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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Xetra  >  Allianz SE    ALV   DE0008404005

ALLIANZ SE

(ALV)
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Focus shifts to Commerzbank's strategy after CEO named

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09/27/2020 | 10:41am EDT
Commerzbank AG annual results news conference in Frankfurt

The nomination of Manfred Knof as chief executive of Germany's Commerzbank paves the way for an overhaul that could close hundreds of branches and shrink its foreign operations, though any major changes may still take months to formalise.

Germany's No. 2 lender, partially-owned by the state, has been in turmoil following the sudden resignation of its CEO and its chairman in early July. Remaining board members' hands were tied from moving forward even as the bank's outlook darkened.

That hurdle was removed after the bank's new chairman, appointed in August, unexpectedly convened the supervisory board with less than 24 hours notice on Saturday to inform it of his CEO candidate. Knof, a top manager at rival Deutsche Bank, won its endorsement.

The decision clearly puts the focus on the unprofitable lender's strategy discussions, bankers and big investors say.

But formal decisions on any changes under discussion could take months because Knof joins Commerzbank only on Jan. 1, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Leadership will need to digitize and standardize processes to cut costs, said Andreas Thomae, a portfolio manager at Deka, a top-10 investor in Commerzbank. "It sounds simple but the last management team failed," he said.

Thousands of the bank's nearly 48,000 jobs are on the line. The lender is considering slashing its network of 800 branches, following the recent closure of 200, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

A further cull to the bank's already slimmed-down international operations is also on the agenda.

Knof, educated as a lawyer, spent the bulk of his career at insurance giant Allianz before joining Deutsche in 2019, where he has been head of retail operations in Germany. Commerzbank chairman Hans-Joerg Vetter told employees he wanted someone who would "question the status quo".

At Commerzbank, Knof will have to balance the desires of the German government - which owns more than 15% of the bank - as an election approaches, with those of other disappointed investors. Its shares have tumbled almost 90% during the last decade.

Over the past two years, employees have also been on a wild ride, with on-again-off-again talks to merge with Deutsche and then later to sell a big Polish subsidiary. Knof has the "human leadership skills for the tasks that lie ahead of the bank", Vetter said.

While many of Europe's biggest banks have said they were bracing for a wave of mergers, executives and investors say Commerzbank must first get its own house in order before looking for tie-ups.

(Reporting by Tom Sims; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

By Tom Sims and Patricia Uhlig


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALLIANZ SE -0.95% 150.46 Delayed Quote.-30.45%
COMMERZBANK AG -1.74% 4.02 Delayed Quote.-25.85%
DEUTSCHE BANK AG 1.61% 7.884 Delayed Quote.12.17%
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC. 3.58% 161.36 Delayed Quote.33.08%
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Financials
Sales 2020 142 B 166 B 166 B
Net income 2020 6 277 M 7 328 M 7 328 M
Net Debt 2020 22 181 M 25 892 M 25 892 M
P/E ratio 2020 9,74x
Yield 2020 6,41%
Capitalization 61 944 M 72 229 M 72 306 M
EV / Sales 2020 0,59x
EV / Sales 2021 0,57x
Nbr of Employees 147 268
Free-Float 99,8%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 26
Average target price 206,48 €
Last Close Price 150,46 €
Spread / Highest target 71,5%
Spread / Average Target 37,2%
Spread / Lowest Target -7,10%
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NameTitle
Oliver Bšte Chief Executive Officer
Michael Diekmann Chairman-Supervisory Board
Christof Mascher Chief Operating Officer
Giulio Terzariol CFO, Head-Finance, Controlling & Risk
Gabriele Burkhardt-Berg Vice Chairman-Supervisory Board
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