Commerzbank

THE SCOOP

Bright lights, big cities

Throughout its 140-year history, Commerzbank has moved its headquarters three times. It relocated from its founding city of Hamburg to Berlin just after the beginning of the 20th century, moved from Berlin to Dusseldorf just after World War II and officially made its home in Frankfurt in 1970.

Germany's second-biggest bank, Commerzbank has a presence in 50 countries around the world, employing approximately 40,000 people, of which more than a third work outside its native Germany. The bank's total private and business customer base of 8.5 million includes more than half a million corporate customers, and the bank's network encompasses more than 5,000 "correspondent banks" worldwide. Commerzbank's business structure is divided into four main units: corporate banking, retail banking, real estate banking and institutions. The services offered by the corporate banking division include financing, transaction management, investment, foreign business, risk management consulting.

Commerzbank's history dates back to 1870 when Commerz- and Disconto-Bank was founded in Hamburg by a group of merchants and merchant and private bankers. By the time the 20th century arrived, the bank's business was heavily focused on Berlin, and the bank relocated its headquarters there in 1905, having established itself as one of the country's top banks.

Over the next four decades, the bank grew through a series of mergers and acquisitions. After the post-WWII division of Europe, Commerzbank lost an estimated 45 per cent of its business premises. West Germany's biggest banks were decentralised, creating three separate regional banks, which were not united again until 1958 under the name of "Commerzbank Aktiengesellshaft" (headquartered in Dusseldorf). Commerzbank's growth and expansion continued rapidly thereafter, and in 1970, the banks headquarters relocated (again) to the nation's financial capital of Frankfurt am Main.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Commerzbank opened offices again in what was still being called East Berlin; by the first anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Commerzbank had 50 locations in the former East Germany (German Democratic Republic). Throughout the 1990s, European expansion continued, including stock listings in Madrid and Milan. Asian expansion also kicked off, with offices opening in Indonesia, Malaysia and China. In addition to Western Europe, the bank expanded in Eastern Europe, the United States and North Africa. By 2001, the bank had six million customers and, during the year, had opened a new trading centre in Frankfurt. In 2005, the bank famously took over rival German bank Eurohypo AG, Eschborn, becoming the second-largest lender in Germany, with more than eight million customers.

Three years later, the firm went big again, agreeing to acquire German banking giant Dresdner Bank from Allianz for €9.8 billion. According to Commerzbank, about 9,000 positions would be cut as a result of the merger, which was announced in August 2008 and is expected to close in 2009.

Taking over Eurohypo

A major Commerzbank subsidiary, Eurohypo was the product of a 2002 agreement between what were then Germany's three biggest banks: Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank. The three agreed to merge their holdings in the real estate banking businesses in order to form Eurohypo AG. The timing was perfect, and Eurohypo was an instant success, quickly growing into one of the biggest banks in Germany (despite its real estate and public finance focus). In 2005, Commerzbank acquired Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank's stakes in Eurohypo, making the firm a wholly owned subsidiary. In 2006 and 2007, Eurohypo was named the Best Global Commercial Bank in Real Estate at Euromoney's annual Awards of Excellence.

Eurohypo is focused on real estate and public finance, and enjoys a coveted position as one of Germany's leading bond issuers. The real estate division of Eurohypo encompasses commercial real estate financing, including structured finance and international real estate financing. The public finance division of the bank encompasses conventional public sector lending, project and infrastructure financing, and PPP (private public partnership) models. Eurohypo's treasury division offers services in local treasuries and capital markets funding. In August 2008, fellow German bank Hypothekenbank in Essen AG (Essen Hyp) merged and integrated with Eurohypo.



Commerzbank


Kaiserplatz
Frankfurt 60261
Phone: +49-69-136-20
Fax: +49-69-285389
www.commerzbank.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: CBK
  • Stock Exchange: FWB
  • Chief Executive: Klaus-Peter Muller
  • 2010 Employees: 60,870

Major Office Locations

  • Frankfurt, Germany

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