June 06, 2012

For three long years beginning in late 2008, every Friday morning meant a conference call for about 100 Wells Fargo IT leaders. The topic: how to keep the technology integration of the largest bank merger in U.S. history on track.

The $15 billion Wells Fargo acquisition of Wachovia would leave the combined entities with more than 70 million customer accounts. It involved converting 3,088 Wachovia retail branches to Wells Fargo branding. It meant connecting Wells and Wachovia systems used to run 80 very different lines of business--from mortgage lending and credit cards to brokerage accounts and business loans

And it meant eliminating half of the major IT platforms used to run the business. That's the Wells Fargo way in an acquisition--move the legacy operation onto a single system and shut down the old one; don't let overlapping technologies run alongside each other.

Martin Davis, who came from Wachovia and was tapped to lead the tech integration, led those Friday meetings with just three standing agenda items:

1. What are the lessons that were learned from recent implementations?

2. What's due to get done in the next 30 days?

3. Which problems might keep those things from getting done in the next 30 days?

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