Professional Services, Finance & Insurance

Post-Merger Management and Leadership Development,
Bank of America/Security Pacific Bank (US)

SG - Clients - Bank of America - 25 June 2015


Bank of America reported their 3rd quarter net income as $4.5 billion in 2015. Before 1998, the Bank of America that exists today was known as NationsBank, based in Charlotte, North Carolina – which then acquired the San Francisco-based BankAmerica. The roots of the pre-1998 Bank of America lie in the American Bank of Italy, founded in San Francisco by Amadeo Giannini in 1904. When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, Giannini was able to get all of the deposits out of the bank building & away from the fires. Thus, unlike many other banks, he retained the confidence of the depositors & also had money to lend to those struck by the disaster. A series of mergers then followed & in the late 1920s, Giannini approached Bank of America, Los Angeles, which had exhibited strong growth, due to its success in developing an advanced branch banking system. The merger was completed in early 1929 & took the name Bank of America. The bank dealt huge losses in 1986/87 by the placement of a series of bad loans, particularly in Latin America.


Synergy Global became involved with change management, when the bank acquired its rival, Security Pacific Corporation & its subsidiary Security Pacific National Bank (plus other banks in Arizona, Idaho, Oregon & Washington which they had acquired in the late 1980s). This was, at the time, the largest bank acquisition in history.


We installed a unique sales management system for the Retail Banking Division of the acquired institution. Programs were developed to foster a sales culture through the creation of a vision & operating values for the 200 profit centre managers. Intensive five-day workshops were designed & delivered to hasten the adoption of the new bank culture, to make clear the values & vision of the leadership team, & to develop a plan for communicating to the bank’s key clients the benefits of both current & future changes


Results included a 6% market share gain & 17% customer satisfaction index increase in one year while minimising account executive & customer turnover. In 2001, Bank of America CEO & chairman Hugh McColl stepped down & named Ken Lewis as his successor. Lewis’s greater focus on financial discipline/efficiency contrasted greatly with the expansionary mergers & acquisition strategy of his predecessor. Today, Bank of America generates 90% of its revenues in its domestic market & continues to buy businesses in the US. The core of its strategy is to be the number one bank in its domestic market. It has achieved this through key acquisitions & now becomes the largest issuer of credit, debit & prepaid cards in the world based on total purchase volume, as well as the largest consumer/small business bank in the US.

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