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A New Bank with New Horizons: The New Commerzbank The special feature in the latest TMI is a two part article that explores the meaning and implications of one of the most interesting and important mergers in recent years: the merger of Dresdner Bank into Commerzbank in May 2009 to form one new leading bank.

The first part of this special feature is an interview with Martin Blessing, the CEO of Commerzbank, in which he discusses the merger, Commerzbank's strategy for the future, and the capital strength of the new Commerzbank, along with other issues such as Commerzbank's ambitious aim of becoming Germany's leading bank for private and corporate customers.

Markus Joerg and Dirk Braun (both of Commerzbank) discuss some of the implications of the merger from a cash management perspective in the second part of this special feature.

The merger of Dresdner Bank into Commerzbankin May 2009 brings together two of the major German banks to form one new leading bank. The new Commerzbank is a strong, universal bank that combines the financial experience and high-quality advisory services of two long-established institutions. In this Special Feature, we first hear from Martin Blessings, CEO of Commerzbank, about the merger and the new Commerzbank's strategy for the future. In the second part of the feature, Markus Joerg and Dirk Braun discuss some of the implications from a cash management perspective.

Interview with Martin Blessing, CEO, Commerzbank

What does the merger with Dresdner Bank mean to Commerzbank?

Since the merger on 11 May 2009, Dresdner Bank will be integrated into Commerzbank from a legal point of view. This means that within just eight months – much more quickly than was originally planned – we have achieved the formal completion of the take-over. Once the integration has been completed, we will have 1,200 branches and 10,000 employees, providing us with the largest advisory network of any German bank. We will be the leading bank in Germany for private and corporate customers.

What will happen to the ‘Dresdner Bank’ brand?

Although the merger means that Dresdner Bank will no longer be an independent legal entity, we will initially continue to use the Dresdner Bank brand in terms of the logo and lettering. This will be gradually replaced by the Commerzbank brand over a period which will provisionally extend up to the end of 2010. Until then, the Dresdner Bank brand name will carry the tagline ‘a brand name of Commerzbank AG’ and the Commerzbank trademark illustration will also be shown. There are several reasons for making a phased transition. Over the years, the Dresdner Bank brand has become associated with values such as support and advisory excellence – attributes that we are acquiring and that we wish to reflect in the brand positioning of the new Commerzbank. At the same time we would like to make the transition as smooth as possible for customers.

What will the merger of the two institutions mean for customers and employees?

On this point, developments have been very satisfactory and the integration process is running entirely to plan. Indeed, in some respects we have progressed more quickly than we expected. The two banks are increasingly growing together. Whether the corporate colours are yellow or green will soon cease to make much difference in customers‘ day-to-day interaction with us. Staff are increasingly identifying with the new bank. Naturally this is particularly important for our customers, who ultimately will decide on the success of the new Commerzbank. And our customers are remaining loyal. More than that: in just the first three months of this year, we acquired around 60,000 new customers. All this makes me and my colleagues confident about the challenging tasks that lie ahead.

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