Creating stability in a time of instability

When a major investment bank faced a financial crisis, they wanted to do everything in their power to maintain high levels of service to existing clients and boost the morale despite unavoidable redundancies.


In 2008 a European investment bank suffered from exposure to structured credits and in 2009 was ordered to transfer 85 billion Euros to the ‘bad bank’ who acted as a winding-up agency.  The remaining assets were managed by a new company. 

The Problem

As part of the winding-up procedure, the bank had to service and maintain the quality of its deals with existing clients whilst at the same time face the real prospect of losing some of its best employees.  Morale was very low, employees faced considerable uncertainty and line management were not able to provide effective guidance and support as a result of poor communication at senior management level.

The Solution

Through careful analysis and various discussions, Senior Management was encouraged to become involved in supporting and engaging staff during the transition process.  Management developed and facilitated workshops held regularly over the year. This helped to reposition the problem as an opportunity for staff to become proactive in the management and direction of the organization during the period of uncertainty. The programme enabled them to gain exposure and deal with issues earlier than would be usual in the normal career trajectory.  Processes were developed and put in place to engage and align managers and staff at all levels within the organization.

The Results

The bank was able to slow down the rate of attrition of staff as a result of the impending changes.  The morale of employees increased as they developed and were able to practise new skills in the turbulent environment.  The newly trained managers were able to move to improved job opportunities as a result of the training and exposure they had received over a three-year period. The bank’s service was also maintained at a very high level despite the reduction in resources.