3 March 2018

Ethiopia: Two Firms Gallop to Overhaul United's Management Strategy

Two international companies are vying to redesign the management strategy of United Bank, which is attempting to hire a consultant for the second time after cancelling the first tender.

Deloitte Limited and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management are the two companies vying to prepare a 12 years strategy document, dubbed as 'Strategy 2030,' making United the fourth bank to hire a consultant for redesigning a long-term strategy document next to Awash Bank, Bank of Abyssinia and Dashen Bank.

The tender was announced in November 2017, and only the two companies have submitted their financial and technical offers, unlike the initial one which has attracted seven companies.

The two companies, which were deemed to be qualified during the technical evaluation stage that was held last month, will contend to be finalists for the financial evaluation which is expected to take place this month.

The former tender was cancelled after the Bank concluded both the financial and technical evaluation. Out of the seven companies, only KPMG Management Consulting and Deloitte Consulting Plc were the two companies that reached the financial opening stage. But later Deloitte withdrew from the bid after breaking ties with its local partner HST Consulting Plc.

In designing a management strategy, which would likely cost the bank between 20 million Br to 25 million Br, the winning consultancy firm is expected to formulate a strategic roadmap, develop strategic and operational plans, as well as an organisational structure for United, which is going to use it for the next 12 years. United was established in 1998 and netted 381.7 million Br in profits in the past fiscal year having a paid up capital of 1.5 billion Br.

Abdulmenan Mohammed, a financial expert with the experience of a decade and a half, is among industry insiders who saw the banks, especially the big ones, rushing to get their management strategy redesigned.

"If one bank does something, others will follow," Abdulmenan told Fortune.

Three years back, Bank of Abyssinia (BoA) hired Deloitte for the project, pioneering the trend in the country; Awash followed BoA a year after by hiring KPMG to reform its entire structure and management strategy, dubbed as 'Transforming AIB: Vision 2025'. Dashen has also recently contracted KPMG for the same project, allocating 40 million Br.

Deloitte, established in 1845 and headquartered in New York, employs 245,000 staff in its offices across 150 countries. In 2017 it has recorded 18.6 billion dollar in revenues with its subsidiaries. Apart from the management strategy it has designed for BoA, Deloitte researched the e-government project of the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT).

Since the early 1990s, International Advisory Services- formerly Bankakademie International- has been a committed advisory service for the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank (WB). It operates in over 100 countries through its Frankfurt Head Office and has regional teams in Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Panama, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

But for a financial expert with over three decades of experience, local banks have to focus on application economies such as mobile and Internet banking and work on launching new products, extension services and financial solutions, as the banking industry will ultimately be open for international banks.

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