About us

With assets under management in excess of €40 billion and over 1500 staff, Berenberg is one of the leading private banks and one of the most dynamic banks in Europe.

We offer clients individual services in four areas:

We advise wealthy private investors and families, often across generations. This is a complex responsibility that we discharge with demonstrated skill and continuity. Through opportunity-oriented risk management we contribute to protecting and growing our clients’ wealth.

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Wealth Management

The focus of our broad-based Investment Banking is on service and client business in equities and financial markets. Our research analyses 600 European equities. We also assist with public offers, capital increases and special transactions, and advise on mergers and acquisitions.

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Investment Banking

Our Asset Management services centre on quantitative investment strategies used in portfolio management depots, public and special funds. Clients are primarily institutional investors like insurers, pension funds, banks and foundations.

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Asset Management

We advise SMEs on the selection and implementation of the most suitable financing structures, and offer individual consulting in selected areas. We have special expertise in a number of fields, including shipping, infrastructure & energy and structured finance.

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Corporate Banking

Facts & figures

Since our Managing Partners are personally liable, we are independent of large corporations and have rigorous risk management as well as high management continuity. In the over 425 years of its existence Berenberg has been led by just 38 Managing Partners. Today the company is under the management of Dr. Hans-Walter Peters (Spokesman) und Hendrik Riehmer, two long-serving “Berenbergers.”
Voting shares:

  • 30.4 % v. Berenberg family 
  • 26.1 % PetRie Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (Dr. Hans-Walter Peters (Managing Director) and Hendrik Riehmer) and Dr. Hans-Walter Peters
  • 1.5 % former phG 
  • 15,0 % Hereditary Prince zu Fürstenberg
  • 15.0 % Jan Philipp Reemtsma
  • 12.0 % Compagnie du Bois Sauvage
Managing Partners
Key performance indicators 20112012201320142015
Net commission income€ million178206234244321
Net profit for the year€ million56606640104
Total assets€ billion4,04,34,54,54,7
Liable equity€ million217221223219233
Return on equity (before taxes)%40.143.846.928.867.3
Cost-income-ratio%75.976.578.185.772.2
Assets under management including subsidiaries€ billion26.028.230.136.140.1
Employees including subsidiaries 1,1101,1161,1471,2501,331
Key performance indicators

Berenberg Asset Management LLC 
Berenberg Asset Management offers institutional investors in the US unique investment strategies with strict risk control. Its offerings include overlay strategies for systematic protection against currency, interest, stock market and raw materials risk, volatility-based strategies to generate market-independent returns, and quantitative selection strategies for equities as well as loans.
Berenberg Asset Management has exceptional knowledge of investment and risk management solutions, as well as long experience working with global partners.
The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berenberg, and an SEC-licensed investment advisor in the US.

 

 

Berenberg Capital Markets LLC

Berenberg Capital Markets is an investment bank licensed by the US financial market regulatory agency FINRA. It provides advisory and execution services for institutional investors in the US. It markets Berenberg equity research in the US as a third party. The Berenberg Group is licensed to market pan-European company shares and to take part in private placements of pan-European bonds. 
Berenberg Capital Markets LLC is subject to the same guidelines as its parent company, and works to build long-term business relationships with clients based on integrity, independence and high service quality. 

Berenberg Capital Markets LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berenberg, and a member of FINRA and SIPC
 

 

 

Berenberg Bank (Schweiz) AG

Our Swiss subsidiary is a fast-growing full-service bank headquartered in Zurich and with a brand office in Geneva. It offers international private banking services to investors around the world.
Swiss banks have a long tradition in private banking, and the quality of their products and services is well known. This explains why today Switzerland handles 25 percent of the world’s cross-border managed assets. Berenberg (Schweiz) in the heart of Zurich is an established part of Swiss banking, and focuses on investment advisory and portfolio management. It goes without saying that objectivity and professionalism, discretion, and individuality are hallmarks of the services we provide. Zur Hompage
 

Locations

USA EUROPA

Hamburg

Head Office Hamburg
Amelie Eichblatt
phone +49 40 350 60-8182
amelie.eichblatt@berenberg.de

 


