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Post Merger Integration

Plan & Manage
Multiple Conversion Events

Leading US Bank


A leading regional bank was “encouraged” to take over a geographical competitor in the wake of 2008’s financial meltdown. This transaction was an order of magnitude larger than any prior merger which would result in becoming a top 5 bank, and was complicated by resource constraints, organizational resistance, and significant potential impacts on customer experience.


  • Regulator-driven merger between two highly competitive and geographically contiguous entities

  • Limited resources - only 4 FTE’s working on merger task planning and organization

  • No merger office in place

  • Merger was comprehensive, unlike previous "IT data transfer" transactions

  • More than 6 million customers and businesses were in scope

  • Four complex conversions cutting across natural geographical footprints

  • No common approach to merger planning and integration despite numerous LOB and functional workstreams established (e.g., branch, technology, operations, marketing, branding)

  • Decisions made by individual work streams had unintended consequences across other work streams, resulting in adverse impacts on customers and employees


Rapid Deployment Solutions


  • Standardized planning approach and templates across functional workstreams

  • Created a master calendar of merger related activities to track progress and support communications with governance teams

  • Set up and organized an “Enterprise Command Center” (Integration Management office) to support the conversions. log and track issues, and provide status reporting to the Merger Executive Team

  • Instituted a Customer Experience  team to specifically monitor and manage questions and issues arising from the front lines of customer interaction, such as branches, online banking, and consumer/business service centers

Strategic Solutions


  • Defined and implemented "Wave Management" concept and processes

  • Client designated “wave management” LOB and functional representatives

  • Wave Management teams and processes took "core samples" through all workstreams for several months prior to and following conversions to:

    • Facilitate integration of decisions with cross functional impact

    • Share planning goals and activities across work streams

    • Ensure a central

    • Focus on

    • Anticipate operational and customer and employee experience issues before they caused customer attrition or community relation problems

    • Expedite issue identification and resolution

  • Conducted post-conversion “New Normal” reviews to communicate and educate employees on organizational and process changes and improvements

  • Created Enterprise and Line of Business Merger Integration and Wave Management "playbooks" for use in future transactions

Functional Focus and Impact


  • Merger Integration Management

  • Merger Governance and Communications

  • Integration Management Office

  • Program and Project Planning

  • Business process improvement

  • Issue Identification and Resolution

  • Change Management

  • Organizational Structure

  • Knowledge Transfer


The four conversions successfully occurred on schedule. Fewer issues arose after each event due to Wave Management knowledge transfer efforts.  Customer attrition was under 1/2 of 1%. The “Enterprise Command Center” (IMO) was converted, post merger, into the Strategic Services Office, an internal program management and consulting organization that supported ongoing strategic initiatives with the bank, as well as merger integration leadership. The Merger Integration and Wave Management playbooks were used for subsequent transactions.

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