Commerzbank is getting its new boss from Deutsche Bank: Manfred Knof will succeed Martin Zielke on January 1, 2021, as the Frankfurt-based MDax Group announced after a board meeting.

The personnel are still subject to the approval of the supervisory authorities.

The lawyer Knof has headed the private customer business of Deutsche Bank since August 1, 2019.

Previously, the 55-year-old head of Germany was at the insurance group Allianz.

Knof is "an experienced and highly effective top manager who has proven himself in a wide variety of tasks in the financial services industry," said Commerzbank supervisory board chairman Hans-Jörg Vetter.

With Knof's appointment, Vetter, who had only started as chief controller of the partly nationalized institute at the beginning of August, arranged for Zielke's successor surprisingly quickly.

After sharp criticism from investors, Zielke announced his resignation at the beginning of July.

The bank then decided to terminate the contract with the CEO, who has been in office since the beginning of May 2016, by December 31 at the latest.

Zielke had admitted that the measures decided in autumn 2019 were not decisive enough to make the institute more profitable when interest rates were low.

The US fund Cerberus, as the institute's second largest shareholder, had accused the Commerzbank management of having "blatantly failed over the years".

The new Commerzbank management is facing tough cuts: internal discussions about tightening the austerity course have been going on for months.

The last 40,000 full-time positions could be cut by a quarter.

Of 1,000 branches, only 200 could be left where customers can get advice.


FinCEN-Files - Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank under fire Documents from the US Treasury Department are said to have revealed how banks are failing in the fight against money laundering.

There are particularly serious allegations against Deutsche Bank.

© Photo: Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images