• Belgacom's Acquisition of Telindus: A One-Way Love Affair (A)

      Verweire, Kurt; Greef, Ghita; De Buyst, Didier (2009)
      This is the first of a two-case series (309-068-1 and 309-069-1). The Belgacom-Telindus cases revolve around corporate strategy and in particular the decision of the corporate parent to grow and expand the company via an acquisition. They lead the student through the dynamics of an acquisition and serve to highlight the different strategic decisions involved before, during and after such a deal. Case (A) covers the pre-deal phase and looks at the strategic rationale, strategic fit and potential synergies. It recounts the unsolicited bid by the Belgian telecommunications operator, Belgacom, for an international information and communications technologies (ICT) network integrator, Telindus, in a highly volatile and consolidating ICT industry. With its traditional core business under threat from new technologies, such as mobile telephony, the profitable Belgacom looks to acquire an integrator that will ensure that its top client base is secured, and possibly assist to better position Belgacom to offer corporate clients advanced communication and network solutions in the future. Due to the hostile nature of the bid, Telindus is shocked and swiftly starts talks with long-term business partner France Telecom. When France Telecom makes a counterbid for Telindus, the nature of the acquisition changes drastically for Belgacom. Belgacom decides to react swiftly and launches a higher bid. One week later, the company reports it has over 90 percent of Telindus shares. Telindus is now part of the Belgacom Group. Case (B) delves into the post-deal phase and the chosen and implemented integration approach, as well as the organisational and cultural fit between the two organisations.
    • Belgacom's Acquisition of Telindus: Managing a Marriage of Convenience (B)

      Verweire, Kurt; Greef, Ghita; De Buyst, Didier (2009)
      This is the second of a two-case series (309-068-1 and 309-069-1). The Belgacom-Telindus cases revolve around corporate strategy and in particular the decision of the corporate parent to grow and expand the company via an acquisition. They lead the student through the dynamics of an acquisition and serve to highlight the different strategic decisions involved before, during and after such a deal. Case (A) covers the pre-deal phase and looks at the strategic rationale, strategic fit and potential synergies. It recounts the unsolicited bid by the Belgian telecommunications operator, Belgacom, for an international information and communications technologies (ICT) network integrator, Telindus, in a highly volatile and consolidating ICT industry. With its traditional core business under threat from new technologies, such as mobile telephony, the profitable Belgacom looks to acquire an integrator that will ensure that its top client base is secured, and possibly assist to better position Belgacom to offer corporate clients advanced communication and network solutions in the future. Due to the hostile nature of the bid, Telindus is shocked and swiftly starts talks with long-term business partner France Telecom. When France Telecom makes a counterbid for Telindus, the nature of the acquisition changes drastically for Belgacom. Belgacom decides to react swiftly and launches a higher bid. One week later, the company reports it has over 90 percent of Telindus shares. Telindus is now part of the Belgacom Group. Case (B) delves into the post-deal phase and the chosen and implemented integration approach, as well as the organisational and cultural fit between the two organisations.
    • Bringing German Cooperative Bank Berlin back on track: Can a rural bank thrive in the city? (A)

      Verweire, Kurt; De Grande, Jonathan; Letens, Geert; Slagmulder, Regine (2011)
      This is part of a case series. The GCB Berlin cases describe a strategic transformation process of a German bank. Over a period of 3 years, GCB Berlin has transformed into a customer-intimate financial institution. The management team of the company used Strategy Mapping, the Balanced Scorecard, and a new sales-and-service approach as transformation tools to get the entire organization more strategy-focused. The (A) case, 'Bringing German Cooperative Bank Berlin back on track: Can a rural bank thrive in the city?,' sets the scene and describes the challenges Arthur Berthold faced when he entered as a newly appointed director. The (A) case provides more information on the personal background of Arthur Berthold, and on his track record with previous employers. Furthermore, the case describes German Cooperative Bank (GCB) Berlin, a subsidiary of the German Cooperative Banking Group. After working some weeks in this new organization, Arthur detected fundamental financial and cultural problems. He decided to tackle the challenges by launching a Balanced Scorecard project, but was struggling how to do it. Should he opt for a top-down approach, or is a bottom-up approach more appropriate? The case, 'German Cooperative Bank Berlin (B): Managing people, customers, and financial results,' describes the start of the change process at GCB Berlin. The (B) case describes how Arthur Berthold transformed GCB Berlin from an undifferentiated and unprofitable bank into a real customer-oriented, profitable financial institution. The top management team launched two strategy maps, one for the Retail Division and one for the Corporate Division. The (B) case describes how the strategy maps were introduced and what were the effects on the management culture and the operations of the organization. The (B) case also describes a change in the sales-and-service culture within the Retail Division through the introduction of the Cohen Brown program.
    • Deloitte's Merger with Andersen in Belgium: A Better Organization for the Ones to Follow (B)

