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Board member “Magic” Mandel is leaving Commerzbank

D.Michael Mandel, who has been celebrated for many years, is leaving the institute at the end of the month. He had campaigned for a clear branch strategy for a long time and had success with it for some time. He was often traded as a potential candidate for the bank’s board post. A successor for Martin Zielke is currently being sought, who intends to give up the chairmanship by the end of the year at the latest. Instead of Mandel, the former boss of ING Diba, Roland Boekhout, and CFO Bettina Orlopp are in discussion for his successor from the start.

Mandel has been with Commerzbank since 2002. After he was first chairman of the board of directors of the direct bank subsidiary Comdirect, he took over the private customer department on the board of the group in 2016. While most banks are increasingly closing branches, Mandel seemed to have found a way to acquire a lot of new business through the expensive branches. His good hand earned him the nickname “Magic” Almond.

Two interim solutions

Sabine Schmittroth is taking on interim responsibility for the Private and Small Business Customers segment on the Group Management Board, as the bank announced on Thursday. Marcus Chromik will temporarily assume responsibility for compliance.

In the longer term, however, the board departments are likely to be distributed differently. The recently appointed chairman of the supervisory board, Hans-Jörg Vetter, is still looking for a suitable chairman. Who will lead the private customer department in the long term will also depend on this decision. A possible variant is that Boekhout gets a kind of super department that includes both private and corporate customers. Then Orlopp would be the favorite for the chairmanship. The bank is still looking for suitable external candidates.

At today’s strategy day of the bank, where the board of directors and the supervisory board discuss together in the bank headquarters in Frankfurt, further details could become known. In the person of Mandel, the bank has now lost its second important private customer manager within a few days. The head of the Comdirect, Frauke Hegemann, has just announced that she is leaving the group.

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