|Biographical data:||19.03.1831 in Hohensalza - 04.06.1919 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor 1869-1888|
With three leading managers the Salomonsohn family helped shape the development of Disconto-Gesellschaft for sixty years (1869-1929).
The first among them was Adolph Salomonsohn. He came from an old rabbinical family and belonged to the first generation to pursue a secular career. After studying law, he worked as an assessor and guardianship judge in Berlin, where David Hansemann became aware of him when Salomonsohn substituted for the counsel of the Disconto-Gesellschaft in some legal work.
In July 1863, he joined the Disconto-Gesellschaft as counsel, having given up a position as a notary in Cosel that he had already taken up. In 1866 he received power of attorney and as early as 1869 he was admitted to the circle of partners. In his capacity as a lawyer and merchant banker, Salomonsohn seized the opportunity to give the young German joint-stock bank business a suitable framework. "The business conditions of joint-stock banks, the legal construction of syndicate business and the treatment of share trading were decisively influenced by him." (Georg Solmssen).
His special inclination was also directed towards the financing of railway construction; for example, Disconto-Gesellschaft was substantially involved in the construction of the Gotthard railway. During construction, a new cost plan was drawn up in 1876, which included huge additional requirements and brought the project close to failure. In tough negotiations, Salomonsohn succeeded in greatly reducing the financial volume and getting the governments of Switzerland, Germany and Italy to share in the additional costs, as well as persuading the shareholders to make the outstanding payments on their shares.
In other cases, too, Salomonsohn proved to be a reliable damage limitation expert: early on, Disconto-Gesellschaft pursued the principle of subsidiary banks in Germany by setting up a special Provinzial-Disconto-Gesellschaft. When one of these limited partners, the Frensdorff bank in Hanover, got into difficulties due to bad speculation, Salomonsohn temporarily moved there in order to liquidate the bank without harming the parent company.
He also earned considerable merits in the business with government bonds, whereby he succeeded in placing Prussian, Bavarian and Baden papers on a large scale. He was the founder and first head of Stempelvereinigung, the association of Berlin banks and bankers created for the uniform regulation of stamp tax issues and business conditions. His friendship with Emil Kirdorf, one of the key figures in Rhenish-Westphalian heavy industry, led to close ties with the coal and iron industries, especially with Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG.
In 1888 he withdrew from the management of Disconto-Gesellschaft - of which, however, he was still a member of the supervisory board until his death - and devoted himself intensively to philosophical and scientific studies. Unlike his son Georg Solmssen, Adolph Salomonsohn held on to his Jewish origins throughout his life, which he tried to combine with his patriotic attitude (towards Germany but not towards Kaiser Wilhelm II).
|Biographical data:||03.04.1859 in Hohensalza - 15.06.1930 in Berlin|
|Institution:||Disconto-Gesellschaft / Deutsche Bank|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor / Member of the Management Board 1895-1929|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 2015-2018,
President of the Management Board 2017-2018
|Biographical data:||26.10.1849 in Hamburg - 11.11.1938 in Hamburg|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor 1895-1919|
|Biographical data:||28.02.1880 in Berlin - 24.08.1937 in Bühlerhöhe|
|Institution:||Disconto-Gesellschaft / Deutsche Bank|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor / Member of the Management Board 1914-1937|
|Biographical data:||10.01.1868 in Lennep - 30.11.1939 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1912-1932,
Chairman of the Supervisory Board 1933-1939
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1991-2000|
|Biographical data:||28.05.1942 in Berlin - 25.12.1996 in Königstein|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1988-1996|
|Biographical data:||24.03.1852 in Elberfeld - 22.11.1911 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1884-1911|
|Biographical data:||11.07.1852 in Berlin - 18.11.1931 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1906-1925|
|Biographical data:||01.03.1891 in Fürth - 28.02.1955 in Fürth|
|Institution:||Süddeutsche Bank AG|
|Functions:||Chairman of the Supervisory Board 1952-1955|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board since 2015,
President of the Management Board 2017-18,
Chief Executive Officer of the Management Board since April 2018
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board since 1 May 2021|
|Biographical data:||21.10.1839 in Torgau - 23.10.1901 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1870-1900 (Spokesman 1870-1900)|