Neuer Jungfernstieg 20
20354 Hamburg
Deutschland

Phone +49 40 350 60-0
Fax +49 40 350 60-900



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Boston

Berenberg Capital Markets LLC
Peter Nichols
phone +1 646 445-7200


255 State Street
Boston MA 02109
USA

Phone +1 617 292-8200
Fax +1 617 292-8250



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Chicago

Berenberg Asset Management LLC
Gary Klopfenstein
Tel. +1 312-754-6050
gary.klopfenstein@berenberg-am.com


330 North Wabash, 39th Floor
60611 Chicago, Illinois
USA

Phone +1 312-754-6050
Fax



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Düsseldorf

Head of Wealth Management
Michael Engelhardt
Cecilienallee 10
40474 Düsseldorf
phone +49 211 54 07 28-0
michael.engelhardt@berenberg.de

Head of Investment Banking
Jörg Bunse
Cecilienallee 4
40474 Düsseldorf
phone +49 211 54 07 28-44
joerg.bunse@berenberg.com



Phone +49 211 54 07 28-0
Fax +49 211 54 07 28-28



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Frankfurt

Head of  Wealth Management
Oliver Holtz
phone +49 69 91 30 90-350

Head of Investment Banking
Oliver Diehl
phone +49 69 91 30 90-730
oliver.diehl@berenberg.com


Bockenheimer Landstraße 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

Phone +49 69 91 30 90-0
Fax +49 69 91 30 90-55



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Genf

Head of Branch
Vanessa Skoura
phone +41 22 308 59-10
vanessa.skoura@berenberg.ch


29, Quai du Mont-Blanc
1201 Genf
Schweiz

Phone +41 22 308 59-00
Fax +41 22 308 59-20



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London

Head of Branch
David Mortlock
phone +44 20 3207-7800
david.mortlock@berenberg.com

 


60 Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8HP
Großbritannien

Phone +44 20 3207-7800
Fax +44 20 3207-7900



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Luxemburg

Head of Branch
Harald Wörister
phone +352 46 63 80-1
harald.woerister@berenberg.lu


17, Rue de Flaxweiler
6776 Grevenmacher
Luxemburg

Phone +352 46 63 80-1
Fax +352 46 63 86



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München

Head of Branch
Hans Wöll
Tel. +49 89 25 55 12-100
hans.woell@berenberg.de


Maximilianstraße 30
80539 München
Deutschland

Phone +49 89 25 55 12-0
Fax +49 89 25 55 12-200



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Münster

Head of Office
Ludger Hoppe
phone +49 251 98 29 56-10
ludger.hoppe@berenberg.de


Spiekerhof 26
48143 Münster
Germany

Phone +49 251 98 29 56-0
Fax +49 251 98 29 56-15



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New York

Berenberg Capital Markets LLC
Peter Nichols
phone +1 646 445-7200
peter.Nichols@berenberg-us.com


712 Fifth Avenue, 41st Floor
New York, NY 10019
USA

Phone +1 646 445-7200
Fax +1 646 445-7210



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Paris

Head of Branch 
Dalila Farigoule
phone +33 1 5844-9510
dalila.farigoule@berenberg.com


48, avenue Victor Hugo
75116 Paris
Frankreich

Phone +33 1 58 44 95-00
Fax +33 1 58 44 95-01



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San Francisco

Berenberg Capital Markets LLC
European Equity Sales

Emily Mouret
phone +1 415 802-2525
emily.mouret@berenberg-us.com


One Market Street, Spear Tower Suite 3500
San Francisco, CA 94105
USA

Phone +1 415-802-2520
Fax



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Stuttgart

Head of Branch
Oliver Holtz
phone +49 711 490 44 90-10
oliver.holtz@berenberg.de


Bolzstraße 8
70173 Stuttgart
Germany

Phone +49 711 490 44 90-0
Fax +49 711 490 44 90-90



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Wien

Head of Branch
Dr. Robert Hengl
phone +43 1 22 757-22
robert.hengl@berenberg.com

Asset Management
Mag. Harald Sandner
phone +43 1 227 57-50
harald.sandner@berenberg.com


Schottenring 12, 1. DG
1010 Wien
Österreich

Phone +43 1 227 57-0
Fax +43 1 227 57-57



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Zürich Berenberg Bank Schweiz AG

Head of Berenberg Bank (Schweiz) AG
Dr. Peter Raskin
phone +41 44 284-2020


Kreuzstrasse 5
8008 Zürich
Schweiz

Phone +41 44 284-2020
Fax +41 44 284-2022



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Acting responsibly

The desire to grow and develop without losing sight of our historical roots has made us what we are today. More than a bank, we are an international advisor and trusted partner addressing client needs with responsibility, insight, vision and expertise.

