Strategy

Genesis has provided strategy support to financial institutions across Africa and the Middle East for more than 20 years. Rooted in our strong economics background, our approach to strategy development is classical in orientation, taking into account industry and market structure, competition and value chain analysis.

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Expertise Areas

Market entry and growth strategy

Our approach to market entry and expansion strategy is unique. We pride ourselves in giving our clients practical insights that they can use to assess opportunities for entering new markets – be it countries or new customer segments – and to better understand existing markets. Our team employs a variety of bespoke tools, which we use to assess the business case presented by opportunities against the prevailing macroeconomic environment, competitor dynamics and the profile and behaviour of target customers. This outside-in approach to strategy, which draws on our economics expertise, gives our clients a unique perspective to unlocking value in new markets or strengthening their proposition in existing markets. 

Strategic planning

Our approach to strategic planning is fourfold. Our starting point is to identify our client’s aspirations. We then work closely with the business to articulate market opportunities, drawing on insights, analytics and consultation to better understand external factors such as competitor offerings, regulation and industry trends. We then develop a strategy that is rooted in this external environment but also addresses internal capabilities (people, processes and systems) and financial possibilities. The final part is the actual planning: to articulate an implementation plan for executing strategy that helps our clients convert potential opportunities into realisable value.

Projects

Merger creates one of Ghana’s biggest banks

Project name:
Merger creates one of Ghana’s biggest banks

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking
Business banking
Corporate and investment banking

Client:
One of the largest Ghanaian banks

Date:
2014

Country:
Ghana


Genesis was contracted as an external adviser in the merger process between one of the largest local banks in Ghana and an SME finance provider. Genesis was tasked with supporting the integration of two very different companies by helping them to align and optimise their operating model as they began working together.

Genesis provided the firms with an integration framework as well as aided them in defining their thoughts on strategy, given the changing macroeconomic environment in Ghana over 2014. This intervention involved extensive interviews, executive committee meetings as well as a detailed workshop focusing and defining a path forward. The outcomes of the integration were highlighted to the workshop participants. The participants were asked to think of their work streams in the context of the most important key path-dependent outcomes to which they should align their tasks towards integration. This was then used as an overarching mechanism to track interrelated work and ensure a full understanding of the goals of the integration process. This streamlining activity helped the two firms understand their new united objective

The integration ensured that the new bank consolidated its position as number six in the market in terms of asset book, but with one of the largest networks (80 branches, 300 agencies and 96 ATMs) and customer base of over 700 000. The integration was also deemed a success as the new bank was able to retain the majority of the staff and functions from both previous organisations.

The benefits of the merger continue to be realised with the bank continuing to scale the rankings. It is no longer labelled as one of the largest local banks in Ghana, but rather one of the largest banks in Ghana.

Strategy development for a new market entry

Project name:
Strategy development for a new market entry

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking

Client:
A financial institution looking to become a retail bank

Date:
2014

Country:
Ghana


Genesis was commissioned by a Ghanaian financial institution to conduct an opportunity analysis of the Ghanaian financial sector to advise it on the viability of becoming a universal bank in the market. The project was conducted over two phases, which defined the market (opportunity analysis), developed the strategy and go-to market principles, as well as provided a high-level business case.

The first phase of the project was a macroeconomic analysis of Ghana, identifying trends in the economy as well as forecasting these trends for a further five-year period. The impact of the macroeconomic environment of the financial sector was also explored, providing context to the deep dive of the market and key market participants. During this stage the markets were sized and the opportunities in assets and liabilities highlighted. This deep dive identified areas of opportunity for a differentiated customer-value proposition as a bank, as well as the strategy required to leverage current strengths to meet this opportunity.

The second phase of the project was building a financial model for the financial institution, should it become a bank. This was based on the strategy identified in phase one. A number of scenarios were also investigated through the model, based on different strategies and go-to market options. Genesis worked closely with the main shareholders and management team to develop a compelling strategy document which was used for to raise capital.

Bank gets more customers to go mobile

Project name:
Bank gets more customers to go mobile

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking

Client:
A large Pan-African bank

Date:
2014

Country:
South Africa


A large Pan-African bank commissioned Genesis to conduct an analysis of the mobile-banking market in South Africa and to craft initiatives to drive rapid mobile adoption, allowing it to achieve aggressive targets set by the executive.

