Becoming a global bank by respecting the uniqueness of local approaches

About Unicredit
The client challenge

Unicredit is a leading european commercial bank with Banking operations in 17 countries. It has an international network spanningmore than 50 countries with over 144,000 employees (FTEs) and Over 7,900 branches and with 32 million clients. Its main focus is Europe and has a relatively dominating position in Central Europe by the recent acquisitions.

The client challenge

To become a successful Pan European Commercial Bank, Unicredit announced the acquisition of both HypoVereinsBank in Germany and Ba-Ca in Austria. As such UniCredit became a focused Bank with a fully plugged in Corporate & Investment Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management delivering a unique Western, Central and Eastern European network to its extensive and growing client franchise providing unparalleled access to market leading products and services in 16 countries worldwide.

The challenge was how to become a Global bank respecting the local uniqueness of its operations.

Our approach to Mergers & Acquisitions


We have presented the differences amongst the variety of national cultures with our Intercultural Awareness Profiler and Organizational Culture Profiler.


Buying the typical German HVB and Austrian BACA banks has created a lot of dilemmas both on the business as well as on the cultural side.

People were invited to say what values and behaviors would best help to reconcile the dilemma out of the existing set.


In the case of Unicredit, the values and behaviors were already carved in stone by their visionary leader Alessandro Profumo, but he wanted a check on their validity and reliability through the dilemma process. We did many workshops using our six step approach lead to a lot of cognitive discussions around content. We added a seventh step to build the bridge to Unicredit’s Integrity Charter through defining behaviors. The charter was created as part of UniCredit’s integration process, providing a very clear framework within which the many acquired banks in Central Europe, Germany’s HVB and Austria’s BACA could find their way.


The seventh step invited people to go process and link all business dilemmas to certain type of values and behaviors. Employees are guided in their daily business by the ‘integrity charter’, which sets out the core business principles. In the case of UniCredit, discussion around the creation of this vision and mission was restricted, but what was explored through extensive consultation were inputs that made it possible to reconcile the major dilemmas that the integrated organisations had to face to make it a reality. The implementation helped UniCredit to become one of the largest European banks.