service culture and how do we address that? There may be cultural or social issues that need to be addressed and it's better to identify these up front than when they become a roadblock to progress.
- Unified communications. Customers and employees, old and new should be part of the communication loop. Events are great opportunities to tell your story; they are also a time that many banks lose releationships, that start at the branch level. Communications with all employees prevents talent flight and solidifies common goals.
- Experienced Trainers. Working with training consultants or people who have executed many mergers can streamline the process.
- Develop a roadmap. Experienced professionals can add great value to create a roadmap for success.
Being proactive – creating a plan with professionals who have been to the rodeo matters. We think that our training services can be the differentiator that makes 1 + 1 = 3. We have empowered our banking clients to leverage our experienced consultants to provide training when and where it matters most.