Unfortunately for both of them, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have much in common beyond a shared hometown. Both are, uh, troubled, to say the least. Both had to fire Ernst & Young so they could sue it over all the money they lost on the Wirecard scandal. Both have seen their names adorn the home ground of an underachieving soccer team. Both have had (and continue to have) their difficulties with money laundering. And both are in desperate need of some rather drastic cost savings if they are to survive. And both have the same taste in executives.
[Manfred] Knof, 55, who will take over from Martin Zielke on Jan. 1, has earned his reputation as a tough cost cutter, people close to him said, and he’s going to have to oversee a turnaround program at Commerzbank that may lead to about 10,000 jobs cuts…. Knof joined Deutsche Bank only one year ago to head the German retail unit where he oversaw the merger of the two formerly separate retail divisions, which was completed in May. He also recently sought to speed up cost cuts after falling behind internal planning partly due to the coronavirus pandemic leading to a suspension of layoffs earlier this year, people familiar with the matter have said.
It's no wonder these two came so close to getting hitched last year. Speaking of….
According to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Philip Richards, a tie-up with Deutsche Bank may still be the ultimate outcome for Commerzbank if it fails to lift profitability as a standalone entity. Commerzbank could report losses for this year and next, he said in a note earlier this month.