      Greef, Ghita; Verweire, Kurt (2009)
      This is the second of a two-case series (310-025-1 to 310-026-1). The Deloitte-Andersen cases describe a successful merger between two big professional service firms, Deloitte and Andersen in Belgium. The cases lead the student through the dynamics of a merger of equals and serve to highlight the different strategic decisions involved before, during and after such a deal. The (A) case covers the pre-deal phase and the first year of the integration. After the Enron scandal, Andersen Belgium has to ally with one of the competitors to survive. In Belgium, Andersen has chosen to merge with Deloitte. The case illustrates how and why Andersen and Deloitte have chosen a merger of equals. Furthermore, the (A) case describes the first integration steps the different business units have taken in the year following the merger. The (A) case ends with some challenges the top management team has to tackle. Deloitte has addressed these challenges fast and well. The (B) case describes how managers in the business units and at the corporate center have dealt with the integration challenges over the period 2003-08. Overall, the merger has been a huge success and Deloitte is now an indisputable market leader in Belgium in audit, tax, consulting, accountancy, and corporate finance. The (B) case delves into the post-deal phase and outlines the chosen integration approach. The case is interesting because it addresses how the managers of the new company have tried to achieve organisational and cultural fit in a merger of equals.
    • Deloitte's Merger with Andersen in Belgium: Exploring the Process of Integration (A)

      Greef, Ghita; Verweire, Kurt (2009)
      This is the first of a two-case series (310-025-1 to 310-026-1). The Deloitte-Andersen cases describe a successful merger between two big professional service firms, Deloitte and Andersen in Belgium. The cases lead the student through the dynamics of a merger of equals and serve to highlight the different strategic decisions involved before, during and after such a deal. The (A) case covers the pre-deal phase and the first year of the integration. After the Enron scandal, Andersen Belgium has to ally with one of the competitors to survive. In Belgium, Andersen has chosen to merge with Deloitte. The case illustrates how and why Andersen and Deloitte have chosen a merger of equals. Furthermore, the (A) case describes the first integration steps the different business units have taken in the year following the merger. The (A) case ends with some challenges the top management team has to tackle. Deloitte has addressed these challenges fast and well. The (B) case describes how managers in the business units and at the corporate center have dealt with the integration challenges over the period 2003-08. Overall, the merger has been a huge success and Deloitte is now an indisputable market leader in Belgium in audit, tax, consulting, accountancy, and corporate finance. The (B) case delves into the post-deal phase and outlines the chosen integration approach. The case is interesting because it addresses how the managers of the new company have tried to achieve organisational and cultural fit in a merger of equals.
    • Developing a Smart Meter Sourcing Strategy at Eandis

      Varganova, Olga; Samii, Behzad (2017)
    • Epilogue German Cooperative Bank Berlin

      Verweire, Kurt; De Grande, Jonathan; Letens, Geert; Slagmulder, Regine (2011)
      This is part of a case series. The GCB Berlin cases describe a strategic transformation process of a German bank. Over a period of 3 years, GCB Berlin has transformed into a customer-intimate financial institution. The management team of the company used Strategy Mapping, the Balanced Scorecard, and a new sales-and-service approach as transformation tools to get the entire organization more strategy-focused. The (A) case, 'Bringing German Cooperative Bank Berlin back on track: Can a rural bank thrive in the city?,' sets the scene and describes the challenges Arthur Berthold faced when he entered as a newly appointed director. The (A) case provides more information on the personal background of Arthur Berthold, and on his track record with previous employers. Furthermore, the case describes German Cooperative Bank (GCB) Berlin, a subsidiary of the German Cooperative Banking Group. After working some weeks in this new organization, Arthur detected fundamental financial and cultural problems. He decided to tackle the challenges by launching a Balanced Scorecard project, but was struggling how to do it. Should he opt for a top-down approach, or is a bottom-up approach more appropriate? The case, 'German Cooperative Bank Berlin (B): Managing people, customers, and financial results,' describes the start of the change process at GCB Berlin. The (B) case describes how Arthur Berthold transformed GCB Berlin from an undifferentiated and unprofitable bank into a real customer-oriented, profitable financial institution. The top management team launched two strategy maps, one for the Retail Division and one for the Corporate Division. The (B) case describes how the strategy maps were introduced and what were the effects on the management culture and the operations of the organization. The (B) case also describes a change in the sales-and-service culture within the Retail Division through the introduction of the Cohen Brown program.
    • Food@home (A): strategic use of budgets

      Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip (2018)
      This is part of a case series. Food@Home is a Belgian online consumer food brand specialised in the home delivery of boxes containing recipes and ingredients. In two years, Food@Home created a new market and became the market leader. While at the end of 2015, Food@Home reported a negative operating income margin of 30%, the goal for 2016 was to was to break-even. To achieve this goal, Food@Home needed to upscale sufficiently and further successfully execute its strategy. To help with the execution and management of that strategy, John C, the financial director of Food@Home, needed to develop a budget. The CEO of Food@Home, Charles M, asked John to present an operating income and cash budget for the year ahead.
    • Food@home(B): strategic variance analysis

      Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip (2018)
      This is part of a case series. The Food@Home (B) case presents all the information available to Charles, the CEO, to evaluate the performance of Food@Home in 2016. It involves analysing the difference in original budgeted and actual financial results, including the profit impact of various sources of strategic profitability, and preparing a comprehensive reconciliation of actual and planned operating profit.
    • German Cooperative Bank Berlin (B): Managing people, customers, and financial results

      Verweire, Kurt; De Grande, Jonathan; Letens, Geert; Slagmulder, Regine (2011)
      This is part of a case series. The GCB Berlin cases describe a strategic transformation process of a German bank. Over a period of 3 years, GCB Berlin has transformed into a customer-intimate financial institution. The management team of the company used Strategy Mapping, the Balanced Scorecard, and a new sales-and-service approach as transformation tools to get the entire organization more strategy-focused. The (A) case, 'Bringing German Cooperative Bank Berlin back on track: Can a rural bank thrive in the city?,' sets the scene and describes the challenges Arthur Berthold faced when he entered as a newly appointed director. The (A) case provides more information on the personal background of Arthur Berthold, and on his track record with previous employers. Furthermore, the case describes German Cooperative Bank (GCB) Berlin, a subsidiary of the German Cooperative Banking Group. After working some weeks in this new organization, Arthur detected fundamental financial and cultural problems. He decided to tackle the challenges by launching a Balanced Scorecard project, but was struggling how to do it. Should he opt for a top-down approach, or is a bottom-up approach more appropriate? The case, 'German Cooperative Bank Berlin (B): Managing people, customers, and financial results,' describes the start of the change process at GCB Berlin. The (B) case describes how Arthur Berthold transformed GCB Berlin from an undifferentiated and unprofitable bank into a real customer-oriented, profitable financial institution. The top management team launched two strategy maps, one for the Retail Division and one for the Corporate Division. The (B) case describes how the strategy maps were introduced and what were the effects on the management culture and the operations of the organization. The (B) case also describes a change in the sales-and-service culture within the Retail Division through the introduction of the Cohen Brown program.
    • German Cooperative Bank Berlin (C): Turning the bank into a performance-oriented organization

      Verweire, Kurt; De Grande, Jonathan; Letens, Geert; Slagmulder, Regine (2011)
      This is part of a case series. The GCB Berlin cases describe a strategic transformation process of a German bank. Over a period of 3 years, GCB Berlin has transformed into a customer-intimate financial institution. The management team of the company used Strategy Mapping, the Balanced Scorecard, and a new sales-and-service approach as transformation tools to get the entire organization more strategy-focused. The (A) case, 'Bringing German Cooperative Bank Berlin back on track: Can a rural bank thrive in the city?,' sets the scene and describes the challenges Arthur Berthold faced when he entered as a newly appointed director. The (A) case provides more information on the personal background of Arthur Berthold, and on his track record with previous employers. Furthermore, the case describes German Cooperative Bank (GCB) Berlin, a subsidiary of the German Cooperative Banking Group. After working some weeks in this new organization, Arthur detected fundamental financial and cultural problems. He decided to tackle the challenges by launching a Balanced Scorecard project, but was struggling how to do it. Should he opt for a top-down approach, or is a bottom-up approach more appropriate? The case, 'German Cooperative Bank Berlin (B): Managing people, customers, and financial results,' describes the start of the change process at GCB Berlin. The (B) case describes how Arthur Berthold transformed GCB Berlin from an undifferentiated and unprofitable bank into a real customer-oriented, profitable financial institution. The top management team launched two strategy maps, one for the Retail Division and one for the Corporate Division. The (B) case describes how the strategy maps were introduced and what were the effects on the management culture and the operations of the organization. The (B) case also describes a change in the sales-and-service culture within the Retail Division through the introduction of the Cohen Brown program.
    • ING Direct USA: Asset or liability for ING Group?

