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July 24, 2001

New structures for Commerzbank's asset management

As part of its strategic reorientation, Commerzbank is revising its European marketing and sales strategy in asset management and making changes to its organisation.

In order to ensure a prompt response to the ever stronger consolidation in European markets, it has examined its existing marketing and distribution structures in Europe over the past six months to gauge their potential for efficiency and growth, and has developed them further.

Above all, the reorientation will strengthen the focus on customers by providing them with an all-round service, not restricted to individual products, and sales activities geared to target groups. In future, therefore, a distinction will be made throughout Europe at the sales level between institutional and retail business. This makes country-specific marketing measures possible and promotes cross-border sales of products.
Prior to the strategic reorientation, the volume, growth and potential earnings of the various client segments and the different European countries were analysed. The outcome was described by Dr. Heinz Hockmann, who is responsible for asset management on Commerzbank's management board: "The focus in institutional business will be on Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, whereas in the retail area we will concentrate on the German, British, French and Italian markets". Products will be sold via Commerzbank's own distribution channels; at the same time, selling through other channels is to be stepped up.

In the new strategy, Europe is defined as a key market. While existing activities in Asia are being consolidated in the form of an Asian holding company, US business is to be reorganised by means of a strategic alliance with a major asset manager. As a result, Commerzbank will become a European asset manager with global competence for products.

Under a systematic divisional approach, institutional and retail business will be treated as largely separate activities in future. In this connection, a new management structure is being set up for asset management. The department, headed by Dr. Friedrich Schmitz, is to be managed by an asset management committee, consisting of the two heads of institutional and retail business, who have not yet been appointed, the head of marketing and sales co-ordination and also the chief operating officer. In addition, a new investment committee is being established to manage investment processes on a Europe-wide basis.

The new structure, which will be in place by year-end, will enable the asset management department to achieve the ambitious target set by the CB 21 project.