Case Study

Design & Implement Operating Model to Achieve Optimal Merger Integration



Fortune 500 US Bank


Post-Merger Integration, Program Management

Project Overview

The Client needed a partner to design and implement an operating model for its merger integration program management office to ensure appropriate governance of all merger related activities. In addition to developing an internal management model and communication structure, Reference Point drove strategic planning, execution, and day-to-day activities of the central program office as well as provided continuous program management services for select integration workstreams.

  • Post-deal announcement, immediate requests for information to support due diligence activities strained existing capacity within the Client’s organization. Additionally, program management demands further revealed emerging key personnel dependencies.
  • The Client’s executive team desired strategic advisory and execution support to ensure efficient, effective, controlled, and timely merger integration.
  • Specifically, the management team needed a trusted partner to help the financial institution navigate merger planning and execution prior to deal close – and to ensure the expected value of the merger was realized throughout preliminary planning activities.


  • Reference Point deployed a team of business and technology M&A experts and strategy consultants to design and implement an operating model for the Client’s merger integration office.
  • The team defined the organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities for the integration; developed interaction, communication, and governance structures; and designed reporting, tools, and templates to support ongoing merger activities.
  • With the implementation of the operating model, Reference Point assumed responsibilities for the ongoing management or the central merger integration office, including strategic planning and execution; day-to-day activities; and PMO tools, reporting, and continuous improvement.
  • Reference Point senior experts also provided strategic advisory and execution support across all program management offices within the integration framework.


  • The Client’s executive management team received regular strategic advisory regarding merger progress, which incorporated lessons learned from Reference Point expert’s prior experiences from merger integrations at comparable financial institutions.
  • Reference Point defined a program management structure which enabled the timely escalation of risks and issues across all integration workstreams with regular reporting to the executive management team.
  • Using a controlled business process and program management workflow tool designed by Reference Point, the Client was able to respond to >3,800 requests for information from the acquirer – in an efficient yet controlled manner.
  • In the final weeks pre- and post-Close, the Reference Point team partnered with the acquirer’s merger integration office to ensure successful achievement of deal close and a seamless transition from the integration framework to the new organizational structure.

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