      Thibeault, André; Verweire, Kurt (2013)
      ING Direct USA reinvented banking in the States and in the process rose from a crowd of over 12.000 banks to become one of the 30 largest banks by assets and deposits in the States. Since its inception in 2000, more than 7.7 million Americans have entrusted their savings with ING Direct USA. The company revolutionalised the American retail banking industry with a simple savings bank model, built around the customer. Nevertheless, the company faced a tough period during the financial crisis. What went wrong? Has ING Direct been able to recover? The case study examines why ING Direct USA had serious financial problems and examines the viability of the company's business and financial model. Unlike many other organizations, banks not only need to have a sound commercial and organisational model, they also need to have a sound financial model. Banks that do well on the commercial and organisational strategy dimension do not necessarily perform well financially.
    • Interpolis: Becoming the most transparent and trustworthy insurance company

      Verweire, Kurt; Kemperman, Jeroen; Op 't Hoog, Jennifer; Maas, Peter (2016)
    • KBC's digital transformation: a cultural and people change (B)

      Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
      This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
    • KBC's digital transformation: a strategic response (A)

      Verweire, Kurt; Viaene, Stijn; De Prins, Peter (2017)
      This is part of a case series. We follow Erik Luts, the responsible for Direct Channels at KBC Belgium. Together with Daniel Falque, CEO of KBC Belgium, and Johan Lema, Senior General Manager Customer Support Retail & Businesses, he has been working to get KBC ready for the digital age. They are leading an organisation-wide transformation to an omni-channel and customer-centric bank and insurance group, relying on new approaches to digitisation. Although the company has made significant progress with the execution of its strategy, there are still significant hurdles to be taken. One of the major hurdles is gaining acceptance of the strategy in the branches, still the main channel of the bank in Belgium.
    • Studio 100: A growth story of a showcase in show business

      Verweire, Kurt (2014)
      We analyse the time series properties of the S&P500 dividend–price ratio in the light of long-memory, structural breaks and rational bubbles. We find an increase in the long-memory parameter in the early 1990s by applying a test recently proposed by Sibbertsen and Kruse [J. Time Series Anal., 2009, 30, 263–285]. An application of the unit root test against long memory of Demetrescu et al. [Econometr. Theory, 2008, 24, 176–215] suggests that the pre-break data can be characterized by long memory, while the post-break sample contains a unit root. These results reconcile two empirical findings that are seen as contradictory: on the one hand, they confirm the existence of fractional integration in the S&P500 log-dividend–price ratio and, on the other, they are consistent with the existence of a rational bubble. The result of a changing memory parameter in the dividend–price ratio has an important implication for the literature on return predictability: the shift from a stationary dividend–price ratio to a unit root process in 1991 is likely to have caused the well-documented failure of conventional return prediction models since the 1990s.
    • Toon: Eneco's smart platform for selling less energy to the home

      Steve, Muylle; Niraj, Dawar (2018)
      Eneco Group, the second largest utility company in the Netherlands, launched a smart thermostat, Toon, that served as a platform for energy management services. Toon quickly became the gold standard for smart homes in the Netherlands. In January 2017, top management needed to discuss the strategic priorities to keep Toon’s lead and hold off the competition.
    • Upgrade estate: winning with sustainability

      Verweire, Kurt (2020)
      Upgrade Estate is a successful company in the Belgian student housing market. Although student housing is perceived to be a commodity market, the company has been able to differentiate itself from the competition with a very unique concept. The case outlines how Upgrade Estate has been able to grow in this market and what the company has done to achieve a market leader. It illustrates well how a company can build a successful strategy based on the principles of customer intimacy, and what it takes to implement that strategy well. The Management Team is, however, wondering how to grow the company beyond its existing core. There are several growth options available and the key question is which one(s) to pursue?