Georg von Siemens was the central figure in the founding of Deutsche Bank. He decisively influenced its history over three decades. The son of a lawyer and official in the Prussian civil service, he completed his schooling at the "French Gymnasium" in Berlin and then studied law in Heidelberg. Following civil service examinations and military service in the Austro-Prussian War, he joined the company Siemens & Halske. His relationship with Werner von Siemens, the founder of the electric company and his father's cousin, was very close with the result that Werner von Siemens entrusted the young man with leading the negotiations in 1868/69 in London and Tehran for him on the construction of the Indo-European telegraph lines. It was here that Adalbert Delbrück, head of the traditional private bank Delbrück Leo & Co. in Berlin, took note of Georg von Siemens because of his great skill in negotiations. At that time, Delbrück was engaged, together with the national-liberal politician and monetary expert Ludwig Bamberger, in founding a bank for foreign trade and was looking for a director. Delbrück proposed Siemens although he was entirely without experience until then in banking for the direction of Deutsche Bank, newly founded in 1870. And thus an experienced banking expert, Hermann Wallich, was appointed to work alongside Siemens. Siemens quickly realized that Deutsche Bank would only be able to achieve its goals, of facilitating and expanding the transaction of trade and payments abroad if it could draw upon a broad-based domestic banking business. Siemens created this basis starting in 1877 by initiating the deposit-taking business, which only the "Sparkassen" (public-sector savings banks) had systematically applied themselves to until that time, and thus Deutsche Bank secured a big lead for itself. This set an example the entire German banking industry was to follow. Siemens also advanced the deposit-taking business through his work on developing cheque payments. With its basis in domestic business, the bank was in a position to execute its original programme of foreign trade financing and was even able to set up branches in 1873 in London as well as found Deutsche Ueberseeische Bank in 1886 and Deutsch-Asiatische Bank in 1889. The success Deutsche Bank achieved in its domestic banking business under the direction of Georg von Siemens meant that already during the last quarter of the 19th century a number of branches had been set up in Germany (Bremen, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich), and close relationships had been established with other banks. Shareholdings were acquired in Württembergische Vereinsbank, Schlesischer Bankverein and Bergisch-Märkische Bank. In this manner, a banking group was created with which Siemens could also propose larger financing projects. Especially noteworthy among these was the involvement in creating the German electrical industry. In 1887 Deutsche Bank, together with Delbrück Leo & Co., underwrote the largest portion of the capital increase of Deutsche Edison-Gesellschaft, which was simultaneously renamed Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG). Siemens was a member of the supervisory board of AEG for seven years. He also provided his experience to the undertakings of Siemens & Halske AG. Deutsche Bank was concurrently involved in a number of important electricity plants and tramway companies. Siemens also played a decisive role in working on the establishment of Berlin's tram and underground. Together with Max Steinthal, he was involved in the establishment of Mannesmannröhren-Werke (pipe mills). The relationships Georg von Siemens established for the newly founded Deutsche Bank in Germany soon led to more business abroad. The Bank für elektrische Unternehmungen, founded in Zürich at his initiation, managed the interests of German banks in international business. Georg von Siemens' activities in foreign undertakings reached its zenith with Deutsche Bank's participation in the financing of North American railways, in particular the Northern Pacific Railway Company. When this company collapsed in 1893 following misguided speculative activities, Siemens established a reorganization committee in New York for the owners of the railway bonds. Furthermore, Siemens initiated a company in Germany for the protection and promotion of German investments in the USA. It was founded in March 1890 and called the Deutsch-Amerikanische Treuhand-Gesellschaft (starting in 1892, Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft). Again and again, Siemens was involved in large-scale financing transactions that were to solidify the international reputation of Deutsche Bank, for example, by underwriting bonds for the city of Bucharest and the Principality of Bulgaria and by participating in the establishment of Banca Commerciale Italiana (1894). The foundation of the Anatolian Railway Company, brought about by Siemens in 1889, marked the beginning of Deutsche Bank's interests in the Orient and the Baghdad Railway, even if Siemens was very sceptical of this large-scale project for quite some time. For his services in Turkey, Siemens was accorded a heritable title of nobility in 1899. But Siemens' activities were not limited to his work for Deutsche Bank. For numerous years, he was a dedicated member