What was the outcome in mind?

Complete the integration of a key acquisition by a major financial service firm.

Why was this project important?

Following a round of industry acquisitions between major banks and wealth management organisations, the race was on within the industry to finish integration and begin creating value.

The executive team had a desire to build a Top-3 Wealth Management organisation, based on a major acquisition.

Three years into the integration program, it was well over time and budget, with significant scope changes and with no clear ramp-down to completion. Other competitors had completed their own integration programs and had a head start to building industry capability and new market offerings.

Helmsman were engaged to recover the project while ensuring acquisition benefits were realised. To do so, we worked closely with the executive team and hundreds of individual employees for for a year; sharing in their passion and commitment to create a modern, contemporary business.

What were the complexities that needed to be addressed?

  • Governance & assurance capabilities needed to be created. Project stage gates, performance metrics, and executive governance were established. Investment made in developing the design, delivery and leadership skills needed from key managers and staff.
  • A product development strategy was required quickly. Due to integration delays, the organisation needed to rapidly progress a new product development strategy. We established an appropriate contractor and partnering structure to enable development and minimise risk while the integration continued.
  • Stakeholders were not aligned on what the really outcome looked like. Each of the program components was unique, and no assumptions could be made as to why they were unable to achieve their the outcome and close down. We had to truly understand why this was, and create alignment on the solution. We involved a wide range of internal stakeholders to define the outcome in detail and identify barriers from achieving it; provided direct executive mentoring and coaching to resolve common contentions or misunderstandings, and established a high performing team.

What was the outcome?

Within 12 months we delivered all the intended integration value goals, and achieved a 20% cost reduction, savingĀ $40M from a $200M portfolio value.