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This case study explores project management inside a large enterprise through the eyes of the young project manager, Mike Morris. Morris is assigned with leading a project inside the overall merger integration effort at Bank of America. Morris encounters problems with controlling stakeholders, setting requirements, and reporting the project's progress.
Gary P. Pisano; Bradley R. Staats
Harvard Business Review (610054-PDF-ENG)
February 09, 2010
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Case answers for Merger Integration at Bank of America: The TrustWeb Project
Introduction – Merger Integration at Bank of America: The TrustWeb Project
Bank of America announced the acquisition of U.S. Trust from Charles Schwab during the late months of 2006. The acquisition of U.S. Trust intended to strengthen Bank of America’s private bank within the Global Wealth Management business segment. The purchase of U.S. Trust gave Bank of America the potential to enhance its credibility in the market and would give the company resources to serve high net worth clients.
The move joined two wealth management organizations with highly complementary strengths, similar business models, and a shared passion for serving the unique needs of wealthy individuals and families nationwide. While many applauded the strategy behind the deal, there were numerous operational concerns that management faced. In this case, Team 4 will discuss the key elements of the transition process at Bank of America and deeper issues that faced the TrustWeb project.
Key elements of the transition process at Bank of America
Bank of America grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s through the swift acquisitions of rival banks and financial service companies. Through previous experience in company acquisitions, Bank of America had developed a structured process for merger integration. Experienced and efficient business managers from previous merger groups formed the Transitional Leadership Team (TLT) that led the integration process.
The team had the authority to make decisions on the transition and had the status in the organization to build consensus to support the decisions. The Change Execution Team, which included technology, operations, and business process managers, formed the core of the project teams and performed day-to-day tasks to complete the job.
The transition process was divided into an assessment and execution phase. Each phase was prepared with sub-phases that include tollgates and checkpoints that needed to clear before proceeding to the next phase.
The goal of the assessment phase was to take a set of tasks recognized as influential to the merger, create an agenda to complete the work in stages, execute tasks, and exit the phase with an approved and funded agreement. The assessment phase contains three sub-phases: Current Environment Review, Target Environment Assessment, and Integrated Plan.
- Current Environment Review
The first step to complete in the current environment review was to identify the stakeholders who need updates and who partake in periodic evaluations. Second, …
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