Acting responsibly requires expertise.
On today’s capital markets, comprehensive knowledge is indispensable. Berenberg invests in first-class expertise. With 100 equity analysts, we have one of Europe’s largest research teams, and our portfolio managers oversee €40 billion for private and institutional investors. Ten economists analyse the economic development of individual countries and are in demand as information sources for government and media. Finally, 250 in-house IT specialists make sure we have the right solutions for any need.
 

Expertise

Acting responsibly means acting thoughtfully.
Since our founding over 425 years ago, Berenberg has been run by personally liable partners, a principle that continues to be the cornerstone of a trusting relationship with our clients. If you’re personally liable you don’t let yourself be steered by short-term advantage and emotions, but instead act thoughtfully. Our solid reliability is reflected in the stability of our leadership – since 1590 Berenberg has had only 38 Managing Partners. Our focus has never been on quarterly results, but on the long term. 

Responsibility

Acting responsibly means acting insightfully
Each of our clients has a different situation and background. Accordingly, as we help them expand on their success, accomplish their goals and meet their challenges, we do so with insight into their individual circumstances and needs, as expert advisers and service providers for the long term.
Our staff provide individual consulting that takes into account all of the client’s financial and personal goals, and we address all areas in which we are confident that we can offer our clients something more. That is our strength.
 

Insight

Acting responsibly means being visionary.
Berenberg was founded in 1590 in the port city of Hamburg, and has worked internationally from the beginning. Our vision was always global. As early as 1833 we opened a subsidiary in Boston, a port city to which we returned with a new office in 2011. In addition to our headquarters in Hamburg, over the past few years we have built a strong presence in the financial centres of Frankfurt, London, New York and Zurich. With a total of 1500 employees, today Berenberg is represented at 16 locations in Europe and the US.

Vision

Corporate Responsibility & Sponsoring

Social involvement has a tradition at our bank going right back to the 16th century, and it remains very important to us.

Berenberg has been involved in golf for a long time. In addition to organising important tournaments like the Berenberg Masters, a European Senior Tour event held from 2010 to 2013, and the annual Berenberg Gary Player Invitationals in Wentworth (UK) and GlenArbor (US), the company operates a brand ambassador programme with golf greats like Gary Player, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Martin Kaymer, Fred Couples and Branden Grace, along with up-and-coming new players.
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Golf

Polo – the “sport of kings”
Favoured by the British royals, polo is often called the “sport of kings.” It is a fascinating game that is attracting more and more interest.
Berenberg has been a sponsor in the world of polo since 2001, and has been main sponsor of tournaments in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Donaueschingen and Klosters (Switzerland). 
The Berenberg German Polo Masters on the island of Sylt and the Berenberg Polo Derby in Hamburg are two of the most important and best known tournaments in Germany.
 

Polo

Berenberg Bank Foundation of 1990
Patronage is a tradition among Hamburg families and companies, and it is no accident that Hamburg is Germany’s leading city for foundations. Berenberg has supported many initiatives over its long history. Cultural diversity and a vibrant cultural life are indispensable elements in the attractiveness of a city, and need a constant flow of new talent.
Accordingly, on the occasion of the bank’s 400th anniversary, the owners set up the Berenberg Bank Foundation. As a patron of art and culture, this non-profit foundation contributes to making Hamburg a desirable place to live, and focuses on talented young artists. 

Berenberg Culture Prize
Every year, the Foundation awards the Berenberg Culture Prize to artists, ensembles, projects and institutions across the gamut of cultural activities - visual and performing arts, literature, music and film. The Foundation has helped seventy young artists so far.

