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  Portigon AG
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Seat Dusseldorf
legal form Corporation
Bank code 300 255 00
founding July 2, 2012 (by renaming WestLB AG)
Website www.portigon-ag.de
Business data 06/2018Template: Infobox credit institute / maintenance / data out of date
Total assets EUR 4.3 billion
Employee 94 (as of December 31, 2019)
Board Peter Stemper (Chairman)

Frank Seyfert, Barbara Glaß

Supervisory board Eckhard Forst (Chairman)

The Portigon AG is a financial services institution with headquarters in Dusseldorf . This is the legal successor to the former WestLB AG , which was renamed Portigon AG on July 2, 2012. The company carries out in particular the servicing of credit and securities portfolio by and shall perform the task of dismantling the former WestLB.


A large number of credit institutions around the world were affected by the financial crisis that began in 2007 . In Germany, Commerzbank AG , Hypo Real Estate and WestLB AG in particular got into a corporate crisis from October 2008 . At WestLB, the public law shareholders , in particular the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as the largest shareholder, brought in equity increases and guarantees in order to overcome the crisis , which the EU Commission assessed as unauthorized, competition-distorting aid . Portigon AG finally came into being as a result of the decision of the EU Commission of December 20, 2011 resulting from the allegations of state aid, according to which the previous name WestLB AG had to be given up and only service activities could be carried out. Portigon AG, as Portigon, has a full banking license from BaFin as a deposit- taking bank in the corporate database of BaFin, but due to the EU resolution is no longer allowed to conduct new banking transactions for its own account.

On March 22, 2012, a restructuring plan was announced at WestLB's annual press conference , which included the split of WestLB into three parts by June 30, 2012.

  • WestLB AG, renamed Portigon AG, with the task of handling the bank with regard to locations, employees and remaining assets.
  • The first EAA (EAA), which in 2009 as a bad bank was established for toxic securities and other non-strategic assets of WestLB, takes over assets that could not be sold until 30 June 2012 and liabilities. It will continue to reduce these positions by 2027, but is currently examining strategic options to accelerate the reduction.
  • A branch of Helaba in Frankfurt continues business with the NRW Sparkassen, medium-sized corporate customers and local authorities. The 450 employees working here keep their jobs in Düsseldorf. The custodian bank and payment transaction functions were taken over with effect from September 17, 2012.

Business purpose at formation

Portigon AG provides financial services primarily for Erste Abwicklungsanstalt (EAA) and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (as part of the so-called Verbundbank ). The acquisition of further customers (so-called third - party business ) was planned, but could not be realized.

The main business purpose is the provision of financial services in the area of portfolio management , reporting and financial manufacturing. These include credit analysis , treasury , finance and controlling , risk controlling , credit administration, IT services and various corporate center functions. Portigon offers services in all time zones and has, among other things, the former WestLB branches in New York City , London and Hong Kong . If necessary, it may also carry out other typical or bank-related transactions. In particular, Portigon's business activities do not include proprietary trading , the issuance of certificates of any kind and other issuing transactions , project and trade finance, asset-based finance, securitisations and syndicated lending business as well as international corporate banking . Since September 1, 2012, Portigon has only been active as a non-trading book institute. On September 30, 2012, the debit card business was transferred to BW-Bank .

Portigon AG is a member of the security reserve of the Landesbanken and Girozentralen .


After the two North Rhine-Westphalian savings bank associations and the regional associations left the group of shareholders, the ownership structure in Portigon AG has been as follows since September 2012:

Shareholder Participation rate
State of North Rhine-Westphalia 69.49%
NRW.Bank 30.51%

Since the partner NRW.Bank is 100% owned by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is indirectly 100% sole shareholder of the bank; the two regional associations and savings bank associations are no longer involved.

Company structures after establishment

Portigon AG performs the function of a holding company , which according to the original plan should have two subsidiaries , namely an operating company and a service company. The pure service function means that the balance sheet total ( assets and liabilities ) - insofar as they do not relate to the S-Group bank business - have been transferred to the EAA, which has been in existence since December 2009. Assets that could not be physically transferred to the EAA for tax, legal or regulatory reasons were only transferred synthetically. They appear in the balance sheets of the holding or the operating company, but not in the service company.

The main task of the holding and operating company should be to reduce the number of (former WestLB) employees from around 4,400 originally to 1,400 in 2016 (of which 1,000 are employed in the service company). The service company had to be spun off between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014 so that it could provide asset management services for the remaining assets and liabilities. According to a request by the European Commission, the service company is to be sold by 2016 at the latest. In order to facilitate the sale of the service company, Portigon AG can conclude contracts for the servicing of third-party portfolios between 2012 and 2014, i.e. third-party business outside of the former WestLB portfolios. However, the income from these activities must not exceed 40–60% of the total gross revenues of the service company. This restriction ceases to apply when the service company is sold. In January 2014, this service company was founded as a wholly-owned subsidiary under the name Portigon Financial Services GmbH (PFS) . As planned, it acts as a service provider, particularly in the management of bank portfolios, and employs around 600 people. Your main customer is the EAA. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia stopped a process that had already started to sell PFS in June 2014 due to unfavorable market conditions. The spin-off of the operating company from Portigon AG, however, was not completed.

