Mladen Gavrancic, Project Manager in Zagreb, Croatia
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Mladen Gavrancic

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Zagreb, Croatia
Toptal Member Since
January 11, 2022

Mladen is a senior project manager and GRC consultant with extensive experience leading multi-country project teams in the banking and insurance sectors. He has worked with major corporations and startups on core technologies and mobile apps, overseeing IT projects' transformations and rollouts. Mladen led international teams and delivered multimillion-value projects at a fast pace, showcasing his role as an agile servant leader, especially during his tenure at Societe Generale and HVB group.

Project Highlights

High-volume Client Acquisition Product Design
Developed and deployed a retail banking product for the high-volume acquisition of payroll-class clients in the newly expanded region.
Insurance Loyalty Solution
Created a mobile app insurance solution utilizing the B2B2C ecosystem of the insurance company, linking their car and household-related services to the customer profiles enabling service usage on a single platform.
Euro Migration Croatia
Bank project currency migration from national to euro.


Work Experience

Cyber Risk Strategist

2023 - 2024
  • Assessed client readiness, risks, and gaps; prioritized the selection of services and tech for security hardening and overall regulatory compliance vs. NIS2 and DORA EU regulations and ISO 27001 audits; and prepared the clients for certification.
  • Developed a risk assurance framework comprising human cyber resilience, governance, and tech services.
  • Mapped out risk management frameworks to red and blue teams' incident management flow, creating maturity grades to help companies understand their position, gaps, and roadmap to achieve sufficient cyber resilience and regulatory compliance.
  • Established policy development and risk scenario identification and treatment for the coming market needs of DORA and NIS2 entities in EU markets.

Digital Transformation Manager

2021 - 2023
  • Developed a CRM project for a regional bank, planning complete process transformation to integrate a front-to-back model optimizing customer service and lead-to-sale ratio, and implementation planning for three countries.
  • Delivered a 360-degree view design and implementation project prepared for an insurance company on the Microsoft Dynamics Customer engagement platform.
  • Delivered an IFRS 17 data sources and transformation needs analysis for an insurance company with process design for an automated special balance sheet load solution.
  • Created a claims leakage workflow data analysis to optimize hot spots and time-limit decisions cause discovery.

Project Manager, Euro Migration

2021 - 2022
  • Established a project plan for the bank to prepare for migrating to Euro as a national decision and adopting the Euro as the national currency.
  • Managed the project from initiation to identify scope, develop requirements, and prepare specifications for vendors.
  • Led a team by combining the hard facts waterfall-driven timelines with the Agile Scrum approach to focus on short and manageable scope delivery within two weeks. Maintained a climate of cooperation, problem-solved, and kept up team morale.

Agile Project Manager

2020 - 2021
Bonsai, Span Group
  • Built AI-driven business solutions for lending workflow and leasing industry optimized client acquisition workflow. This cut the duration of time-to-decision and time-to-money.
  • Built an insurance startup mobile app service MVP for a client engagement platform that utilized telematics and integrated third-party services into a single client services environment.
  • Advised the local bank in identifying possible fraud models in the data analysis of client behavior databases aimed at passive banker fraud vs. client assets.


2017 - 2020
OTP Insurance
  • Redesigned company IT systems following OTP acquisition from Societe Generale. Replaced outsourced services by selection and deployment of local systems.
  • Created a new line of retail bank and insurance products to serve the new OTP bank in parallel with the network of Societe Generale bank.
  • Built a new product for job loss protection utilizing strategic actuarial modeling and data analysis.


2010 - 2017
Societe Generale Assurance Croatia
  • Created an insurance company startup. Selected and deployed a systems and retail banking front-end solution for 120 branches and 500 users.
  • Built insurance and banking corporation products to increase sales in the banking network.
  • Managed data security policies procedures, regulatory compliance, human awareness and resilience , supervised systems integration in the bank data center.

Head of Strategy and Marketing (Retail)

2005 - 2009
Societe Generale Bank Croatia
  • Designed new products targeted for new business-driven client growth, focused on acquisition application, based on data analysis, business intelligence, prediction modeling, and strategic marketing.
  • Created new applications for internet banking for retail clients and small business entities optimized for service delivery.
  • Integrated business from new cards into retail operations, internet banking to increase cards and transaction volume, and POS services for clients.

Director of IT

2002 - 2005
UniCredit BankAustria
  • Joined when they were preparing to merge with a large, local bank. Managed the team to prepare the regulatory reporting for the central bank.
  • Managed the bank merger of one of the leading banks. Handled 36 local system integrations with the new Core02 system, taking over the bank's operation.
  • Prepared the merged bank data centers for primary plus hot backup full redundancy operational business service level.

Country Manager

2000 - 2002
  • Transformed risk operations in Unicredit bank by building data modeling and analysis applications driven on the selected client series data of the bank.
  • Designed a series of fast-approved banking loan products for Intesa bank, utilizing analytics, big data modeling, and CRM inputs to increase the volume of loan placements and customer loyalty.
  • Managed the pharmaceutical data management process of drug approvals for the original compound of the regional pharmaceutical company for FDA submission.


