A successful takeover requires a carefully planned integration into your organization. Our experts will support you through this process: with a merger at all levels. In any case, we relieve you and any responsible persons within the organization to be taken over by ensuring a stress-free integration.

  • Program Management
  • Project Management
  • Consolidated Vendor Contract Negotiations

A conversion program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. Program management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet program requirements.

A program manager is first and foremost a leader.  People need clear direction and circumstances that allow them to be successful. The program manager must establish such direction both within and outside the bank or credit union.

The primary difference between a program manager and a project manager can be summed up in the words create and comply. The program manager is responsible for creating the business environment culture the project manager complies with to execute. The degree of the program manager’s direct control of that culture can vary, but through direct authority or organizational influence he or she is responsible for establishing the framework in which the project manager operates.

The project manager is judged on the triple constraint of time, cost, and scope of the project. The program manager also is judged on these three elements but at a level that is cumulative for all the projects and operations within the program. This aggregation of responsibilities for a variety of projects and operations means the program manager must make frequent trade-offs between business targets and project/operational performance.

Program management decisions are both tactical and strategic in nature. The strategy aspects of these decisions must consider multidimensional impacts beyond the near-term delivery dates of the project. Conversely, the project manager is challenged to deliver projects within the boundaries and framework established by the program manager. Typically, the project manager is and should be more delivery and execution focused whereas the program manager must also be concerned with the overall health and effectiveness of the program over the long term.

Merger Planning

Planning and forethought is 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.

Communications Plan

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).

Consolidated Vendor Contract Negotiations

Merger synergies yield significant savings – when two banks conduct a merger, the synergy is an important aspect of the transaction.  To make the transaction attractive they needed to reduce the combined expense. CCG Catalyst has designed and implemented an approach to consolidation that will fit within the overall corporate vision. We advise our clients develop ways to simplify core processes, close facilities, and reduced headcount.