Berenberg Scholarship 
In addition, the Foundation helps young artists and artist groups by providing scholarships designed to promote their artistic development.

Download Foundation brochure
Link to Anniversary video

Berenberg Bank Foundation

In 2007 our employees started the “Berenberg Kids” initiative. They wanted to use the advantages they had enjoyed or achieved, like good education, financial security and good networks, to help disadvantaged and needy kids. 

The great success and sustained dedication of Berenberg staff encouraged the Bank’s Partners to turn the initiative into a foundation, leading to the establishment of the Berenberg Kids Foundation in late 2009. 
The Foundation focuses on supporting social institutions and organisations like schools, primarily in Germany and England. Together with employees of the Bank we provide assistance and organise projects every year.
Contact us at kids@berenberg.de so we can help you put your idea for a BerenbergKids event into action.
 

Berenberg Kids Foundation

Founded in 1590 –
Berenberg is the world’s second oldest bank

The Berenberg private bank goes back to 1590. And it is not just one of the oldest banks in the world, it is also one which has seen very vigorous growth in recent years.

The Berenberg history can be traced back to the last years of the 15th century.

The family originates from the Bergisches Land region. Thillmann Berenberg was born on the Groß-Berenberg estate in 1465. Records show that he traded in cloths. His son Jan first went to nearby Cologne and then moved on at the beginning of the 16th century to Lier, which is just outside the gates of Antwerp, where he became a citizen as "Thillmans zon de Coelenaere" as early as 1515.

Antwerp offered ideal conditions for trading. Around 1550 it was the richest and busiest city in Europe; up to 500 ships lowered and raised their anchor every day. It was the time of great discoveries and thus of Europe´s economic reorientation towards the west - and at the same time it was an era of bloody religious wars.

In 1585 the Dutch Protestants were given the choice either to convert to Catholicism or to leave the country, and like thousands of their brothers in faith, so the Protestant Berenbergs began to search for a new home. They found one in Hamburg.

1465 THE REFORMATION

Company foundation in Hamburg

In 1590, at the time when Hans and Paul (II) Berenberg founded their business, there were around 1,000 Dutch people living in Hamburg.

The city experienced an economic upturn in which this refugee group played a significant role. Besides craftsmen there were in particular experienced financiers and traders amongst them.

The Berenberg brothers, who ran a cloth trading and general import and export business, were clearly ambitious and successful. In 1594 their names are to be found in the collection list of the Dutch Poor Fund, an institution which still exists today for the support of comrades in need. At the beginning of the 17th century 32 of the 42 businesses recording more than 100,000 Deutsche Mark turnover were of Dutch origin. The Berenberg brothers were fifteenth and sixteenth on the list.

The Dutch in Hamburg were initially subject to certain restrictions. As such it was forbidden for foreigners to do business with other foreigners within the city boundaries. Many Dutch thus became citizens of the city, a step which Hans and Paul (II) Berenberg however were not prepared to take. In 1604 the Council issued a more liberal decree which now permitted foreigners free trade in new luxury goods, for example Rheinland wines, Hungarian copper, indigo, elephant teeth or spices.

A short while later the foreign traders were given the same rights as the citizens of Hamburg – Hamburg pursued a quite pragmatic form of politics.

1590 COMPANY FOUNDATION

Cornelius Berenberg becomes a Hamburg citizen

In the Thirty Years’ War from 1618 to 1648, which ravaged large parts of the German Reich and in particular Northern Germany, the city stayed strictly neutral. It supplied friend and foe, became a warehouse, banking centre and meeting place for Europe and as such was able to increase its wealth continually.

Around 1660 Cornelius Berenberg was in third generation actively engaged in Hamburg’s business life. Without disavowing his Dutch origins, he viewed himself nonetheless primarily as a Hamburg businessman and in 1684 was the first Berenberg to take the oath as a Hamburg citizen. In this way he made it possible for the following generations to engage in every kind of public office. Unlike in other cities government business was not restricted to the old families. Immigrant families were able to take on official functions relatively quickly, as long as they had their own capital assets and a house.

