Successful Finance Transformation at Commerzbank
The finance and controlling team of a European major bank is facing a multitude of challenges: Digitalization is not only advancing within the industry but across all sectors, with sometimes significant impacts on various business areas. At the same time, the legislature imposes compliance with diverse requirements and regulations. For instance, banks of a certain size are required to demonstrate preparedness for various scenarios. Moreover, the banking sector needs to be able to respond to the ever-changing conditions of the VUCA world. From the perspective of controlling, a solution needs to be found to meet these demands while maintaining flexibility. Additionally, this solution should be effectively integrated and lead to the elimination of old silos.
In addition to all the technical challenges, the primary focus was on inspiring Commerzbank employees for change and new methods. Convincing employees to adopt a new solution for complex processes is not always straightforward. Especially in traditional companies within historically established industries, innovators often encounter reservations.
In close collaboration, Valsight found a solution to many problems and supported Commerzbank in its finance transformation. Key and central measures included the restructuring of the planning process and the introduction of a group-wide driver-based planning solution. This enables Commerzbank to adapt to dynamic markets and respond flexibly to changing conditions. Furthermore, agile simulation through scenarios was introduced at the major bank.
Through the simulation of various situations, room for action is created, allowing for well-informed decision-making. Each alternative scenario can be built into a different narrative, which can be visualized in seconds. These charts can then be easily taken to the next meeting and discussed. Simulate the impact of index fluctuations on portfolio values? Predict the influence of fluctuating exchange rates on personal or business customer revenues? No problem. In addition to increasing efficiency, this enhances the autonomy of the controllers, as the ability to simulate scenarios allows for faster, well-founded decisions. Moreover, employees at Commerzbank were effectively convinced of the new software and innovative methods, as individual team members quickly became enthusiastic about Valsight and successfully shared that enthusiasm.
Stefan Pohl, Sr. Financial Controller at Commerzbank, reveals more details in his Keynote at Horváth Planning Conference 2021. Watch the recording here, available in German.
Starting from a pilot project, the proof-of-concept, and a prototype in a clearly defined area, Valsight is now being implemented in various value-added areas of Commerzbank. Commerzbank's controllers can calculate complex multivariate scenarios, enabling them to not only meet regulatory requirements but also enhance group-wide controlling across all departments.
"We had explored various planning solutions in the market and shortlisted several software solution providers, particularly for agile scenario simulation. Among them, Valsight presented us with a solution that offered a streamlined and compact project."
Stefan Pohl, Sr. Financial Controller, Commerzbank
The openness to embrace new technologies is the key to a successful transformation and an effective finance transformation. Valsight, as a software solution, supports Commerzbank AG in making this transformation and adapting to the rapid pace of digitalization.
The video is only available in German.
As one of Germany's leading banks, Commerzbank serves around 30,000 corporate customers 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 COVID-19, 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.