Commerzbank Secures Manfred Knof as Chairman and CEO

Commerzbank, a major German bank, recently announced that it has unanimously appointed Manfred Knof to succeed Martin Zielke as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Commerzbank Board of Managing Directors on the 1st of January 2021.

The decision was made during a meeting on Saturday and is subject to approval from supervisory authorities. Zielke will be stepping down from the role of Chairman following 18 years with the German lender.

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Knof, on the other hand, has a varied career spanning across nearly two decades. Most recently, he was Chairman of the Board of DB Privat- und Firmenkundenbank AG up until its merger into Deutsche Bank AG in May of this year. He is currently the Head of Deutsche Bank’s Private Bank Germany.

Commenting on the appointment, Hans-Jörg Vetter, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank, said in the statement: “I am pleased that we have been able to win Manfred Knof for the role of Commerzbank’s CEO. 

“Manfred Knof is an experienced and highly effective top manager who has proven himself in a wide range of tasks in the financial services industry. He brings the necessary expertise and human leadership skills for the tasks that lie ahead of the Bank.”

Until 2017, Knof was the Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Deutschland AG. During his employment, he was responsible for digitalisation and growth initiatives in all channels, among other duties. 

“I have a great deal of respect for this new assignment. Commerzbank, with its Mittelstandsbank, has a high relevance for the German economy. Its Private Clients Business has shown a very innovative approach. And Commerzbank has a unique culture that I am very much looking forward to,” added Knof in the statement.

Knof originally joined the Allianz Group since 1995. Initially, he held a number of management positions in Germany and abroad, including Regional CEO of Central and Eastern Europe. Between 2003 and 2005 he was at Dresdner Bank, with his most recent title being the Head of the private banking business in Southern Germany.

Martin Zielke to remain as Commerzbank CEO until end 2020

Although Zielke’s successor as Chairman and CEO has been determined, he will remain as the CEO of Commerzbank until the 31st of December 2020.

“As a CEO, Martin Zielke successfully focused Commerzbank’s business model and pushed ahead with the digitalisation of the Bank. In doing so, he has set important strategic impulses, which will be decisive for Commerzbank’s future success,” Vetter continued.

“Martin Zielke has shown great engagement for Commerzbank in the last 18 years and has also supported me personally. For this, I express personally and also on behalf of the Supervisory Board my sincere thanks and respect to him.”

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