The goal of the project was to develop a clear understanding of the addressable market for mobile-banking applications. In order to do this, the bank’s user base was profiled using the data capabilities of Genesis's former internal analytics specialists, Moxon Solutions. This allowed the bank to identify the characteristics of early adopters, which ultimately led to targeted adoption initiatives in the marketing and channel space.

At the conclusion of the project, the Genesis team was instrumental in setting up a steering committee to bring together various stakeholder groups, all of whom wished to migrate customers from fairly expensive channels, such as branches, to fairly inexpensive channels, such as a mobile-banking app or internet banking.

The client managed to reach the target of one million customers seven months before it had expected to.

Strategy for financial inclusion unit of Ghanaian bank

Project name:
Strategy for the financial inclusion unit of a major Ghanaian bank

Service:
Strategy
Financial inclusion
Market systems development

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking

Client:
Financial Sector Development Programme Africa (FSD Africa)

Date:
2014

Country:
Ghana


Our purpose was to assist a leading Ghanaian bank's Financial Inclusion Unit (FIU) to deliver on its overarching goal of having five million active accounts by 2018, and to identify ‘capability’ gaps that could potentially be supported by FSD Africa. The analysis involved a market opportunity analysis and internal capability assessment.

While it was clear that the goal was a stretch target, the analysis gave the initiative a green/amber light because, technically, the opportunity did exist and the bank had the three key advantages: it was the first mover in the mass market, it was given special dispensation by the central bank to run an agent network (the only bank in the market) and mobile-money solutions had not yet taken off.

Capability wise, however, the analysis highlighted numerous concerns. The operating model was not scalable (i.e. too many manual processes) and, structurally, the division was set up as a special project with duplicated main-bank functions (such as operations and IT) which substantially increased costs. Furthermore, a poor decision had been made about its IT platforms, i.e. a separate core-banking system had been built, which meant that customers from this segment could not interact with the main bank and vice versa.

The project concluded with the creation of a new organisational structure of a retail banking value chain continuum that eliminated the initial silo nature of the organisation. The business case investigation revealed key issues in terms of sales performances, card functionality and pricing. Together with overall process and systems problems, these formed the foundation for a list of key activities that would need to be undertaken for the unit to improve performance and achieve its goals. These key initiatives were then workshopped with key stakeholders in order to gain consensus and rank them in terms of priority. The bank decided to implement all of our recommendations.

Strategic plan for a large Tanzanian financial institution

Project name:
Medium-term strategic plan for a large Tanzanian financial institution

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking
Corporate and investment banking
Business banking

Client:
A large Tanzanian commercial bank

Date:
2015

Country:
Tanzania


Genesis was commissioned by a large Tanzanian financial institution to conduct a market opportunity analysis and strategic review of its business with a view to defining its medium-term strategy through to 2020. 

A four-step looped strategy framework was adopted as the approach and involved defining the bank’s objectives, outlining the market opportunity, developing the strategy and ending off by aligning the overarching operating model. 

The first step involved extensive workshops with the management team to outline the objectives of the institution through to 2020. The opportunity analysis focused on understanding the institution's current focus and target market, after which we studied the Tanzanian market to outline the various opportunities that would exist going forward. 

With an understanding of what the future opportunities would be, a strategy for the institution was developed outlining the key capability improvements that would be required. The final step involved the Genesis team developing an implementation plan for the institution to follow with a set of initiatives for the short, medium and longer term.

The outcome of the engagement concluded with the Genesis team presenting the new medium-term strategy to the institution’s management team and finally the board. With board approval, the strategy is in the process of being implemented.

Strategy and execution plan for a Namibian financial institution

Project name:
Development of a strategy and execution plan for a Namibian financial institution

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking
Business banking
Corporate and investment banking

Client:
A large Pan-African bank operating in Namibia

Date:
2015

Country:
Namibia


Genesis was retained by a large Pan-African bank operating in Namibia to create alignment across business units, and management around its strategy and strategic execution plans. 

To provide a burning platform for the strategy, we provided market insights which included a detailed competitor analysis, customer insights and CVP analysis. Interviews were also conducted with the bank's customers across its main segments (both retail and corporate banking) and internal stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. 

