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Tailor-made HR Solutions

Human resource management and development are of core importance in the development of top financial institutions. Competent and engaged personnel can create a competitive edge in a sector where products are often exchangeable. This is too often overlooked in operational management and business planning.

Our HR and Training Competence Centre contributes to an improved HR system in our partner institutions. We support financial institutions in developing and implementing strategies and operational systems in HR management and development.

HR strategy design

Within the context of the institutions’ overall strategy and the particular internal and external environment, IAS develops tailored HR strategies mapping the way to achieve corporate goals.

Recruitment and selection

Successful HR begins with hiring the right people. A well-structured recruitment and selection process ensures that institutions employ the right talent. We support them in developing and implementing those processes.

Succession planning and talent management systems

Identifying new staff for key leadership roles is not always easy. The existing workforce or outside candidates may lack important competencies. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees who are prepared to assume these roles. Our Centre supports partner institutions in developing and implementing tailor-made systems.

Performance management and appraisal

The appraisal, monitoring, improving and rewarding of staff performance is one important element in increasing companies’ performance. We facilitate the design and implementation of performance management and appraisal systems.

Retention and engagement strategies

Financial institutions often compete for skilled professionals whose number is limited in local labour markets. This is why we support institutions to develop financial and non-financial incentives to help them hold onto their best people.  

Training services

We offer all services around training, starting from competency gap analysis and training needs assessment, development of training systems, and design and delivery of training courses for all professional levels.

A Proven Track Record of Success

Our team of experts in the Frankfurt head office, together with a strong pool of international advisers, implements projects worldwide. IAS has, for example, been working with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia since 2011, where we designed, developed and implemented fully fledged HR systems. In our seventh year of cooperation, we kicked-off a new one-year project with the bank to revamp its organizational structure.

Past projects include: the review and revision of the performance appraisal system and job descriptions and grades for Kredi Garanti Fonu A.Ş, Turkey; the development of the HRM system for Postal and Savings Bank of China; as well as optimizing the job analysis and recruitment process at HAAN Bank, Mongolia (now Khan Bank), among others.

In parallel, our highly qualified team of trainers has facilitated over 600 tailor-made training courses in the past three years for various private and public financial institutions worldwide. Our trainers cover all topics related to banking and microfinance, management and leadership.

In one of our past projects, we have also developed a microfinance certification course for the Lao Microfinance Association. In addition to the 29-day technical program, we also developed and conducted an extensive training-of-trainers program for local trainers in Laos.

Flagship Projects


Design, Development and Implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is one of the biggest banks in Africa with assets of EUR 15.4 billion and more than 29,000 employees.

CBE selected IAS to design and implement a comprehensive HRD strategy to support its HR in line with its vision and corporate strategy. The bank financed the project out of its own resources in order to establish HR best practices and strengthen capacities. The project was conceptualized in four phases.

During Phase 1 (01-06/2011), CBE and IAS collaborated to develop the HRD strategy and supporting systems for CBE together with its HRD department. This included carrying out an assessment of the current situation of HRM&D sub-processes and the workflows within the bank. Based on this analysis, comprehensive strategies were developed in order to improve the staff’s performance.

In Phase 2 (11/2011-08/2013), the objective was to support CBE to align the new strategy with the existing HR systems. A set of comprehensive HR tools was developed.

After the successful implementation of the new HR systems, Phase 3 (11/2013-07/2015) focused on the development of HR staff through intensive on-the-job coaching. Additionally, to increase capacity of all bank staff, we supported CBE in setting up a professional training center.

To ensure sustainable success of all new initiatives within the framework of the bank’s HRD strategy, Phase 4, which was put in place in March 2016, is scheduled for completion by in the first quarter of 2017.

The Project at a Glance
Duration 2011 - 2017
Client Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE)
Country Ethiopia


Phase 1:

  • Comprehensive analysis of HR systems
  • Training needs analysis and assessment
  • Development of an HRD strategy, including new systems for succession planning, performance management, engagement and retention and learning and development.

Phase 2:

  • Implementation of the HRD strategy aligned with the bank’s vision and corporate strategy; Development and introduction of HRD policies and procedures.
  • Introduction of a succession planning system for critical positions.
  • Implementation of an engagement and retention strategy for CBE, a Performance Management System covering all professional levels, a Learning & Development System for CBE and a revised HR organizational structure.
  • Implementation of needs assessment for improvement, expansion and modernization of HRD premises.

Phase 3:

  • Intensive on-the-job training of HR counterpart staff in various areas as performance management, succession planning and management, employee communication and relations, learning and development.
  • Set-up of a bank training center
  • Introducing competency-based recruitment and selection and implementation of the HR business partnering structure.