1998 - 2000
INA Oil company
  • Joined the management board at the Y2K crisis. Managed the project to prepare the company to overcome the millennium bug.
  • Managed SAP scoping preparation study to integrate the previous holding company into a single, vertical-organized oil company with a network of 350 petrol stations, offshore oil rigs and oil and gas fields, three refineries, and five data centers.
  • Optimized the IT architecture, migrated it to a centralized operation model, shutting down three data centers, and optimized the business model with multimillion dollar savings and speed of business achieved. Implemented unified business applications.

Project Manager

1997 - 1998
  • Managed the government treasury systems integration project. Built the first business-driven central, public finance system of integrated tax revenues and public, client institutions allocation budget model on SAP R/3.
  • Built an outsourcing practice service line in IBM Croatia. Allocated first clients and multimillion dollar service contracts to support the client business over five-year contracts.
  • Managed the project to enable the public settlement house to transition into a service-driven payment and settlement service system. Supervised by the central bank and participated by leading banks such as Unicred, Intesa, HVB, Erste, and Raiffeisen.

Bank Merger Project Replacing Core and 36 Satellite Solutions

Performed system analysis, process discovery in two banks and mapping to target merged bank model for a full scope of core and satellite IT solutions.

Managed several teams of IT, product departments, and consultants to prepare and manage the merger project bridging two local banks into a single operating entity with full business functionalities, regulatory reporting, and compliance test validation.

High-volume Client Acquisition Product Design

Developed and deployed a retail banking product for the high-volume acquisition of payroll-class clients in the newly expanded region.

Managed business analysts, data mining specialists, banking cards, and account product designers to create a unique card and account package. This enabled clients to use any ATM in the country free of charge, at the cost of the bank, generating a high inflow of new clients who transferred their payroll into the bank. Predictive analysis pointed to price limits at which the cost of the package will profitably earn fee income and create a client need to differentiate from all competitors who charged for ATM service at the time.

Insurance Loyalty Solution

Created a mobile app insurance solution utilizing the B2B2C ecosystem of the insurance company, linking their car and household-related services to the customer profiles enabling service usage on a single platform.

Analyzed a motor insurer's existing system of partner services, ranging from car parts, car service, hull repairs, tire replacement, and insured household services such as plumbing and door/locks, and household appliance insurance for integration into a service model. This was built on top of Microsoft Dynamics Customer engagement, presented on the mobile app, and used by clients as a convenience app, providing loyalty points.

Acquisition of New Bank Network for Insurance Sales

Designed a set of bank insurance products. It was delivered to the bank's front end, prepared training and sales support, and regulatory compliance to acquire a new bank network to replace competitor insurer.

Mobilized several teams over five months to align the IT development, regulatory approval, and education and roll-out processes, as required to successfully add a new bank network to the operation of the local insurer serving the bank with insurance products.

Euro Migration Croatia

Bank project currency migration from national to euro.

In leading the end-to-end bank migration project, I orchestrated a comprehensive resource and risk management plan. Adopting a hybrid approach, I seamlessly integrated Waterfall and Agile methods. Acting as an agile servant leader in a challenging environment marked by time constraints, the project achieved a critical go-live milestone within an impressive 14-month timeframe, ensuring a smooth transition for all stakeholders.
1991 - 1992

Diploma in Management

Henley Management College - Henley, Reading, UK

1985 - 1990

Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering

University of Zagreb - Zagreb, Croatia

APRIL 2023 - APRIL 2028

ISO27001:2022 Lead Auditor

Bureau Veritas


CRM Microsoft Dynamics Fundamentals






Azure Fundementals



Security Compliance Identity Fundamentals






NLP Coach and Master

The International Association of Hypnotherapists and NLP Practitioners (IAHNLP)


Microsoft Project, Jira, Microsoft Dynamics CRM


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Azure


Agile Project Management, Agile Leadership, Requirements Analysis, Agile, Agile Delivery, Scrum, Organizational Analysis, Azure DevOps, Testing, B2B


Complex Problem Solving, Creative Strategy, Cross-functional Team Leadership, IT Strategy, IT Projects, Project Management, New Products, Team Leadership, IT Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Project Scheduling, Requirements & Specifications, Fintech, Team Management, CISO, Cybersecurity, Program Management, Waterfall Methodology, ERP Implementation, Information Security, Risk, IT Audits, Security Policies & Procedures, Policies & Procedures Compliance, Financial Management, Portfolio Management, Planning, Roadmaps, Dashboards, User Experience (UX), Project Reporting, Project Planning, Project Management Professional (PMP), Legacy Software, Project Timelines, Diagrams, Requirements, Business Analysis, Certified Project Manager, Project Coordination, Task Scheduling, Operations, Strategy, Crisis Management, IT Services, Product Owner, Organizational Design, Agile Transformation, Process Improvement, CISSP, ISO 27001, Compliance, Regulatory Affairs, Web Development, Agile Product Delivery, Delivery, Discovery Workshops, Startups, Cross-functional Collaboration, Early-stage Startups, Mobile User Acquisition, User Retention, User Engagement, Documentation, Executive Presentations, Market Research Analyst, Corporate Planning, IT Service Management (ITSM), Marketing, Teams, Project Design, Teamwork, Big Data, Predictive Modeling, Leadership, Scheduling, Agile DevOps, IT Security, Web Security, Security, SAP, Execution, Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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