Deutsche Bank is knee-deep in systems integration.
Central to this procedure is the cash management group, which has made decisions on the three systems most visible to its corporate clients and is merging two of them, said David L. Hinds, a managing director.
In the delicate task of acclimating these clients to new technology, Deutsche Bank is emphasizing the combined bank's compatible products. For instance, Deutsche's euro payment services and the acquired company's U.S.-dollar offerings make Deutsche Bank the world's largest clearer of euros and a leader in U.S.-dollar clearing.
"Unlike other mergers, where there are a lot of obvious redundancies, the integration of Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank is more complementary," Mr. Hinds said. Hence the impact on customers' routines "is much less than you would imagine."
Deutsche Bank wants to ensure that customers suffer no disruptions, and it expects many to take advantage of an expanded set of services.
"There are more situations where clients want to deal with us because we have broader capability," said Mr. Hinds, who was president of Bankers Trust Financial Services Information Systems Corp. before the merger.
Deutsche Bank is retaining the wholesale business structure of Profitco, a unit created by Bankers Trust in the mid-1980s to turn processing and operational services into a revenue-generating business. Deutsche Bank's global institutional services, a division of the 28,000-employee global technology and services unit, is modeled on the same concept.
"We've extended the business structure, not changed it," Mr. Hinds said. "Who does what to whom is the same."
Deutsche Bank also is trying to make sure that clients work with the same relationship managers they had before the merger.In making its technology decisions after the acquisition, Deutsche Bank wanted to quickly convert the best equipment and programs in use at the two companies. It decided to stick with its own workstations because of their Microsoft Windows graphical interfaces and Web capabilities. "We were on the verge of installing a similar workstation at Bankers Trust," Mr. Hinds said.
It was the same with the letter of credit system, he said. Bankers Trust "had on the drawing board" a program similar to one Deutsche Bank had adopted.
The customer service system of the old Bankers Trust will be used because it can keep a continuing record of service transactions, something Deutsche Bank's system cannot do. Thus, all Deutsche Bank clients will be able to get consistent levels of information about their dollar and euro holdings.
The customer service and letter of credit systems are being integrated now. Conversion of the workstation system will begin in the first quarter, Mr. Hinds said.