Phase 4:

  • Continuation of intensive on-the-job training of HR counterpart staff in various areas, such as performance management, succession planning and management, employee communication and relations, learning and development.
  • Update of competency model and updated competency assessment in line with CBE’s new strategic plan 2015-2020.
  • Further support on recruitment and selection based on the revised competency matrix.
  • Professionalization of daily operational HR work and administration of new HR systems and HR business partnering.

For more information about this project please contact

Organizational Structure Study at Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

In 2016, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) selected Frankfurt School's International Advisory Services to carry out an extensive study on its organizational structure and to propose a revised strategy. The objective is to strengthen CBE’s organizational capacities in view of its ambitious vision to become a world-class commercial bank by 2025.

The study focuses on three main components:

(1) the business environment in which CBE operates;

(2) an assessment of the current CBE strategy and its influence on the bank’s organizational structure;

(3) an exhaustive analysis of the organization.

The latter comprises an assessment of the workflow between the bank’s departments, the volume of financial transactions carried out, a review of the current functional roles and responsibilities, as well as an assessment of the existing banking and information security technology.

CBE is one of the biggest banks in Africa with assets of EUR 15.4 billion and more than 29,000 employees. The bank finances the project out of its own resources in order to establish international best practices and strengthen its organizational capacities. This will support the bank in keeping up with technological change and growing competition in the sector.

The Project at a Glance
Duration 2016 - 2017
Client Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE)
Country Ethiopia


Inception phase

  • Analysis of the business environment and bank’s competitive position
  • Gap analysis

Design and implementation phase

  • Workflow analysis
  • Assessment of organizational structure
  • Assessment of process governance and process maturity levels
  • Assessment and revision of job descriptions
  • Development of an effective framework for the organizational change management processes
  • IT assessment

Handover phase

  • Development of a detailed implementation plan and manual

External Training Provider for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

In 2013, CBE contracted Frankfurt School’s International Advisory Services as an external training provider in order to bring expertise and diversity into the bank’s learning and development programs.

CBE is the biggest bank in Ethiopia with more than 29,000 employees. The bank envisions becoming a world-class financial institution by 2025 and is currently pursuing an ambitious growth strategy, actively expanding its branch network. This leads to the challenge of developing enough qualified people for ever more managerial and leadership positions.

The training developed by IAS focuses on sharing international best practices in the context of the particular environment of the Ethiopian financial sector and the circumstances within CBE.

Our senior training experts develop tailor-made training materials and deliver trainings for different professional levels of staff on the following topics:

Core Banking:

  • Branch management
  • Business development and marketing communications
  • Compliance management
  • Credit management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Human resource management
  • Internal audit and internal control
  • International banking operations
  • Loan portfolio management
  • Marketing
  • Risk management

Leadership and soft skills:

  • Change management
  • Coaching for success
  • Communicating effectively
  • Corporate governance
  • Leadership
  • Managing succession
  • Negotiating skills
  • Project management
  • Strategic management
  • Time management

Development of a Microfinance Certificate Course (MFCC) for the Lao Microfinance Association (MFA) and Training of Trainers Delivery

In 2014, the Bank of Laos requested the Microfinance Association (MFA) to provide support in establishing a microfinance certificate course for MFI managers (MFMCC). The objective was to increase the pool of trained and competent microfinance sector professionals.

The MFCC is a modular-based program: a systematic and holistic approach toward microfinance looking at all relevant areas in one course. It is in this context, and with a view of strengthening and building capacity within Lao’s microfinance sector, that ADA microfinance decided to fund the development of the course. Frankfurt School’s IAS was selected to develop the program.

After design and development of materials, the next step consisted of conducting a training-of-trainers course (ToT). In the ToT, every participant was not only exposed to the most up-to-date theories of learning, training styles, and training delivery methods, but also worked on the development of personal competencies.

Two TOTs were delivered to the same set of participants. During the second ToT, the local trainers practiced their training skills by actively training and receiving direct feedback on their skills from our staff.

The Project at a Glance
Duration 2014 - 2016
Client Lao Microfinance Association (MFA)
Country Laos


Design and development of guidelines and training materials of the eight modules (29 full training days) of the MFMCC:        

  • Microfinance fundamentals – basics of microfinance
  • Business and strategic planning
  • Human resource management and leadership skills
  • Credit and delinquency management
  • Management of an MFI and governance
  • Financial and social performance management, accounting, MIS
  • Product development
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements and internal control.

Delivery of Training-of-Trainers (ToT) courses for local trainers:

  • Provide a list of selection criteria for the potential candidates for the ToT
  • Conduct an initial two-week ToT covering technical contents as well as modern, participatory training methodology
  • Conduct a second two-week ToT after training materials have been adjusted based on the feedback and results from the first ToT.

Risk Management

For further information contact