“Driving growth”: Aareal Bank finds new boss

“Drive growth”
Aareal Bank finds new boss

Return to the banking industry: the former Coba manager Klösges takes over the management of Aareal Bank. The 56-year-old stood in a storm at Commerzbank in the middle of the financial crisis.

Former Commerzbank board member Jochen Klösges will be the new head of Aareal Bank. The 56-year-old will take over the post of CEO Hermann Merkens, who retired due to illness, probably in mid-September, as Aareal Bank announced. At the end of September, CEO Thomas Ortmanns will also leave the bank. It was said that he went at his own request and wanted to set other priorities in life in the future.

Aareal Bank 20.92

Klösges currently heads ER Capital Holding for the Hamburg-based shipping company Erck Rickmers. His appointment to the top of the real estate financier has yet to be approved by the supervisory authority. Until he starts in Wiesbaden, CFO Marc Heß and Ortmanns lead the board. They have held these responsibilities since Merkens withdrew last autumn. “I am very much looking forward to working with the management team to continue driving profitable growth in all segments of the Aareal Bank Group in the coming years,” said Klösges.

He knows his way around real estate financing. At ER Capital he is responsible for segments such as real estate, shipping and private equity. From 2009 to 2013, as a member of the Commerzbank Management Board, he was responsible, among other things, for the commercial real estate finance, ship and public finance business areas. From 2007 to 2009 he was responsible for the strategy of the second largest German listed financial institution. Before that, he worked for the Commerzbank subsidiary Eurohypo for five years. In 2013, Klösges left the field after a conflict with the supervisory board that wanted to downsize the management team.

After Ortmann’s departure, Klösges will initially also take over his duties on the board of Aareal Bank, the Wiesbaden-based company said. Ortmanns is responsible, among other things, for the IT subsidiary Aareon, which is at the center of a Streis with major shareholder Petrus Advisers. The financial investor is pushing for a complete sale of the daughter, Merkens had vehemently opposed it. Aareon brings the bank steady commission income, which it can make good use of, especially at the moment. Last year, Aareal Bank sold a 30 percent stake to the financial investor Advent.