Cornelius managed the company for half a century. He intensified the goods trade far beyond Germany’s borders, deepened relations with the Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal in the west, with Scandinavia in the north, Russia in the east and Upper Italy in the south. The widely ramified family connections were useful in this regard, particularly to Lisbon and Livorno, where – like in Hamburg – economically important colonies of Dutch religious refugees had settled.

From Livorno came Italian silks, velvet and other materials, above all the trader community there was the bridge to the East with its rich store of spices. Lisbon supplied colonial products and bought German manufactured goods from Hamburg.

1660 CORNELIUS BECOMES A HAMBURG CITIZEN

From a trading house to a bank

Given the lack of a functioning banking system the traders took on the financing the commodities transactions themselves. They granted loans to their customers and made advance payments on the deliveries of their suppliers.

The large number of different currencies also formed the basis for extensive exchange business with good earning opportunities. Cornelius Berenberg increases the assets he had earned through trading by taking on money and insurance transactions, so becoming increasingly active as a banker.

After his death in 1711 his sons Johann (II) and Rudolph (III) Berenberg took over the business. In 1735 Rudolph (III) was elected to the City Council and the company renamed "Johann und Herr Rudolph Berenberg" as a result position as alderman presupposed a particularly good credit worthiness.

Hamburg’s trading grew rapidly at that time. As an answer to Prussian mercantilism Hamburg was declared a "porto transito" in 1727: it forwent transit customs duties almost and became a free port open to all regions. Seven Years’ War (1756-63), in which Europe was involved, was also very advantageous for the Hamburg economy and furthered both the goods trade and the credit business. Thanks to the permanent cash needs of the warring nations a huge money circulation was set in motion. At the end of the war it was not goods trade which dropped dramatically.

The exchange business also collapsed many banks and business went into The Berenberg business also got into and had to be supported by the rapidly loan society, by means of which the City helped fundamentally healthy companies period of temporary illiquidity. A seventh societyís total assets were made available business, which is probably only explicable the high regard in which both company family were held in Hamburg.

1711 FROM A TRADINGHOUSE TO A BANK

Non-family partners - "Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co."

In 1768 Senator Paul Berenberg (IV) died childless. His brother Johann together with whom he had managed the business lost his only son in the same year. Over 175 years five generations of the Berenberg family had given their name to the company and adapted it very successfully to the changing times. Now only Johann Berenberg’s only daughter Elisabeth remained as heir.

To ensure the continuation of the business beyond his death Johann Berenberg (III) opened it up to a new partner. He found him in Johann Hinrich Gossler, the scion of a Hamburg family which had been resident in Hamburg since the 14th century. Gossler had learnt his trade at Berenberg’s, went to Cadiz in 1761, then worked in France and returned to Hamburg in 1768 - an experienced businessman who had both fluent command of three languages as well as a broad general knowledge and varied interests.

He asked for the hand of Elisabeth Berenberg, they married in December 1768 and shortly afterwards he joined the business as a partner which he managed forthwith with his father-in-law under the name of "Johann Berenberg & Gossler" until Johann Berenberg (II) died in 1772.

Johann Hinrich Gossler brought fresh energy to the business. Without giving up goods trading he focussed on the financial side of the business and successfully developed it to a considerable degree. In 1788 he took on a new partner: Ludwig Edwin Seyler who had also learnt his trade in the company and was married to Gossler’s eldest daughter Henriette. In 1791 the name of the house was changed to "Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co.". After more than two hundred years in business in the course of which the name also changed with the various owners, the company’s title was now fixed. The value which the respected name carried was recognised.

1768 NON-FAMILY PARTNERS

New challenges

As "Discount and Acceptance House" Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. enjoyed an excellent reputation way beyond the Hamburg city limits. Shipping and insurance formed a natural complement to the traditional business. When Amsterdam went out of commission as an exchange centre because of the armies of the French Revolution, Hamburg took over. The Hanseatic finance houses, the money, fund and exchange brokers such as Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co., had new areas of activity as a result.

Alongside their activities in the free economy the merchants were increasingly assuming a role in the raising of funds for governmental authorities. England – particularly concerned to keep the unrest caused by the French Revolution at bay – made funds available to support Prussia and above all Austria against France. The transfers were carried out via Hamburg, Viennese and Frankfurt bankers – part of this business also fell to Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co.

