OTP Group has become the largest bank in Bulgaria
The leading Hungarian financial institute secures its top position in Bulgaria by merging DSK and Expressbank. MINDSPIRE contributed to the successful merger by providing Project Management and Data Migration Services.
On the 15th January 2019 the M&A transaction between OTP Bank’s Bulgarian subsidiary, DSK Bank and Expressbank (Société Generale’s Bulgarian subsidiary) was closed. In 2018 Project Odessos had been launched, preparing the entire organisation for the fusion. To support OTP Bank MINDSPIRE provided Project Management and Data Migration services, based on the previous successful integration projects performed for the Group.
On the 4th of May 2020 the successful merger of DSK Bank and Expressbank was completed by opening the merged bank’s branches. On that day DSK Bank regained the title of the largest bank in Bulgaria.
During the Project, approximately 1000 employees of the Bulgarian banks, OTP Headquarters and several vendors took part in the endeavour. The project was implemented with the guidance of the Project Management Organisation, consisting of 45 members. During the merge weekend, 450 people were working on the to ensure a smooth and successful integration.
Such a large project is especially challenging as the level of risks are multiplied by the complexity and diversity of the deliverables. The proper preparations combined with a prompt decision making process enabled OTP Group’s stakeholders to plan and to make corrective actions without any delay, to control all dependencies and to keep the timeline. The outcome of the exercise was a great success resulting in unique value.
MINDSPIRE have contributed in two areas to the success of the Project. By delegating headcount, methodology guidance and tools for the Project Management Office and for the Data Migration of IT systems, we provided 30 full time consultants to Odessos, ensuring an end-to-end presence and contribution to the integration.
Both teams were working in several locations and in an international environment, with on-site and remote activities. DSK and EXB core team, OTP’s local core project team and delegated Headquarter responsible personnel were joined by our Hungarian, Serbian and Bulgarian consultants.
The Project Management Team was supported by MINDSPIRE consultants throughout the Project, providing support in methodology, facilitation and coordination of almost 50 working groups and cross-functional teams. Our tasks involved planning, monitoring, coordination, administration, communication and reporting.
The project methodology, tools, structures and recommendations from our team were aligned and developed with OTP based on the Croatian and Serbian integration projects, tailored to best suit the integration of EXB and DSK.
Data Migration Services played an important role within the integration tasks. The high-level analysis started in March 2019, to identify the scope and formulate the migration concept, the implementation began in May. We provided a team of 15+ experts, mostly analysts proficient in banking data analysis and transformation. The objective of the data transformation was to bridge the gap between the existing data in legacy systems of Expressbank and the target systems of DSK.
DELTA, MINDSPIRE’s Data Migration Tool was used to support the implementation of the mapping and transformation rules, dress rehearsals, testing and rollout. DELTA can create data in the format required by the target systems, transform source system data with predefined filtering and transformation rules in an automated manner. It also provides standard reports supporting validation and reconciliation with the ability to create custom-made reports both on aggregated and detailed levels.
Challenging deadlines had to be met, including pre-migrations in early September 2019 and multiple card production pre-migrations. One of the most difficult tasks was to comply with the loan schedule data transformations, having different concept and data structures in the legacy and target systems.
The Data Migration Team met expectations in complying with deadlines and providing high quality outputs throughout the implementation and rollout. We are proud of the 100.00% accuracy rate for the full scope of Data Migration which was achieved during the merger weekend in a very short timeframe of less than 6 hours.
As the Project was approaching its end, the pandemic surfaced with the closure of borders confining most of the participants to home office, forcing them working remotely and requiring most of the activities to be managed offsite. Remote work is common practice for us, but the isolation and travel ban were unusual. However, the Bank’s Management, the PM Team and the whole project were adhering to the conditions in a very agile and flexible manner, overcoming the difficulties and successfully delivering the project even under these extraordinary circumstances.
We are honoured to have taken part in such a challenging and exciting endeavour with OTP Group throughout the integration process. The unique collaboration between OTP Group Acquisition and Integration Directorate, IT Division and MINDSPIRE to transfer the internally developed knowledge and experiences of previous group level integration projects was a key factor of success. We congratulate the merged DSK Bank on achieving the targets of the Project and also on becoming the strongest competitor of the Bulgarian financial sector.