First Chicago Corporation:
Global Corporate Bank (A)
The Global Corporate Bank (GCB) was created as a distinct business entity within FCC in 1986 in order to focus attention on serving the large corporate customer. GCB would be one business, with a common target market and a common interest in maximizing the bank's ability to serve those customers well. The strategy included three mutually reinforcing elements: develop and maintain a strong relationship with customers, intensify coverage of current clients and Increase coverage of the target market, and broaden and deepen the GCB's product line.
There are certain main challenges for FCC
* To implement this strategy, even though the ...view middle of the document...
That was flipped around to where they are supposed to marshal the product areas to serve and sell to clients, not keep them out.
The RM, Alef explained, was now more of an "orchestrator" than a gatekeeper. The RM's jobs are as follows:
* To identify and prioritize new opportunities with old accounts
* To open new accounts.
* To bring in people from product areas when there was a specialized need.
The RM might even call for help from the superregional bank: "if, for instance, a local Chicago corporation wanted to have checking accounts or mortgages for their executives, the superregional bank would provide accommodations for that customer." The orchestra conductor analogy was elaborated by a senior banker at GCB, who explained that RMs had to be virtuosos in one or two instruments, but also had to be able to "get everybody in the orchestra to play together, so that each plays his or her individual part—which could be credit, syndications, registrar, transfer agency, etc. —so that to the client it sounds like a symphony."
This transition ran against the grain of those who had focused, prior to 1986, on becoming managers of SBUs.
As a senior level partner explained:
We had to relieve a few people who were solo performers and had bought into the old concept of Strategic Business Unit management where they were running a semi-autonomous business. Now they had to subordinate their individual interests to the good of the team and some of them weren't able to adapt. There was a kind of pride in being a SBU manager, so it was a major give-up, for some to lose that kind of freedom to act.
As another senior level partner put it: "under the SBUs it was assumed that all decisions were made solely by the SBU manager, whereas under the new GCB approach none of the decisions were self contained."
More importantly, the emphasis on RMs ran against the grain of the traditional banking career structure, which rewarded and respected steady progression up the hierarchy and continual elevation in terms of "title." If professionals wanted to become executives, they had to be on the managerial track; if they wanted to be on the managerial track, they had to be managing departments, not working with customers in the field. According to one senior RM, "the way your career would normally need to progress in the banking industry—to make more money, to be more recognized, to be more respected—was to go into management." The RM position was a dead-end job, to be done only until a true managerial position was available. The result, one senior RM commented, was that "you ended up drawing some of your best business development people farther and farther away from the client." Few people stayed in the job long enough to serve as a stable point of contact with customers.
Complicating this focus on career progress was the fact that there were more people lined up at the bottom of the managerial ladder than there had been in previous decades. In the...