Digitizing the controlling of a major bank?
Scenario Simulation and Finance Transformation Commerzbank AG
Meet the client
As one of Germany’s leading banks, Commerzbank serves around 30,000 corporate customer networks and 11 million private and corporate customers in Germany. In these two business areas, the bank offers a comprehensive portfolio of financial services. It has also faced major changes in recent years. Merger talks and strategy changes in times of VUCA and Corona, for example. The result: a Group-wide transformation process that not only affects the bank in particular, but also provides insights into the banking landscape in general.
Challenges of enterprise performance management
The finance and controlling team of a major European bank usually has a whole pack of challenges breathing down its neck: Digitization is not only advancing in the specialist area, but everywhere – with sometimes massive effects on various business areas. At the same time, the legislator prescribes the fulfillment of various requirements and regulations: For example, banks above a certain size must be able to demonstrate that they are prepared for various scenarios. In addition, banking should also be able to respond to the constantly changing conditions of the VUCA world. In the view of controlling, a solution should therefore be found to master these requirements and at the same time remain flexible. Furthermore, this solution should be able to be profitably integrated and lead to the elimination of old silos.
In addition to all the technical challenges, the focus was on getting Commerzbank employees excited about change and new methods. It’s not always easy to get employees excited about a new solution for complex processes. Particularly in traditional companies in historically grown industries, innovators often encounter reservations.
We had looked at different planning solutions on the market and shortlisted some providers for software solutions especially for agile simulation of scenarios. In doing so, Valsight presented us with a solution with a lean and compact project.
Solution: How does Valsight move Commerzbank AG forward?
Working closely together, Valsight found a solution to many problems and supported Commerzbank AG in its finance transformation. Important and central measures include, for example, the restructuring of the planning process and the associated introduction of a Group-wide driver-based planning solution. This enables Commerzbank AG to adapt to dynamic markets and respond flexibly. Furthermore, agile simulation through scenarios was introduced at the major bank.
Acting out a wide variety of situations provides room for maneuver and leads to being able to make well-founded decisions. A different story can be built for each alternative scenario, which can also be visualized in seconds. These diagrams can then be easily taken to the next meeting and discussed. Simulate the effects of index fluctuations on your own portfolio values? Forecast the impact of fluctuating exchange rates on those or even consumer and business sales? No problem. In addition to efficiency, this increases the maturity of the controllers – because they can make well-founded decisions more quickly thanks to the possibility of scenario simulation.
In addition, the employees of Commerzbank AG could be sustainably convinced of the new software and the innovative methods, as individual team members were quickly enthusiastic about Valsight and successfully shared this enthusiasm. The core corporate planning team around Ingo A. Mueller and Stefan Pohl was quickly convinced. Other team members, however, were skeptical at first. The solution came with Ines Emde: During her time as a finance trainee, she got to know the Valsight tool in the planning team and was immediately enthusiastic. In her current job as controller in the corporate customer segment, she was able to use this enthusiasm to identify a wide variety of drivers for the business model, and the value driver model was able to be built up in a short time, contrary to the reservations initially expressed. The result of this – together with the visualization already mentioned – was able to soften the reservations of the remaining users.
Our videos are currently only available in German. Many facts of the video can also be found in the text.
Benefits through Valsight
Starting with a pilot project, the proof-of-concept, a prototype in a clearly defined area, Valsight moves into various value-added areas of Commerzbank: Commerzbank’s controllers are capable of calculating complex multivariate scenarios and can thus not only anticipate legal requirements, but also improve Group controlling in all areas.
Openness to new technologies is key to successful change and effective financial transformation. As a software solution, Valsight supports Commerzbank AG in making this change and adapting to the fast pace of digitalization.
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