Commerzbank boss

A Blessing and a Curse

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Martin Blessing is looking at the long haul.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Commerzbank has quietly dug itself out of the mire and Mr. Blessing’s continued leadership is seen as key to its complete recovery.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Commerzbank has been part-owned by the German government since the 2008 financial crisis.
    • Since 2008, the bank’s share price dropped by about 90 percent and no dividends have been paid.
    • Mr. Blessing’s current contract is due to expire in October 2016.
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    Audio

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In 2012, Commerzbank ran a TV commercial that shocked the finance world. Four years after the financial crisis, it appeared to show contrition about the meltdown and that it had learnt its lesson, at a time when other banks were still in denial.

In fact, the ad was a sort of starting gun for the bank’s rehabilitation. Commerzbank, which had to be bailed out with taxpayers’ money during the crisis, had been considered a particularly bleak case for years. But today, despite still being part-owned by the German government, it has stabilized itself and is concentrating on business.

Things have been amazingly quiet at the bank, much to the satisfaction of its approximately 52,000 employees – and particularly so for its boss, Martin Blessing.

He has headed Commerzbank for seven and half years, and the 52-year-old can safely assume his contract, which runs out in October 2016, will soon be extended. The bank’s supervisory board might do it in November. Mr. Blessing is silent on the matter, but is no doubt pleased that the decision to remain in post is his.

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