of, among other organizations, the Association of German Banks, the Committee of the German Trade Board, and the Association of Berlin Merchants and Industrialists. As a member of the Committee of the German Trade Board, he worked on the German law on cheques. As a member of the German Parliament, in which he was first a member of the national-liberal party and later the liberal-minded party, he expressed his views especially on issues concerning banking, the law on minting, the stock exchange tax, and in favour of the renewal of trade agreements. Slogans praising the patriotism holding sway during the period were strange to Siemens. He regarded Deutsche Bank as an institution with international operations not just with regard to the territorial expansion of its business, but also because of its cosmopolitan spirit. "When he joined Deutsche Bank in 1870, Siemens was from a totally different field, but he had a great deal of self-confidence and expansive plans, equipped with a great deal of energy. Furthermore, he was not a banker in the traditional sense, that is a private bankier liable with his own personal capital, but rather a simple employee - as one said at that time, a bank manager, that is a completely new type of banker, and as such he brought into this cultivated and tasteful world of private bankiers, who had founded the bank in the spring of 1870, an entirely new tone - in his speech as well - casual but also aggressive, and at the same time ironic and self-ironic". (Lothar Gall). At the end of his period of office thirty years later in 1900, Deutsche Bank was the largest bank in Germany, and on its way to becoming the largest in the world. Deutsche Bank had surpassed not only all of the private banks, but also the previously undisputed No. 1 among the stock corporation banks, Disconto-Gesellschaft, founded in 1851 by David Hansemann, as well as the competing credit institutions founded in 1870 and 1872, Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank.
Milestones - Stories pertaining to the history of Deutsche Bank 
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board since 1 August 2020|
|Biographical data:||04.02.1889 in Bad Sooden-Allendorf - 02.05.1945 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1933-1945|
|Biographical data:||07.08.1869 in Berlin - 10.01.1957 in Lugano|
|Institution:||Disconto-Gesellschaft / Deutsche Bank|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor / Member of the Management Board 1911-1934 (Spokesman 1933)|
Born as Georg Salomonsohn, Georg Solmssen, the son of the former proprietor of Disconto-Gesellschaft Adolph Salomonsohn, studied law and earned his doctorate with a dissertation on trade workers' law. In 1900 he left the civil service as a court assessor and joined Disconto-Gesellschaft. Solmssen quickly made a career for himself: in 1904 he was already director, and by 1911 he was accepted into the body of proprietors, the Chief Cabinet. At Disconto-Gesellschaft, Solmssen worked primarily on large industrial and consortial business and maintained, in particular, relationships with the West German mining industry.
Solmssen reorganized the A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein in Cologne and prepared the step-by-step integration of this important Rhineland industrial bank into the Disconto-Gesellschaft corporate group. Following the merger in 1914, he worked for a number of years as a member of the management board of the Cologne credit institution. He had a predilection for new economic branches, whose expansion fascinated him. Thus, he handled the bank's petroleum interests in Romania and dedicated himself to the transactions of Deutsche Erdöl AG in Berlin.
After the First World War, Solmssen frequently visited the USA to conduct business. He concluded various contracts with foreign telegraph companies for the reconnection of Germany to the international cable network for Deutsch-Atlantische Telegraphen-Gesellschaft, whose supervisory board he was the chairman of.
Despite Solmssen's workload at the bank and his numerous supervisory board mandates with leading companies of the German economy, the energetic and cosmopolitan banker was actively involved in issues of public life. For example, Solmssen was elected chairman of the Central Association of German Banks and Bankers in December 1930 and was able to represent the interests of the credit economy to the public until 1933. He was also very active in publishing works: his writings, lectures and speeches were published in 1934 as a two-volume work entitled "Contributions to German Politics and the Economy 1900-1933" and are important eyewitness reports of this period in economic history.
Solmssen spoke out on politics and the economy, for example in 1931 at a conference of the Central Association of German Banks and Bankers in Berlin: "Politics and the economy are heterogeneous activities that must supplement each other, but must never be the same. If politics or the economy leave the areas assigned to them according to their nature and if they get into each other's way, then only disaster will come of it. The economy must not engage in politics, nor politics in the economy."
