Banking's 'Mr. Shorty' Under Fire

Oddo Seydler Bank is based in Frankfurt but is owned by French parent Oddo & Cie.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A merger with BHF Bank could give Oddo Seydler Bank, and its boss René Parmantier, a more dominant position among financial service providers catering to small- and medium-sized companies.

  • Facts


    • Oddo Seydler Bank is the market leader in investment banking involving SMEs in Germany.
    • Its parent company Oddo & Cie is rumored to be considering merging it with France’s BHF Bank.
    • The Frankfurt-based bank hassuffered damage to its reputation following the failure of large IPO client Steilmann, a fashion retailer.
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Frankfurt investment banker René Parmantier has plenty of fans among Germany’s Mittelstand, the small- and mid-sized enterprises that make up the backbone of the country’s economy.

As the head of Oddo Seydler Bank, the market leader in investment banking involving SMEs in Germany, these companies consider the 40-year-old to be a man of his word.

Andreas Granderath of software company P & I said Mr. Parmantier can be trusted to stick to an agreement even when it’s not on paper. Martin Billhardt, the former head of PNE Wind, called him a “very reliable bank manager.”

Another well-known entrepreneur told Wirtschaftswoche, Handelsblatt’s sister publication, that Mr. Parmantier was a lifeline: “When we were in crisis mode, only one banker stuck with us.”

Oddo Seydler has played that role for a number of market-listed Mittelstand companies. “We are too small for the large banks,” the chief financial officer of one such company said.

Mr. Parmantier has helped businesses raise millions of euros – but it was the collapse of one of those firms that tarnished his reputation among investors. When the fashion chain Steilmann went public in November 2015, Oddo Seydler was in charge. “We don’t bring any business that’s not profitable onto the market,” Mr. Parmantier told the Börsen-Zeitung newspaper at the time.

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