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Case Study: Oldenburgische Landesbank AG

Case Study
Exclusive Interview
June 19, 2024
June 19, 2024
Table of contents

The Company

Oldenburgische Landesbank AG (OLB) is a profitable, growing universal bank serving customers in Germany and select European neighboring countries. The bank offers a wide range of financial products, advisory services, and specialized financing such as acquisition financing, commercial real estate financing, financing for football transfers, funds, wind farms, and other international projects. Following the acquisition of Degussa Bank, OLB expects to surpass the €30 billion balance sheet mark soon, transitioning to direct supervision by the European Central Bank as one of approximately 100 significant banks in Europe.

With over 150 years of tradition, OLB combines its legacy with expanding digital channels and the adoption of modern technologies and applications – including Gertrud.

The Challenge

In our discussion with Christian Weber, Executive Director and Head of the Board Office at OLB, and Rabea Ahlers, Management Assistant in the Board Office, we explored how they have optimized their meeting organization and complied with regulations from the Bundesbank, BaFin, and ECB using Gertrud.

How did you become aware of Gertrud?

Christian Weber:

One of our colleagues brought Gertrud to our attention. As the topic was of interest to us, we evaluated the tool internally and decided – this is a good thing, it moves us forward.

What prompted you to make this decision?

Christian Weber:

This decision had several dimensions. Firstly, we anticipate transitioning to direct supervision by the ECB with more extensive regulatory requirements. One criterion where Gertrud convinced us was that the entire process from submission to protocol meets the highest standards from a revision perspective.

Secondly, it was the perfect time to adjust our long-established structures to meet growing demands and support them with an ideally suited tool. This not only standardized our processes but also strengthened the compliance culture within our ranks.

And thirdly, Gertrud provides us with significant workload relief. It often happens that we have to react last-minute to changes. Before Gertrud, in these cases, we had to manually adjust the agenda, update invitations, and documents. Now it happens automatically.

The Solution

How does this workload relief look exactly?

Rabea Ahlers:

With Gertrud, there is a clear submission standard for all participants. This standardization is already a relief. But especially in detail questions, the optimizations add up: Until now, I manually created cover sheets for the documents of each agenda item (TOP). With Gertrud, this is done with the briefing document in just one click. At the same time, document filing and correct labeling are done automatically. With twenty agenda items, this saves a lot of time. Both calendar management and inviting additional participants are done with a mouse click. And with the introduction of Gertrud, there are clear and transparent deadlines, which helps everyone in their work structure. This is well received.

Christian Weber:

We must not forget the sending of protocol sections. Previously, we had to manually identify and send the relevant sections, but now Gertrud takes care of that too, making this task easier with stored distribution lists and automatic allocation.

What were the reactions to the introduction of Gertrud?

Christian Weber:

Our entire team is extremely positive about the system. Because the TOP submitters also see the status of their TOPs in Gertrud, Gertrud creates transparency that benefits everyone. Accordingly, the feedback from the involved OLB team is positive. The simplicity and intuitiveness of the system are particularly praised by us. It is extremely rare for an IT system to be introduced in a company without any complaints!

Do you have a favorite feature?

Rabea Ahlers:

My favorite feature is the circular resolution. It makes it very easy for the board members to vote. They click on the link, cast their vote, and the resolution is handled.

Christian Weber:

What our board members have also positively noted is that the app is user-friendly on iPads as well. You can open and edit documents on all devices. This is especially practical when you are on the go a lot.

The Results

How do you use Gertrud?

Christian Weber:

Since March 2024, we have been organizing our board meetings with Gertrud. We are also currently exploring additional applications for other committee meetings.

How would you quantify the time savings in a numerical figure?

Rabea Ahlers:

In fact, Gertrud saves me more than 50% of the time. The entire preparation and follow-up of the meetings can now be done in two days, allowing time for other activities.

Top 3 Reasons for Gertrud

Reporting Requirements:

Audit-proof protocols, processes, resolution lists, and search functions facilitate reporting to auditors, BaFin, Bundesbank, and ECB.  

Workload Relief:

With the introduction of Gertrud, the Board Office saves over 50% of the time in the preparation and follow-up of their board meetings.  

Implementation:

Due to the technological integration into MS365, there are no interfaces to external servers. The implementation effort was minimal for both IT and data protection officers.

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