Development since 2012

In October 2012 the supervisory board extended the contract with the first chairman of the board, Dietrich Voigtländer, until 2017. Voigtländer resigned from his post on April 30, 2014, and was succeeded by Kai Wilhelm Franzmeyer, whose departure from Portigon was announced 15 months later on August 12, 2015 due to differing views on the future of Portigon. His successor was Hubert Beckmann in September 2015, who was replaced by Peter Stemper in April 2016.

In February 2014, Portigon AG sold its properties in Düsseldorf to subsidiaries of the Blackstone Group for around 350 million euros. In total, the building complex in a central location in Düsseldorf comprises 122,000 m² of fully rented office space. These include the Portigon main building, Herzogterrassen, at Herzogstrasse 15, a property at Friedrichstrasse 62-80 (now the seat of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia ) and a property at Elisabethstrasse 65. The buyers are Blackstone Europe Real Estate Partners IV and Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII .

The real estate sale triggered critical reactions in the main and finance committee of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia . CDU financial expert Marcus Optendrenk asked why the ministry should be housed in a property that belongs to an investor who is considered a " grasshopper ". The FDP politician Ralf Witzel was astonished that the Interior Ministry with its highly sensitive department for the protection of the constitution should, of all things, rent a company whose proximity to the US secret service is known. On the one hand, these political statements contradict the fact that commercial real estate is a tenant market in which the tenants have the predominant bargaining power against the locusts as landlords. On the other hand, buildings of the public administration must meet high security standards, which have been monitored and implemented by the leading construction and property company NRW .

In June 2014, the servicing for parts of Helaba was ended on schedule. The branch in Istanbul was closed with effect from July 7, 2014, followed by Tokyo (March 2015), Sydney (March 2016), Singapore (April 2016), Milan (March 2017), Hong Kong (August 2017) and Madrid (December 2018) ). The closure process for the remaining London and New York locations has also been initiated. The London branch currently employs 16 people and no longer has its own assets. The lease for the London location ends in December 2020. There are currently 16 employees at the New York location. The NY Branch's balance sheet was reduced to less than 1 billion assets as of June 30, 2018, after being over 1.5 billion as of September 30, 2017. With the dismantling of the last foreign locations, the return of the banking licenses can take place and the liquidation of the former WestLB can be ended.

The sale of the fashionable WestLB advanced training center Schloss Krickenbeck, including the conference and seminar operations, to the French Châteauform Group was completed on April 30, 2015. In May 2015, the bank's internal credit risk management was converted from the Internal Rating Based Approach ( IRBA ) credit process to the Credit Risk Standard Approach (KSA ). As a result, "PAG risk classes" - a simplified risk classification procedure in accordance with the minimum requirements for risk management - have been assigned since then. As a result of consistent processing, the main type of loan in 2015 was mainly municipal loans. In March 2016, Portigon reported the sale of the PFS subsidiary to EAA because there was no interested party on the open market. In October 2016, Portigon AG moved from Herzogstraße 15 to nearby Völklinger Straße 4, where it uses 3,400 m² of rental space in the "RWI 4" office building completed in 1974 (part of the assets of the closed real estate fund "RWI 25"). The dismantling of Portigon AG should be largely completed by 2022.

Financial metrics

The decommissioning of Portigon AG can be seen from the following key financial figures :

identification number 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Balance sheet total (billion €) 98.7 31.0 19.4 14.1 11.5 7.4 4.9 4.3
Equity (€ billion) 2.4 2.2 2.0 1.9 1.7 1.6 1.4 0.8
Annual result (€ million) −1,349 −825.9 −236.6 −98.8 −169.5 −100.4 −215.2 -582.4
Number of employees 2,776 2,103 840 451 268 159 120 94

Since it was founded, Portigon has been able to significantly reduce processing-related losses until 2018, thereby largely conserving its own funds . The volume of business fell from originally 98.9 billion euros (2012) to 4.3 billion euros (2019). In the 2019 financial year, Portigon AG suffered the third largest loss in its history.

