74 niche digital change specialists in 3 months

How SOLA helped Deutsche Bank build its IT transformation team quickly

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A landmark digital transformation programme

To maintain competitiveness within the ever-more diverse and crowded banking sector, Deutsche Bank designed Project Nucleus—a £1.7bn IT transformation programme and the largest digital change outsourcing project undertaken in the financial sector up to that time.

As part of a 10-year agreement, Hewlett-Packard provided computing capacity and data storage for Deutsche Bank’s operations.

The programme was designed to modernise the bank’s infrastructure platforms and applications, including the automation of service processes and activities, and the standardisation of services to the business.

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The challenge – a huge project, but no team to implement it

Deutsche Bank had the senior leadership team in place to lead the programme; however, they needed expert talent to implement it. 

Project Nucleus set ambitious goals and deadlines, but failing to meet them would cost the bank a fortune. So the right talent needed to be found fast. 

The bank quickly needed to hire niche, highly-skilled digital change staff working in 45 different areas, including project managers, testers, business analysts, PMOs, coordinators, and technical subject matter experts.

But Deutsche Bank was nervous. It had previously worked with several executive search firms that took up to two months to identify and onboard tech talent—well outside Project Nucleus's timeframe. 

Deutsche Bank needed a solution. 

SOLA's approach - top talent in half the time

SOLA started as one of several digital transformation executive search partners but quickly became the exclusive supplier by delivering better people at a faster rate. 

Onboarding talent had historically taken a long time and Deutsche Bank had lost candidates due to the sluggishness of the process. So SOLA immediately streamlined it,  identifying and onboarding talent in half the time it had previously taken.

However, reducing time could not mean sacrificing the calibre of talent—only highly-skilled individuals with extensive experience in large transformations would do.

SOLA identified and engaged with talent to preempt Deutsche Bank's resourcing needs across all work streams. The firm sourced employees who shared Deutsche Bank's vision at the right moment before projects became at risk.

SOLA’s Approach

After initial discussions and diagnoses, SOLA designed a detailed scope and project plan.

SOLA leaders visited Sendbird's offices in the US for a deep dive into the company's purpose, mission, vision and values as well as the key drivers for success.

From that work, the SOLA team developed an employee value proposition to help them present Sendbird to prospective candidates. And a strategic gameplan and timeline were agreed.

SOLAarc IncubatorTM Solution

SOLA deployed its SOLAarc Incubator solution, creating a "virtual subsidiary" to support Sendbird’s EMEA expansion. This included:

1. Talent identification
SOLA drew on its deep sector knowledge, executive search expertise, and extensive candidate networks to identify, entice and hire exceptional local talent, incubated within a Virtual Subsidiary for Sendbird.
2. Tailored employment lifecycle & infrastructure support
Onboarding, compliant employment contracts, policies & processes, fully managed payroll & expenses, benefits management, employer insurances, background screening, HR support, employee performance management, and off-boarding.
3. Compliance with local employment laws and regulations
The Virtual Subsidiary was legally compliant across employment contracts, management taxation and benefits. It removed candidate doubts about working for a US HQ business and positively appealed to key hires. And it provided data & IP protection for Sendbird.
4. Path to exit
SOLA worked closely with all Sendbird’s stakeholders to facilitate a seamless transfer of incubated employees into a true UK Sendbird subsidiary, without loss of continuity of employment.


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