Date: November 16, 2004
To: Professor Truex
From: Ben Crist
Subject: Case Analysis: ‘First Fidelity Bancorporation’
In the ever changing banking industry, First Fidelity Bancorp had grown to be one of the largest holding companies of eight financial institutions and over 500 branches. Their growth has been through the acquisitions of other smaller institutions and internal growth generated by strong relationships with customers. This growth has come at a cost and First Fidelity has been left with a complicated mix of systems, operations, and organizational culture. First Fidelity allowed the eight financial institutions to operate totally independent of each other and the corporate office solely managed the integration of the financial reporting responsibilities. The non-integration of systems and operations has also left First Fidelity with higher costs and the need to make changes which will allow them to be competitive in the future. By the early 1990’s First Fidelity had begun to integrate some of the operational functions, but had yet to connect them further.
Due to changes in banking regulation, the US government had begun cracking down on new rules on financial reporting, asset quality, and capital requirements for the banks. The government wanted better controls from upper management and the only way First Fidelity could accomplish this was to integrate systems, management, and combine all eight financial institutions into a more consolidated with less autonomous feel. Management made this their highest priority and put a strict deadline of 18 months on this task.
This deadline put two major decisions directly ahead of First Fidelity, organizational structure and method of achieving the full integration. In order to evaluate the full impact of their decision on organizational structure changes, First Fidelity looked at the following criteria: • Cost Effectiveness
• Responsiveness to Business Needs
• Responsiveness to Individual Needs
• Ability to Standardize Products and Service Offerings • Ability to Support Outsourcing Options
• Ability to Support Acquisitions
• Service/Quality Orientation/Incentives
While these criteria would decide what organizational structure First Fidelity would have, they also had to decide how the rationalization and consolidation plan should be conducted, internally, through the use of consultants, or through outsourcing. First Fidelity saw outsourcing as the most viable solution to their problem and felt it would best serve the company by achieving the goals in the desired time frame. First Fidelity has recognized several potential outsourcing vendors and determined the advantages and disadvantages of each vendor. Their decision now must be to select the proper vendor who will provide them not only with the services needed to move them through the rationalization and consolidation process, but one which will provide quality services and cost savings to First Fidelity for years to come.
Changes to Organizational Elements
The major change First Fidelity will be forced to deal with is the change to their organizational structure and hierarchical relationships within the firm. Prior to the rationalization plan, First Fidelity operated as eight separate financial institutions. Decisions were made independent from each other and there was no single person to oversee all operations from the holding company point of view. When Don Parcells was put in charge of all operations, and improvements were needed immediately, he put a plan in place to consolidate functions and make First Fidelity a more cost efficient organization.
In order for this to become a success, First Fidelity was going to first have to restructure their separate cultures into a single unified culture. Parcells was planning on consolidating the separate operations and systems which the eight banks used. To make this a success, all...