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The 2003 finished "Gallileo Tower" is part of the head office of Dresdner Bank.
Dresdner Bank AG was one of Germanymarker's largest banking corporations and was based in Frankfurtmarker.


19th century

Dresdner Bank was established on 12 November 1872 through the conversion of financial institution Michael Kaskel. Dresdner Bank founding consortium consisted of Allgemeine Deutsche Creditanstalt, Leipzig, Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft, Berlin, Deutsche Vereinsbank, Frankfurt am Main, Deutsche Effecten- und Wechselbank, Frankfurt am Main, and Anglo-Deutsche Bank, Hamburg with an initial capital of 8 million Thalers (24 million Marks) and 30 employees in Wilsdruffer Strasse in Dresdenmarker. In 1870s, Dresdner Bank acquired smaller regional institutes and several banks. The new branch in Berlin quickly exceeded the office in Dresden; therefore, the registered office moved to Berlin in 1884 leaving the place of jurisdiction in Dresden until 1950. After few new acquisitions, (even the acquisition of founder of Anglo-Deutsche Bank) opened the first international branch in London in 1895. By 1900, Dresdner bank had the largest German branch network. During the First World War, the London branch was forced to close; however, the branch network expanded in overall.

Early 20th century

After the banking crisis in 1931 the German Reich owned 66% and Deutsche Golddiskontbank owned 22% of Dresdner Bank shares. Its deputy director was Dr Schacht, Minister of Economy under Nazism. The Bank was reprivatised in 1937.

During World War II, Dresdner Bank controlled various banks in countries under German Occupation. It took over the Bohemian Discount Bank in Praguemarker, the Societa Bancara Romana in Bucharestmarker, the Handels- und Kreditbank in Rigamarker, the Kontinentale Bank in Brusselsmarker, and Banque d'Athenes. It maintained majority control of the Croatian Landerbank and the Kommerzialbank in Krakówmarker and the Deutsche Handels- und Kreditbank in Bratislavamarker. It took over the French interests in the Hungarian General Bank and the Greek Credit Bank, and it founded the Handelstrust West N. V. in Amsterdammarker. It also controlled Banque Bulgare de Commerce in Sofiamarker and the Deutsche Orient-Bank in Turkeymarker.

As a result of World War II 80% of the Bank's buildings were destroyed, costing the Bank 162 offices in 56 locations.

Post World War II era

Monetary reform and the introduction of the Deutsche Mark in 1948 helped return banking to normality.

Dresdner Bank expanded its network with acquisition and opening new offices not only in Europe but also in the United States, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Dresdner Bank was the first to open its own office in former eastern Germany in Dresden in 2 January 1990. After the acquisition of Kleinwort Bensonmarker in 1995 to form its investment-banking arm Dresdner Kleinwort, Dresdner Bank took over the American investment bank Wasserstein Perella Group Inc., New York in 2000. This investment banking unit was then renamed Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

Allianz era

In 2002 Dresdner Bank became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance corporation Allianzmarker. In July 2006 Dresdner Kleinwort, dropped Wasserstein from their name and went through a re-organization of corporate bank, capital markets and investment bank. The arm made up of Capital Markets and Investment Banking.

In 2008 it was reported that Allianz was looking to dispose of Dresdner Bank. British banking group Lloyds TSB were amongst those rumoured to be interested. However, by July that year Lloyds TSB had denied any interest in making a bid.

Takeover by Commerzbank

On August 31, 2008, Commerzbank announced that it would acquire Dresdner Bank for EUR 9.8 billion. The deal entitled Allianz to receive about EUR 8.8 billion for the sale of 100% of Dresdner Bank AG and about EUR 975 million into a trust solution for specific ABS assets of Dresdner Bank.

The transaction, which would occur in two steps, is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. Under the deal, Commerzbank would pay about EUR 1.6 billion in cash and remainder in shares.


Hitler's Germany

Dresdner Bank was known as the bank of choice for Heinrich Himmler's SSmarker.

The bank took part early on in the Third Reich's policy of confiscating Jewish property and wealth. The bank helped to finance concentration camps, including Auschwitzmarker.

The bank was closely involved in occupation of Europe, "essentially acting as the bank of the SS in Poland".

Matthias Warnig's involvement

Dresdner Bank attempted to get a banking operating license in Saint Petersburgmarker, where former KGBmarker agent Vladimir Putin was in charge of foreign economic relations. Dresdner Bank appointed Matthias Warnig, a former Stasi agent and Vladimir Putin's former KGB contact , to negotiate with Putin. The office was opened in 1991. Warnig became Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dresdner Bank ZAO, Dresdner Bank Russian subsidiary.

The bank has had a lucrative business relationship with Gazprom and the state oil company Rosneft. The bank was also involved in the controversial forced sale of Yukos assets.


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