Deutsche Bank's articles of incorporation were approved by the King of Prussia on 10 March 1870. This date is generally regarded as the one on which it was officially founded. The Bank, which had the legal form of a stock corporation, opened for business on 9 April 1870. Its first premises were located at Französische Strasse 21 in Berlin.
The initial idea to set up the Bank was floated by Adelbert Delbrück, a private banker, and Ludwig Bamberger, a politician and currency expert. The 76 subscribers who provided the Bank's initial share capital of five million talers (15 million marks) included leading German private bankers.
Deutsche Bank's founders saw its main purpose as being to finance Germany's foreign trade. Up to that point, this function had largely been performed by British and French banks. The name 'Deutsche Bank' was intended to signify that there was now a German bank willing to take on this role.
Georg von Siemens, 1870-1900
Rudolph von Koch, 1901-1909
Arthur von Gwinner, 1910-1919
Paul Mankiewitz, 1919-1923
Oscar Wassermann, 1923-1933
Georg Solmssen, 1933
Eduard Mosler, 1934-1939
Karl Kimmich, 1939-1942
Oswald Rösler, 1942-1945
Hermann J. Abs, 1957-1967
Karl Klasen, 1967-1969
Franz Heinrich Ulrich, 1967-1976
Wilfried Guth, 1976-1985
F. Wilhelm Christians, 1976-1988
Alfred Herrhausen, 1985-1989
Hilmar Kopper, 1989-1997
Rolf-E. Breuer, 1997-2002
Josef Ackermann, 2002-2012 (2006-2012 Chairman of the Management Board)
Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain, 2012-2015 (Co-Chairmen of the Management Board)
John Cryan and Jürgen Fitschen, 2015-2016 (Co-Chairmen of the Management Board)
John Cryan, 2016-2018 (Chairman of the Management Board)
Christian Sewing, since April 2018 (Chairman of the Management Board)
(Deutsche Bank had two Spokesmen from 1967 to 1969 and from 1976 to 1988, and two Co-Chairmen from 2012 to May 2016)
Deutsche Bank opened its first domestic branch in Bremen in 1871, followed by Hamburg in 1872 and Frankfurt am Main in 1886.
Its first branches outside Germany were opened in Shanghai and Yokohama in 1872 and in London in 1873.
Since 1988, the National Socialist period has been one of the focal points of Deutsche Bank's historical research.
Deutsche Bank was the first German financial institution to have this era investigated in depth and without reservation. The research results have been made available to the public in many publications.
Its shares have been listed on the Berlin stock exchange ever since the Bank was founded in 1870. Further listings were in Frankfurt am Main in 1880, Paris in 1974, London in 1976, Brussels in 1978, Tokyo in 1989 and New York in 2001.
The registered office of Deutsche Bank AG was located in Frankfurt am Main on 2 May 1957. At the time, there were further head offices with large back-office departments in Hamburg and Düsseldorf. Today the Bank's only head office is located in Frankfurt. From 1870 to 1945 the Bank's head office was located in Berlin. Between 1947/48 and early 1957 Deutsche was split into several regional banks as a consequence of the Second World War and was not allowed to operate under its old name.
Its first investment in an American financial institution was the limited partnership it acquired in Knoblauch & Lichtenstein, a New York bank, in 1872. One of Deutsche's major international projects from the 1880s onwards was to help finance the construction of the US railways. Plans to open a branch of its own in America were thwarted by the First World War. Deutsche Bank did not operate under its own name in the US until it opened a branch in New York in 1979. In 1999 it bought Bankers Trust, a New York-based investment bank.
After 1900 the Bank started to employ women as telephonists and shorthand typists (it had employed female cleaning and canteen staff ever since it was founded). According to the records, it employed its first ever female 'bank officer' - meaning a woman who had completed a banking or commercial traineeship - in 1913. The number of female employees rose sharply during the First World War. In 1988, Ellen R. Schneider-Lenné became the first woman to be appointed as an executive director at Deutsche Bank (or any other major German bank, for that matter).
Deutsche Bank started to buy other major banks as early as 1876. It substantially expanded its presence in Germany by integrating Bergisch Märkische Bank (1914) and Schlesischer Bankverein (1917) and their respective branch networks. The merger of Deutsche Bank and Disconto-Gesellschaft in October 1929 was the largest merger to date in the German banking industry. It was around this time that Deutsche also acquired illustrious institutions such as Norddeutsche Bank (Hamburg) and A. Schaaffhausen'scher Bankverein (Cologne). It was not until it bought banks in Italy (Banca d'America e d'Italia) and Spain (Banco Comercial Transatlántico) in the 1980s that Deutsche Bank established its own branch networks abroad. In 1989 it acquired Morgan Grenfell, a blue-blooded UK merchant bank. Its 1999 takeover of the New York-based investment bank Bankers Trust was the largest-ever acquisition by a German bank in the US financial market.
The current logo was introduced in 1974. The Bank chose this famous symbol - a forward slash inside a square - from the 140 proposals submitted. It was designed by Anton Stankowski, a graphic designer. Prior to this date, Deutsche Bank had used various logos, typefaces and symbols.