Johann Hinrich Gossler did not live to see these very successful years around the turn of the 18th to the 19th century. He died in 1790 at the early age of 52. His son Johann Heinrich joined the company in 1798.

The Napoleonic troops occupied Hamburg as well in November 1806. The imposition of the continental embargo hit the city hard. Economic life stagnated over a period of years. Via the small Schleswig-Holstein ports of Glücksburg and Tönning as alternative quarters, it was only possible to maintain trade in a makeshift fashion. After the end of the wars of liberation the city recovered remarkably quickly especially given the generous loans out of England. Great Britain, always an important partner, became increasingly important for the economy of the Hanseatic city from now on and the relations to the countries on the continent receded somewhat. Trade with the young South American states and in particular with North America came in addition.

1798 NEW CHALLENGES

A foot in the New World

Johann Heinrich Gossler (II) became a member of the city state’s council in 1821.

His generation carried out all of the reforms which made it possible for Hamburg to maintain and develop its leading role as an economic and financial centre in the 19th century. The senator recognised the value of good connections to the emerging United States at an early stage. In 1828 he sent his eldest son, Johann Heinrich Gossler (III), to Boston. To make use of the connections there the latter founded together with another young German man the company Gossler & Knorre in Boston. One after the other his brothers, then his sons and nephews, joined the management of the business for a few years. Under the name Gossler & Co. and up until 1902 it played an important role, together with its branch office in New York, in the business of the Hamburg parent house.

In Boston Johann Heinrich Gossler (III) married Mary Elizabeth Bray in 1829, the grandgranddaughter of Samuel Eliot who had made himself a reputation through the independence of the United States. A year later the couple moved to Hamburg, where Johann Heinrich (III) joined the family business. After the death of his father, senator Johann Heinrich Gossler (II), in 1842 he continued together with his brother Wilhelm to lead the company, which to an ever increasing degree was developing into a banking house.

1828 A FOOT IN THE NEW WORLD

The banking house in the period of promoterism

Trade in the Hanseatic city was blossoming. The increasing importance of shipping and industry was reflected in the formation of many new joint stock companies.

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. was in these years one of the founders of Hapag (1847), of North German Lloyd (1857), of Ilseder Hütte (1858), of the Norddeutsche Versicherungs AG (1857) and of the Vereinsbank in Hamburg (1856). By virtue of the activities of the bank abroad it became amongst other things a founding shareholder of the Bergens private bank in Bergen (1855), the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation HSBC (1865), Den Danske Landmandsbank in Copenhagen (1871) and the Svenska Handelsbanken Stockholm (1871).

In solidarity with his maternal grandmother’s ancestors Johann Heinrich Gossler gave his eldest son the Christian names Johann Berenberg – and he was known as John B. In 1864 John B. Gossler joined the bank as partner. The Hamburg Senate sanctioned in 1880 the change of the family name to Berenberg-Gossler.

At the time of the founding of the Reich in 1871 John B. had already been a partner of the bank for six years. In the merchant community of the Hanseatic cities of Hamburg and Bremen there were considerable reservations regarding the commercial and trade ramifications of the Reich’s foundation. This was the cause of a protracted struggle over for the customs union of Hamburg with the German Reich, which was finally completed in 1888.

In contrast to many of his peers John Berenberg-Gossler energetically championed the customs union cause, together with the planning of a free port for Hamburg. In recognition of the merit he had earned in this regard he was made a member of the Prussian nobility in 1889.

There then followed in 1910 the further ennoblement in the Prussian hereditary barony, linked with the ownership of the family estate of Niendorf which was converted into an entailed estate. Whilst in Hamburg fun was made of this ennoblement (Mayor Burchard: "A Hamburg businessman cannot be further ennobled.") and his own family also voiced concern (Johns sister Susanne Amsinck: "But John, our good name!"), the title was probably an advantage outside of Hamburg.

For Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. the period of promoterism was very successful and around the turn of the century the house had built up an asset base which made it possible to survive the times up to the beginning of the First World War, which were full of economic and banking crises, wholly unscathed.

1847 THE BANK DURING PROMOTERISM

Two World Wars

The company, the estate in Niendorf and the title passed in 1913 with the death of John Freiherr v. Berenberg-Gossler to his son and Partner Cornelius.