After the merger of Deutsche Bank and Disconto-Gesellschaft in October 1929, Georg Solmssen became member of the Board of Managing Directors of the merged credit institution. Solmssen had already converted to Christianity at the turn of the century and had "Germanicized" the Jewish name Salomonsohn, considering he saw a future for himself only in complete assimilation. When the National Socialists came into power, Solmssen's activities were nonetheless at an end. In a moving letter to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Franz Urbig on April 1933, Solmssen expressed himself prophetically on the coming fate of the economic elite with Jewish origins: "I fear we are only at the beginning of a conscious and planned development which is aimed at the indiscriminate economic and moral destruction of all members of the Jewish race living in Germany." Although he was still the bank's Spokesman at its general meeting in 1933, he was forced to leave the Board of Managing Directors of the bank in 1934 and was then a member of the Supervisory Board until the general meeting 1938. Afterwards, he emigrated to Switzerland.
|Biographical data:||06.10.1877 in Friedrichsthal - 12.12.1942 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1915-1932|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board August 2016 - July 2020|
|Biographical data:||24.12.1850 in Berlin - 08.12.1940 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1873-1905,
Chairman of the Supervisory Board 1923-1932
Alongside Georg von Siemens and Hermann Wallich, Max Steinthal was one of the leading figures in the early days of Deutsche Bank. Steinthal came to Deutsche Bank through his travel acquaintance with Deutsche Bank's Management Board member Hermann Wallich. who recommended him to his colleague Georg von Siemens. When Siemens invited the young man for a talk at Deutsche Bank, he asked him: "So you want to become an attorney at Deutsche Bank?" "No," Steinthal then explained, "not an attorney, but a director." On 13 December 1873, Max Steinthal became a member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank, alongside Georg von Siemens and Hermann Wallich. Through Steinthal's activities, Deutsche Bank was soon in a position to gain a good position in the international foreign exchange business. Until 1876, the government's silver purchases were brokered exclusively by Deutsche Bank. At that time, however, Steinthal also took care of the domestic current account and financing business. At the same time, he organised Deutsche Bank's stock exchange business. One of Steinthal's most important works was the conversion of the plants owned by the Mannesmann family in Remscheid, Bous and Komotau into the joint stock company Deutsch-Österreichische Mannesmann-Röhrenwerke AG and the subsequent reorganisation of the company. The outstanding services he had rendered to German banking over sixty years no longer applied under National Socialism. In May 1935, he resigned from the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank in order, as he put it, not to cause the bank any difficulties. Steinthal, who had never left his hometown of Berlin for more than a few weeks throughout his life, could not decide to emigrate despite rapidly deteriorating living conditions. Steinthal died two weeks before his 90th birthday in a Berlin hotel room, after he had been forced to sell his estate in Charlottenburg the year before. In 2004, an exhibition dedicated to the banker and art collector Max Steinthal took place at the Jewish Museum Berlin.
