Conceptualization and implementation of a development program for experts at Commerzbank

Our client’s concern

Many companies have customized development programs for managers and project leads. But how does a development program for experts look like? In 2013, the Commerzbank looked for a partner for the conceptualization and implementation of a development program which should promote the generic competences of experts from different departments of the bank. A development program for 5 levels of the specialist career was supposed to be developed. The focus of the development should be that the participants deal with the respective demands of the superior expert level.

The project

Together with Horváth Academy, KI.M implemented a customized development program for experts with 5 levels (equivalent to the management and project lead careers in the bank). The particular challenge within the scope of the conceptualization was the heterogeneity of the expert functions: Every participant – no matter from which department (IT, Sales or Investment banking) – should profit from the trainings and should be prepared for future demands.

Both the competence-oriented approach and a great balance of practical cases and comprehensive elements helped to create diverse training modules. The modules are intertwined within the program and build upon each other across the level. A fifth follow-up module ensures the sustainability and transfer into daily work life.

The result

Various methods and the deployment of experienced and flexible trainers are the factors for success to satisfy the different interests of the experts and create value for each participant (see participants‘ statements). Additionally, the transfer to daily work life is included in each training so that every participant internalizes ideas for actual implementation. 

Barbara Germer
Barbara Germer
Economist (Diploma) & Advertising Merchant, Managing Consultant

1 An overview of the Commerzbank Expert-Program

The specialist career is characterised by a large target group as well as a high complexity compared to management and project careers. The specialist career is divided into levels A to E.


The participants grow together more closely thorugh level-specific classrooms where they pass different steps as a group. Furthermore, there are kick-off and closing events to encourage the participants to get acquainted and exchange views.


To facilitate a transfer into daily work routines the trainings include practical cases and case studies which are specifically developed for these measures. An individual development map helps the participants to put everything they learned into practice.

2 Our cooperation partner –Horváth Academy

Horváth Academy belongs to Horváth & Partners offering training seminars and further education events. They provide personnel development measures for experts and managers with a specific focus on corporate management and performance optimization. Their goal is to convey the content in a practical and sustainable way to ensure that they are established long-term in the company.

3 Goals of the Commerzbank Expert-Program

The Commerzbank Expert-Program…

  • makes it possible to experience perspectives in the specialist career
  • creates appreciation and motivation
  • contributes to the self-responsibility of the employees for their own development
  • relieves managers
  • enhances the equivalence of the careers

4 Statements by participants

Quotes from the seminar evaluation during the pilot events