Thursday, September 19, 2013

Organizations and Transaction Costs

The summer of 2012 I interned at BMO Harris Bank as a Strategic Initiatives and Integration Intern. While it was a busy summer to say the least, this was primarily due to the fact that this was the summer that BMO Harris Bank was acquiring M&I Bank. This acquisition took a lot of work, money, and time for BMO. The reason for the acquisition is for expansion in locations that BMO Harris Bank did not have a strong presence in. M&I Bank was a diversified financial services corporation headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, with $63.5 billion in assets. This large acquisition nearly doubled BMO Harris Bank’s footprint and has been creating great opportunities in their financial services.
Structure was one of the most difficult issues BMO Harris Bank was having with the acquisition. Because M&I Bank already had their own structure, having to tell them the new structure and all of the changes going to be made was a difficult task. The systems all had to be merged, employees of M&I Bank had to not only learn these new systems, but a lot of people were being moved around the bank, losing their jobs, or getting new roles at the Bank. Merging the two banks was difficult because in order for the acquisition to be successful, they had to make the merge seem as flawless as possible to the public.
Being a large sized Middle Market Bank, the organization structure is bureaucratic and had to stay that way with the acquisition. Everyone had specific job functions with individual responsibilities. There is a clear hierarchal structure within the bank, which had to be merged with M&I Bank.
Their brand and new marketing techniques was a critical part in the acquisition that I helped a lot with. It was important for the public to have the honest facts about the acquisition and changes that are being made to ensure and keep the strong relationships they have with their clients. The budget for marketing for the summer of 2012 was more than double what it normally was and that was due to their new logo that followed after the acquisition.
I was hired as an intern for BMO Harris Bank (along with 32 other interns in the Line of Business I worked in) because it was more economic for them to hire interns. Hiring a third-party of full time employee to do the work I did would be unnecessary costs for them and as interns, it is almost like an investment for BMO Harris Bank since a lot of interns receive full time offers. The benefits of hiring me were high enough to cover the company's transaction costs. Had they outsourced, the transaction costs of that service would have been much higher than the benefits.

1 comment:

  1. It's really interesting you wrote about interning at a financial services company because I had done the same thing my first two summers in college. Let me just tell you I can relate very well to everything you described in your blog post. I too recognized and wrote about the bureaucracy one often finds in large corporations, especially banks and law firms. And in terms of updating their systems and the technology they use, I have also found companies are slow moving with that as well.

    I would also say that although I agree that hiring an intern is a transactional cost, it is also useful for the companies because they get to see who is and isn't an ideal candidate to work for them. So it's cheaper to hire an intern, but there are other motivations behind it than just economic reasons.