More than three centuries of experience
Few if any banks can say they have 335 years of experience behind them. And that's exactly what B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. has. Commonly referred to as Metzler, the bank was founded by Benjamin Metzler, the son of a pastor, in the city of Frankfurt am Main in 1674. While there are several "old" German banks, what makes Metzler so special is that it's the oldest German bank still managed by the family that created it, with 11th-generation descendent Friedrich von Metzler at the helm as chief executive.
In 1742, a member of the Metzler family was given a seat on the board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which itself was a long-established and prestigious bourse set up in 1585. After close to a century in business, Metzler made the transition from a trading house to a merchant banking house in 1760 and began issuing its first loan stocks in 1779. The bank continued to grow in the 1800s, and by the end of the 19th century, it had successfully transformed into a private bank, shifting its focus from business to individual finances. What began as a trading company was then operating as a bank offering financial services, a partner in securities transactions, an asset manager for private clients and a corporate finance consultant.
By the time the 20th century rolled around, Germany had close to 2,000 independent banks, not all of which survived the first half of the 1900s, given two World Wars. Metzler, though, persevered and survived (although not unharmed) World War I, the Great Depression, the Third Reich and World War II. In fact, it's only one of about 55 German banks to have survived the turbulence of the 20th century.
Today, Metzler's 770 employees provide financial services through five main units: asset management, private banking, equities, corporate finance and financial markets. The firm operates in more than 20 countries throughout the world, with European offices in Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne/Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Dublin.
Unit by unit
Metzler's asset management business includes portfolio management services for both private and institutional customers. At the end of March 2009, Metzler managed a volume of approximately â‚¬33.9 billion in unit trusts and special funds, including funds on its own fund trading platform, the Metzler Fund Xchange. The bank's equities division provides brokerage services such as equity research, advice and trading, while the corporate finance division encompasses M&A and IPO consulting, as well as advice on privatizations and structured financing. The financial markets business oversees all the money market and foreign exchange trading, currency management and financial advice, special transactions and bank relations. Private banking, meanwhile, provides financial advisory services to wealthy individuals.
Friedrich von Metzler and his wife Silvia have always led high-profile lives, not only as the head of a historical bank in Germany but also through their philanthropic efforts. They have long been actively involved in several charitable foundations as well as strong patrons of the arts. In addition, Friedrich von Metzler has funded an academic exchange programme between the University of Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia.
Grosse Gallusstrasse 18
Frankfurt am Main 60311
Employer Type: Private
CEO: Friedrich von Metzler
2009 Employees (All Locations): 770