Bancolombia Talent Culture and Value Creation Management Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Bancolombia: Talent, Culture, And Value Creation Management in Mergers

Supporting evidence


Banco De Colombia



Change leader

Analysis of case data

- Efficiency



Alternative 1-Focus profitability and reducing cost-of-operations

Alternative 2- Recreating source of competitive advantage

Alternative 3- Franchising the rural branches

Decision criteria

Analysis of alternatives

Selection of alternative


Exhibit I

Manifesto for Integration of Banco Colombia, Corfinsura, and Conavi

Exhibit II

Non-consolidated financial statements of Bancolombia Group

Bancolombia Group was successfully led by the outgoing CEO Jorge Londorio until his retirement in January 2011. Required by the terms of governance to get retired on reaching the age of superannuation, Londorio as well as the rest of the organization was anxious as to what direction will the company head towards under the leadership of incoming CEO Carlos Raul Yepes having a background cement industry. Although Londorio led the group into two biggest mergers of Colombia, mergers of Banco Colombia, Corfinsura, and Conavi and an unprecedented market share and reach for the group, the financial statements of the company, at the time of Londorio's retirement did not pose healthy signs. Having one of the weakest efficiency and profitability ratios in the industry, Yepes now had the responsibility of keeping the company intact culturally and administratively, as had been marvelously done by his predecessor, and also to increase profitability and efficiency of the company.

Three alternatives have been chalked as a strategic road-map for the incoming CEO. The first alternative requires Yepes to focus on profitability and reducethe cost-of-operations. Second alternative requires that the company recreatesthe source of competitive advantage by shifting to quality of operations rather than quantity. The third alternative for the management will be to franchise the rural branches of the bank, particularly the branches that underperform fromminimum profitability threshold. Third alternative has been identified as an optimal option as this would allow the company to maintain brand perception, employee morale, and strategic direction and still attain greater profitability and operational efficiency along with upfront cash-securities frompotential franchisees. An elaborate and phased implementation plan of the alternative has also been provided at the end of the report.

Problem statement

Bancolombia Group is a group is of companies comprised of Banco Colombia, Corfinsura, and Conavi. The group has undergone significant changes during the past one decade and has always pursued a growth strategy. With a multi-banking structure that offers corporate, commercial, and mortgage banking services, the group operates 741 offices across 186 municipalities and an elaborate workforce of 6300 people. The group also acquired Banco Agricola in 2007 that is leading financial conglomerate in El Salvador. With operational network now spread across Colombia, Spain, Brazil, Miami, Peru, Puerto Rico, Cayman, and Panama, Group Bancolombia is faced with a pressing issue of change in top leadership of the company following the corporate governance directive of Antiquian Entrepreneurial Group (AEG), the leading shareholder of Bancolombia that top executives should retire on reaching the superannuation age. Thus, the current CEO of Bancolombian Group, Jorge Londorio is required to retire in January 2011, the person that has turned the group into 10th largest financial institute of the world.

With such backdrop of AEG corporate governance requirement for Londorio to retire, 'the company is faced with the challenge of change in top leader of the company and accompanying uncertainty of change management with regards to leadership and compulsion of increasing efficiency and profitability of the company'. The company requires anticipating how the process of change may keep the company on track of change that Londorio has so successfully maintained during the last few years. There remain pressing issues for the expansion and operational efficiency of Bancolombian that the incoming CEO Carlos Raul Yepes is expected to address and keep the path of change management smooth as ever.


During the merger process, which Bancolombian called the 'integration' process, the Golden rules of Integration laid down by the executive team comprising of top managers of all three companies placed 'Employees' as the category at top of others for change management. It is the employees of an organization, top executives as well as middle and line managers thatexecute the mission plan. Employee talents, knowledge, aptitude, and attitude were regarded as most crucial part of integration. Since the group continuously pursues a growth policy to effectively compete in financial services market, it is expected that mergers and acquisitions as well as consolidating these mergers will be frequent in Bancolomibain group. Therefore, the CEO of the company will have to lead from the front, the operational as well as strategic growth process. The outgoing CEO has effectively performed the role of an effective and empowering leader; any incoming CEO will also be expected to display such high level of leadership skills that enables the company to manage growth changes effectively. Due to this rationale, the leadership change assumes much importance for Bancolombian Group.

2- Supporting evidence

How significant the issue of leadership change is for Bancolombian Group can assessed from the role that outgoing CEO has played in turning the group into world's 10th largest financial institute. The career of CEO Jorge Londorio spanned over a period of 15 years as the same post and during last ten years, specifically, the group achieved unprecedented growth in all the respective banking service sectors i.e. Corporate banking, commercial banking, and mortgage banking.

2.1 Historical perspective

The role of leadership has been vital in turning around the company, previously known as Banco Industrial Colombiano (BIC) into a merged group called Bancolombiano group. Within the last 10 years of his stint as CEO, Jorge Londorio has led the company from front in managing the change process from which the whole company was passing. On assuming the charge of CEO of Banco Industrial Colombiano BIC, Londorio witnessed the share-price of BIC at $6.85 whereas at the time of his retirement, Londorio left the company in 2010 with a preferred share-price of Bancolombia at $59.20. This indicates the earnest effort and change management competency that the then CEO displayed in appreciating the value of the company and attaining synergies by conducting Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) with related firms in the financial services industry.

Some key market related facts regarding the operations and market share of three merged firms, Banco Colombia, Corfinsura, and Conavi indicate that each was having a different and limited set of service offerings for some particular niche in the financial services market. Before the merger of these three separate companies in 2004, the individual markets shares held by these companies represented the following outlook.


Founded in 1945, the old Bancolombia only focused on delivering service to the market niche of investment banking and high income individuals. With distribution network only in Antioquia region and few cities of Colombian West Cost, the company managed to acquire only below six percent of the market share in Colombian industry of financial services. BIC operated only 110 offices and employed only 3416 people.

Banco De Colombia

On the other hand, Banco De Colombia was better positioned as compared to BIC with having 286 offices and workforce of 4850 people. It was through the leading efforts of Jorge Londorio that BIC pursued a growth strategy by registering BIC with New York Stock Market (NYSM) just before merging BIC with Banco De Colombia in 1998. By merging both BIC and Banco De Colombia, Bancolombia, the resulting entity, was able to secure 11.5% of the financial services market share. Since the organizational culture of both the merging firms was poles apart from each other, it was the leadership skills and strategic direction of the company being infused by the then CEO that made possible for both the companies to grow mutually and under the same group. Before acquiring and merged with Conavi, the Bancolombia Company had already attained services depth of two financial services sectors, corporate banking and commercial sector. Each company leveraged the potential of others and provided help to diversify the service offerings. The leadership and vision of the CEO was already establishing the company as a global service provider and one that catered to the financial needs of small, medium, and large sized enterprises. The Banco De Colombia and BIC merger provided joint firm with 377 offices in 127 cities with a vast Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and internet banking operations. The Bancolombia Company was strengthened on both market share front and the service delivery quality. With 11.3% of market share in assets market, the company adopted Added Value System (AVS) to improvise the internal strengths of the company. It was a carefully executed and culturally coherent effort on part of Jorge Londorio that helped the growth of merged companies as a single brand called Bancolombia. By 2003, Bancolombia attained a market share of 14.6% in country's financial services industry. The integration of two distinct organizational cultures into formation of one single entity capable of growing its business and attaining higher profitability was the milestone attained by Londorio


Being a premier mortgage institution in the country, Conavi was…

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