He had the difficult task both of leading the business through two world wars and of organising its rebuilding. The economy initially got going again after 1918, but inflation, which reached its high point in 1923, as well as deflation and the world economic crisis of 1929/30 which followed all led to permanent new and extreme burdens. In the banking sector there was a wave of fusions and business closures.

In 1930 Cornelius sought a partnership with a stronger institute and found it in the friendly Darmstädter and Nationalbank (Danatbank). However when the German banking crisis worsened in 1931, the jeopardised Danatbank was itself integrated into the Dresdner Bank on the instruction of the newly created banking authority. Cornelius succeeded in regaining sole control of his business and maintaining its independence.

Given the political and economic circumstances in which he saw no scope for a traditional bank active in the export trade, he decided in 1932 to withdraw the business from active banking. The company Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. survived the era of national socialist rule as a holding company in which the company’s shareholdings – amongst others in two smaller private banks primarily engaged in the asset management business – were consolidated.

Numerous diary entries demonstrate that Cornelius Freiherr v. Berenberg-Gossler decisively rejected national socialism. Following the annexing of the Sudetenland and of Austria he wrote in 1938: "Better a small and decently led state than such a huge empire which Germany is today, lawless, without integrity and governed by robbers and murderers." He supported threatened business friends and acquaintances and was able to help some escape. On 3 May 1945, as English troops marched into Hamburg, the 71-year-old wrote in his diary: "Now the task is to deal with the consequences of the war and gradually try to help the children in building their future."

1913 TWO WORLD WARS

Der Neubeginn

Nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges beschlossen Cornelius Freiherr v. Berenberg-Gossler und sein Sohn Heinrich, der bereits 1935 als Partner in die Firma eingetreten war, das aktive Bankgeschäft der seit mehr als 350 Jahren bestehenden Firma wieder aufzunehmen.

Im Zuge dessen wurde die Hamburger Filiale der Norddeutschen Kreditbank, Bremen, übernommen, da sich die Bremer, in Folge des Bizonengesetzes, davon trennen mussten. Im Gegenzug erhielt die Norddeutsche Kreditbank eine Beteiligung. Am 21. Juni 1948, dem Tage nach der Währungsreform, öffnete die alte Firma ihre Schalter im neuen Domizil am Alten Wall.

In den stürmischen Aufbaujahren fand Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. ein weites Betätigungsfeld. Industrielle Wiederbelebung und der beginnende Außenhandel brachten einen großen Teil alter Kunden zurück und die Auslandsverbindungen früherer Jahre konnten schnell wieder aufgenommen werden. 1953 starb Cornelius Freiherr v. Berenberg-Gossler. Die Leitung der Firma lag nunmehr in den Händen von Heinrich Freiherr v. Berenberg-Gossler und August Rohdewald, bis dieser 1961 ausschied, um einer Berufung in den Vorstand der Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in Frankfurt am Main zu folgen. Die erfolgreiche Geschäftsentwicklung machte eine Erweiterung des Partnerkreises wünschenswert.

So trat 1961 Heinz A. Lessing und 1968 Joachim H. Wetzel, der der Bank seit 1952 angehörte, als persönlich haftende Gesellschafter in die Firma ein. Die Norddeutsche Kreditbank ist 1974 als Gesellschafter ausgetreten. Ein Anteil von 25 % wurde seitdem von der Norddeutschen Landesbank, Hannover, gehalten und 2010 von der PetRie Beteiligungsgesellschaft und der Familie zurückgekauft.

1948 THE NEW START

Berenberg – Accountability as the guiding principle

The personal liability of the owners ensures strict risk management and a high level of management continuity. In the over 425 years of its existence, Berenberg has been run by only 38 managing partners with personal liability.

Berenberg is an owner-managed private bank that to this day is obliged solely to its clients. The high quality of the services we offer regularly scores high marks in various rankings. The desire to grow and develop without losing sight of our historical roots has made us what we are to day. More than a bank, we are an advisor and trusted partner addressing client needs thoughtfully, respectfully, with knowledge and a broader view. Or to put it briefly, accountability is our guiding principle.

BERENBERG TODAY