UniCredit Becomes Number One Bank in Central and Eastern Europe

| Client story

Capgemini supports ground breaking program covering merger and integration activities in the key strategic region for UCG

“ Capgemini was a tremendous support and a reliable partner to form the Number One Bank in Eastern Europe. ”David Mahony, Program Manager, Global Banking Services CEE, Bank Austria

The Situation

In 2005, UniCredit Group acquired Germany’s HVB Group and its Austrian subsidiary, Bank Austria Creditanstalt (now Bank Austria). The deal – at the time Europe’s biggest cross-border acquisition in the industry – led to the creation of an industry giant with more than 10,000 branches and 168,000 employees. The Central and Eastern European (CEE) Integration Program was established to support the consolidation of all CEE banking units into the UniCredit Group structure, with Bank Austria in a sub-holding role steering the business in the entire region.

The CEE Integration Program needed to tackle a number of challenges:

  • program size - activities in 14 countries across 21 banks
  • short timeframe to complete – within only 18 months
  • high complexity due to different integration approaches in several countries – ranging from full scale legal and technical mergers, integrations to de-mergers, as well as re-brandings and further adaptations to UniCredit Group standards
  • financial stretch – with senior Group management seeking a 1:1 ratio between costs and benefits after 3 years.

The Solution

The Central Integration Program consisted of an international UniCredit team, with Capgemini supporting from the design through to the execution phase. The goal of the joint team was to:

  • achieve strategic goals within the given time and budget
  • provide support with proven PMI tools and methodologies
  • provide on-site support for local projects
  • provide alignment with other projects running in parallel
  • foster buy-in of employees with professional change management
  • exchange best practices and lessons learned.

The Result

After one and a half years of intensive collaboration, the CEE integration program was successfully delivered on time and above expectations while keeping the costs at 11% below budget. In only 18 months, the banking landscape in Central and Eastern Europe has been reshaped by:

  • full legal and technical mergers in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • integration into the Bank Austria sub-holding in Russia, Turkey and the Baltic Countries
  • transformation to full UCG standards in Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia
  • de-merger and sell-off of Splitska Banka in Croatia.

The program contributed significantly to restructuring the Group and strengthening its position in CEE. Unified steering structures, lean organizations as well as UniCredit Group standard IT solutions have been implemented to provide a solid basis for further growth in the region.