Dresdner Kleinwort at a Glance


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  • Workdays can be long

The Buzz

  • “Formidable competitor”
  • “Commerzbank tarnishes their once pristine image”
  • “Niche player”
  • “Don’t do much in North America”

About Dresdner Kleinwort

Recent history

The investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort is now a part of Germany's second-biggest bank, Commerzbank, which closed its acquisition of Dresdner Bank (Dresdner Kleinwort's former parent) in January 2009.  Currently, Dresdner Kleinwort operates through two main business groups: global banking and capital markets.  It offers services such as advisory, financing and cash management to corporations, as well as trading and research to institutional investors.  Dresdner Kleinwort has European headquarters in London and Frankfurt, and American offices in Boston and New York City.

Its new parent

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.

Before Commerzbank

In 1995, Dresdner Bank took over British investment bank Kleinwort Benson, creating Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.  In 2001, the entity took over American investment bank Wasserstein Perella, a firm that was highly reputed for its debt capital markets expertise.  The two investment banks were merged to form Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.  Shortly after that deal closed, German insurance conglomerate Allianz bought Dresdner, and its subsidiaries, for a whopping $22 billion.  The famous dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein subsequently left the firm, but it was only in 2006 that the investment bank dropped the Wasserstein part of its name and rebranded itself as Dresdner Kleinwort; this coincided with the integration of Dresdner's corporate banking operations.  (Bruce Wasserstein is now the head of Lazard but his name remains associated with the private equity firm Wasserstein & Company, which he originally helped found).

In addition to a global headquarters in Frankfurt, Dresdner Kleinwort was given a second European headquarters in the financial capital of London where, through its capital markets, corporate finance and origination business lines, the firm's long list of pan-European clients were provided with investment banking products and services.  Dresdner Kleinwort quickly developed a strong position in its core home market of Germany and adopted home market of the U.K.  Within only a few years of its creation, Dresdner Kleinwort had offices in more than 35 countries and a staff of over 6,000 employees.  Dresdner Kleinwort also boasted particular expertise in the realm of European renewable energy (such as wind, solar, bio-energy and fuel cells).

Despite its name recognition around the world, the firm hasn't performed well as of late, largely due to the worldwide financial crisis, and Commerzbank plans to contract rather than expand the investment banking capabilities once provided by Dresdner Kleinwort.  (By May 2009, most of the London-based corporate and investment banking businesses serving non-German clients had been phased out.)  In addition, once Dresdner Bank is fully integrated, the Dresdner Kleinwort name will likely be retired.

Award time

Dresdner Kleinwort raked in a number of awards in 2008, in recognition of its many deals: Project Finance Magazine named its financing of Macquarie's acquisition of Puget Energy (it supplied $3.6 billion of the $7.6 billion agreement) a deal of the year; The Banker recognizes the Enel/Acciona $42.52 billion acquisition of Endesa as a deal of the year for Spain; and Mergermarket recognized its advisory of Schaeffler Group's $22.9 billion takeover of Continental.

Dresdner Kleinwort

1301 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 969-2700


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: DRB7
  • Stock Exchange: FWB
  • CEO: Stefan Jentzsch
  • 2009 Employees: 5,500