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 2017 - 2019|
|Biographical data:||09.04.1827 Frankfurt am Main - 23.01.1904 Frankfurt am Main|
|Functions:||Member of the Administrative Board 1870-1904|
|Biographical data:||30.04.1923 in Leipzig - 15.05.2012 in Kronberg|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1971-1980|
|Biographical data:||29.04.1899 in Pforzheim - 14.12.1962 in Munich|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board Süddeutsche Bank 1952-1957 and Deutsche Bank 1957-1962|
|Biographical data:||06.07.1910 in Hanover - 16.03.1987 in Düsseldorf|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1957-1976 (Sprokesman 1967-1976) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board 1976-1984|
|Biographical data:||23.01.1864 in Luckenwalde - 28.09.1944 in Babelsberg near Berlin|
|Institution:||Disconto-Gesellschaft / Deutsche Bank|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor / Member of the Management Board 1902-1929 and Chairman of the Supervisory Board 1930-1942|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 2016-17|
|Biographical data:||24.07.1909 in Hamburg - 15.12.1992 in Hamburg|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1959 - 1975|
|Biographical data:||04.01.1873 in Dinslaken - 03.03.1922 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Joint Proprietor 1911 - 1922|
|Biographical data:||28.12.1833 in Bonn - 30.04.1928 in Berlin|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1870 - 1894|
Hermann Wallich descended from an established Jewish family in the Rhineland. After an apprenticeship under Jacob Cassel in Cologne (1850-54) he moved to Paris to work for his uncle's bank Cahen d'Anvers (1854-60). Seeing no promotion prospects at Cahen d'Anvers Wallich switched to Trivulzi, Hollander & Co. (1860) and then to the Comptoir d'Escompte (1862) where he worked for its overseas branches including Réunion (1863), Shanghai and Yokohama (1867). So he was already an acknowledged expert on the overseas market when monetary policymaker Ludwig Bamberger approached him to recruit him for the new Deutsche Bank. Wallich consented and joined Deutsche Bank in October 1870. He found his vocation in building up the newly established Bank alongside the impetuous yet brilliant Georg Siemens. He was the ideal second in command in a company that sought to grow rapidly. His task was to rein others in, urge caution, express doubt, be a corrective force. He was the stabilizing element, holding Deutsche Bank together with his broad expertise in the economically unsettled environment of the bank’s early years and subsequently methodically pursuing its development into the leading major German bank. The bank’s major activities in East Asia and particularly in Latin America are unthinkable without him. It was under his aegis that Deutsche Bank opened branches in Bremen (1871) and Hamburg (1872) as well as in Shanghai, Yokohama (both 1872) and London (1873) and founded the Deutsche Uebersee Bank, the later Deutsche Ueberseeische Bank (1886). Wallich withdrew from day-to-day business comparatively early at 60, but remained involved with Deutsche Bank for the rest of his life as a member of the Supervisory Board. Management board member Max Steinthal characterized his colleague as follows: “For many long years he knew the daily status of its liabilities with each debtor, he didn’t need to consult the books ad hoc; he was always aware of things, in part by instinct, in part by seemingly browsing through the ledgers at random. His prodigious memory which stored all phases of complicated financial transactions in an orderly fashion, made him into a living compendium on Deutsche Bank.”
|Biographical data:||04.04.1869 in Bamberg - 08.09.1934 in Garmisch|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1912 - 1933 (Spokesman 1923 - 1933)|
Oscar Wassermann came from an established and respected Jewish banking family in Bamberg. He first learned the banking business in his father's bank and then built up its branch in Berlin. In 1912, Deutsche Bank appointed the now well-known expert in securities trading to the Management Board, where he was in charge of the stock exchange business. After the First World War, Wassermann's efforts were primarily directed at guiding the bank through inflation and the subsequent years, which were characterized by the tense situation on the capital markets. In the “Centralverband des Deutschen Bank- und Bankiergewerbes” (Association of German Bankers), Wassermann represented the interests of the banking industry as deputy chairman of the board. As Spokesman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank Wassermann had a decisive influence on the merger of Deutsche Bank with Disconto-Gesellschaft in 1929. The world economic and banking crisis that soon set in showed that the merger was justified and that the solid capital base and high reserves gave the combined institution the necessary backing. After the National Socialists came to power, Wassermann's ousting from the Deutsche Bank Board of Managing Directors was only a matter of time, even though age-related reasons were officially given for his resignation. Even though he did not leave the bank until the end of the year, the Board of Managing Directors decided to announce his resignation before the Annual General Meeting in June 1933. Thereafter, Wassermann's health worsened rapidly and he died as early as the following year.
Throughout his life, Wassermann held on to his Jewish origins and took a great interest in the Zionist movement, for example with his support of the Palestine Reconstruction Fund "Keren Hajessod".
|Biographical data:||03.06.1936 in Bremen|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1979-1998|
|Biographical data:||22.05.1819 in Linden - 15.07.1884 in Bad Godesberg|
|Functions:||Member of the Administrative Board 1870-1884|
|Biographical data:||26.04.1882 in St. Georgen - 25.07.1953 in Bühlerhöhe|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1933-1945|
|Biographical data:||15.03.1928 - 27.06.2004|
|Functions:||Member of the Management Board 1977-1994|
|Biographical data:||Unknown - 03.07.1885|
|Functions:||Member of the Administrative Board 1870-1885|