The findings of this exercise were presented at a management conference with the objective of gathering input and gaining buy-in. Genesis facilitated the event. We were also tasked with building a project-management tool that would allow the executive committee to track initiatives that were running across the bank in 2015 and beyond.

The final deliverables of the project included a detailed report on the bank’s financial position, its CVP relative to competitors and a project-management tool. As a result of this project, the bank aligned stakeholders and used the tool to track its strategy execution.

Identification and quantification of revenue growth or cost-management initiatives, with a tracking tool for implementation, will deliver the business vision of increasing PAT from N$570-million in 2015 to N$1.3-billion in 2017.

Cash-in-transit strategy and plan for a large retail bank

Project name:
Cash-in-transit (CIT) strategy development and planning for a large retail bank

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking

Client:
A large Pan-African bank

Date:
2013

Country:
South Africa


Genesis was commissioned by a tier-1 South African bank to develop an engagement strategy for cash and retail aggregators. 

The bank faced a number of pressures in the cash business that required a strategic response. The final report provided an analysis of trends and of competitors in the CIT business, a review of international trends, high-level competition implication for the various engagement strategies, and a geographical and distance analysis to optimise the location of cash centres. 

Based on the report, the bank adopted a new engagement model with respect of its relationships with cash-in-transit companies and rationalised excess capacity in its cash centres.

Diagnostic of Ghanaian bank

Project name:
International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Service:
Strategy
Financial institution expertise

Sector:
Financial services

Area of Expertise:
Retail banking
Business banking

Client:
A Ghanaian bank

Date:
2014

Country:
Ghana


Genesis was engaged to provide technical advisory services to a bank in Ghana under the IFC's Africa Micro Small Medium Enterprise finance programme (AMSME). Services rendered included a detailed analysis and diagnostic of the bank and the competitive environment in which it operated. This detailed diagnostic informed the scope of the technical assistance component of the engagement which lasted for 10 months. Genesis implemented and rolled out advisory services covering credit/risk management, product development, IT and MIS, HR and training. 

The TA initiative comprised two distinct phases:

The inception phase involved a detailed assessment of the bank’s internal products, processes and capabilities as well as an in-depth analysis of the macroeconomic environment and competitive landscape in which the bank operates. This phase was originally due to run for a period of three to four months, but at the IFC’s request and through the concerted efforts of the team, it was completed within two months of the project’s kick-off. The intention of this phase was to identify the bank’s shortcomings and opportunities that would be addressed through the TA initiative. The inception-phase analysis identified three work streams that required urgent attention from the bank in terms of improving its overall value proposition to SMEs in Ghana. The three work streams that were identified were: segmentation, organisational structure and sales, value proposition and overall improvements on how the bank capitalises on its data and systems.

The second phase of the TA initiative, the implementation phase, ran for one year because many of the initiatives identified (above) were of a long-term nature and should result in improvements for years to come. The implementation phase had also spurred a bank-wide change-management project that was driven by the TA team and which was broadened internally by the bank to include segments that were out of scope for the purposes of the TA initiative.

The project was deemed as a success by the IFC as well as the bank's executive committee and all actioned changes have remained in place as these have been deemed to have improved the bank.

Meet the Team

Areas of Service Expertise

  • Market entry and growth strategy
  • Strategic planning

Projects

Project

Merger creates one of Ghana’s biggest banks

Genesis was contracted as an external adviser in the merger process between one of the largest local banks in Ghana and an SME finance provider.

View Project
Project

Strategy development for a new market entry

Genesis was commissioned by a Ghanaian financial institution to conduct an opportunity analysis of the Ghanaian financial sector to advise it on the viability of becoming a universal bank in the market.

View Project

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Leading the team

Richard Ketley

Director and Managing Partner (Financial Services Strategy)

Richard Ketley
Director and Managing Partner (Financial Services Strategy)
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Chidinma Lawanson

Regional Lead Consultant (Nigeria)

Chidinma Lawanson
Regional Lead Consultant (Nigeria)
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Mauro Mela

Manager

Mauro Mela
Manager
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Bavani Naidoo

Manager

Bavani Naidoo
Manager
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Vlad Lakčević

Manager

Vlad Lakčević
Manager
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