a2s Consulting GmbH | Portfolio | Projects


Strategic Re-positioning of a global Financial Services Provider

Financial market turmoil, severely tightened regulatory requirements and a persisting low-interest environment had mandated a fast change of course. After analysing underlying factors, stakes, market players and competition trends, we generated a long list of business ideas together with the board. Along a set of defined criteria, we evaluated and refined the set of options, resulting in a merger.

Role: Design and lead the strategy process, report to the CEO


New Old Age Care Offer

In a very saturated market and fighting ongoing decline in market share, the board of a private health company had wanted to give their old age care plans a fresh boost. Following the Blue Ocean Strategy methodology, the visual awakening had been quite drastic: customer perception was unfavourable and the value offered at best mediocre. In a small team, we did several rounds of idea generation and DiLo-Interviews with customers and non-customers. The results were promising and through a strict selection process we narrowed the 60-odd initial ideas down to 8 startling business proposals. A sudden replacement in the board unfortunately prevented the last step, a visual fair to the board and invited customers.

Role: Co-Manage the Blue-Ocean-Strategy process and report to the project sponsor


Market Entry India

After more than 1 year of dragging, the process for licence application had eventually come to a halt, and managing the organisational set up had lost focus. The local JV partner had been considering to cancel the agreement. A 20-staff-project team was assigned to handle both issues. As a first step, requirements were collected and the process aligned with the local regulator, JV partner, and local company management. The application procedure was adjusted accordingly and the company set up enabled for rapid business development. As a result, the licence was obtained within 3 months and business opened only 1 month thereafter. Within 5 years, annual premium income exceeded EUR 500m, supported by an agent force of >100,000 and 3,000 staff.

Role: Lead project management to ensure successful company start up


Acquiring a Life company in South East Asia

Market entry by acquiring a local life insurance company had been desired. Having selected a purchase target, due diligence of the company was performed and the company value determined on an actuarial basis. After the internal Go-ahead, acquisition terms were negotiated with the local partner. A post-acquisition change project ensured to bring the company up to international standards: products, systems, and organisational structure were revised. Most importantly, the company philosophy had been directed towards results-orientation and investment in people. As a result, the company currently resides within the TOP 5 market competitors, with > 500 staff and > EUR 500m annual gross written premium.

Role: Lead the due diligence and project lead post-acquisition change project, reporting to the Holding Board Member


Market Entry South East Asia

Having had no presence yet, the objective had been to enter the local market. Our approach started with a feasibility study, based on own market research, discussions with market participants and regulators, as well as identification of potential JV partners. The resulting comprehensive business case received the Go ahead for market entry, triggering a > EUR 50m investment with a selected local conglomerate. At a later stage the investment was extended by a local bancassurance cooperation. Today the established operations are one of the TOP 3 market competitors.

Role: Project lead feasibility study and co-lead implementation, reporting to the responsible Holding Board Member


Turnaround of Life Insurance Company in East Asia

With 1,500 staff, an annual premium income of EUR 1.8bn, and EUR 6.5bn assets under management, the Life company’s financials had been in turmoil, products unprofitable, and the sales force inefficient. Massive capital injection (> EUR 100m) and sale of company had been considered as realistic options. The comprehensive turnaround action taken comprised the restructuring of the senior management team, developing a centralized MIS for gaining reliable data transparency and enabling sales-force reorganisation, revising the product portfolio, and implementing a centralized purchasing approach for cost savings.

As a result, the previously negative company value was increased to > EUR 700m. A comfortably positive profit margin could be generated, Group target bench marks were overachieved. The newly developed MIS was appraised as best-in-class on a Group basis. The company re-gained it’s position among the TOP 5 life companies.

Role: Lead financial turnaround effort as deputy CEO responsible for Finance, Investments and Procurement


Turnaround of composite insurance portfolio

The start-up insurance company in a Gulf state had been set up as center for regional expansion. However, the organisation had not been in good shape: cross-cultural clashes prevailed, customers were complaining, service providers unreliable. The insurance portfolio was heavily loss-making, staff were frustrated, the investor nervous. After consulting and involving the various parties, we re-organised operations along work processes, also appeasing the staff conflicts. We ensured staff training and process optimisation based on a six sigma approach. Not only were product losses stopped, but products put on a profitable growth trajectory. Timely succession planning made the development sustainable.

Role: Lead the turnaround as Chief Operations and Products Officer


Implement Global Insurance Management

Set up as one of several Lighthouse projects in a bid for Operational Excellence, unifying the insurance coverage of more than 200 entities worldwide was 1 of only 2 projects to be rolled out successfully. A key factor had been our comprehensive project scoping process, involving a European and US pilot project and aligning all affected corporate functions. Having learned from the pilot projects, we abandoned the initial approach and opted for a global data collection together with an external provider. The evaluation provided an entirely new risk strategy, allowed risk-adequate tailoring of coverage and identified significant cost synergies.

Role: Counselling of the project, facilitating project meetings and providing analytical support

Set up worldwide Risk Management Operations

The 2 Group companies had just been merged following disastrous hurricane losses due to a failure of operational risk management procedures. Also, operations had to be tightened to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. While complying to the formal requirements, we involved all company functions in a series of workshops to systematically identify and evaluate any operational risks. This started pervasive and ongoing risk management operations in more than 20 countries. Our Corporate Governance efforts were not only awarded by SOX compliance, but also won the prize for the best pre-emptive risk committee in the Group.

Role: Lead the process as Global Head of Risk Management, reporting to CFO and CRO