Art collection

Portigon is the owner of an art collection created with expertise by its legal predecessor WestLB . It comprises around 400 works of art that can be assigned to the art directions of classical modernism , abstract art , constructivism , contemporary art and photography from NRW. The focus is on art from North Rhine-Westphalia since 1960 ( Joseph Beuys , Imi Knoebel , Gotthard Graubner , Isa Genzken , Hans-Peter Feldmann , Katharina Grosse ). The collection also contains works of classical modernism ( August Macke , Gabriele Münter , Paul Signac , Pablo Picasso ) as well as abstract and constructivist art ( Morris Louis , Victor Vasarely , Jan Schoonhoven , Max Bill , Nicolas Schoeffer ). In addition, contemporary photographs by artists from the environment of the Düsseldorf Academy were collected. Since January 2015, a discussion has flared up about the intended sale of the collection, which could bring in at least 29 million euros in sales. The importance of this art collection in terms of value is negligible in view of the total assets of Portigon AG.

The Portigon also owns three musical instruments , including a famous Stradivarius from 1711, the most valuable unique piece , which changed hands very often. Its provenance can be traced back to 1889 when it belonged to an Ethel Jane Foster in Ireland, known under the name "Lady Inchiquin". Fritz Kreisler had owned the violin since 1928 under its then name " Earl of Plymouth " and sold it in April 1946 to Dorothea Powers Percival . In 1948 it was owned by Schweizer Aufenart . This handed it over to Rembert Wurlitzer Inc. in 1952, between 1952 and 1965 it was owned by the Henry Hottinger Collection , and in 1965 it passed to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra . Walter Scholefield ( Berliner Philharmoniker ) bought it in 1978 from the violin dealers Bein & Fushi in Chicago at a price of 210,000 US dollars and had it extensively restored. After Scholefield's retirement, WestLB AG acquired the violin in 2001 for $ 2.8 million. The bank handed it over to Frank Peter Zimmermann in 2002 with a loan agreement and a subsequent purchase option . This loan contract ended in February 2015. The Stradivarius, now known as “Lady Inchiquin”, is worth at least 4.9 million euros.

In July 2016, Portigon sold 297 works of the 400 works of art and three string instruments and the Stradivarius "Lady Inchiquin" to a foundation of the state's own art collection in North Rhine-Westphalia for 29.2 million euros, which was funded by the NRW.Bank der Foundation was granted as a loan in return for a state guarantee . Frank Peter Zimmermann has been using the string instrument again since then.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Master data of the credit institute at the Deutsche Bundesbank
  2. Annual Report 2019
  3. Entry in the commercial register of the Düsseldorf District Court under HRB 42975, research under handelsregister.de
  4. ^ Resolution of the general meeting of WestLB AG on June 29, 2012
  5. Decision of the EU Commission on state aid C 40/2009 and C 43/2008 of December 20, 2011, Rn. 45 (PDF; 185 kB)
  6. Decision of the EU Commission on state aid C 40/2009 and C 43/2008 of December 20, 2011, Rn. 73
  7. Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, list of approved credit institutions from January 1, 2012 ( memento of the original from December 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bafin.de
  8. Decision of the EU Commission on state aid C 40/2009 and C 43/2008 of December 20, 2011, Rn. 61 (c)
  9. WestLB disappears from the market WDR.de June 29, 2012 ( Memento from September 11, 2012 on WebCite )
  10. a b Portigon AG, press releases from August 30, 2012
  11. The Verbundbank was created through a partial transfer of operations from a few business areas of the former WestLB AG and has been formally run as the Düsseldorf branch of Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen since July 1, 2012. It will offer banking services and products to the savings banks and their customers, medium-sized corporate customers as well as public institutions and institutional customers.
  12. Interim report of WestLB AG / Portigon AG as of June 30, 2012 ( Memento from September 11, 2012 on WebCite )
  13. BANKINGCLUB - News - BW-Bank will in future process PAYBACK Maestro cards ( Memento from April 29, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  14. Verlagsgruppe Knapp - Richardi: BW-Bank takes over Payback Maestro. In: The credit system. Retrieved April 12, 2013 .
  15. Decision of the EU Commission on state aid C 40/2009 and C 43/2008 of December 20, 2011, Rn. 78
  16. Decision of the EU Commission on state aid C 40/2009 and C 43/2008 of December 20, 2011, Rn. 83
  17. NRW, Portigon subsidiary does not sell articles from June 27, 2014 in the portal handelsblatt.com , accessed on July 6, 2014
  18. Handelsblatt of October 8, 2012, accessed on November 15, 2012
  19. Group information on Dr. Kai Wilhelm Franzmeyer , accessed on the portigon.com portal on August 29, 2014
  20. Portigon press release from August 12, 2015
  21. Portigon press release from February 1, 2014
  22. ^ Building sales: CDU and FDP criticize Portigon , RP online, February 14, 2014
  23. Portigon AG, Annual Report 2014 , p. 2 ff .; Annual report 2015 , p. 2 ff .; Annual Report 2016 , p. 2 ff., Annual Report 2017 , p. 2 ff., Annual Report 2018 , p. 2 ff., Annual Report 2019 , p. 2 ff.
  24. WestLB successor Portigon plans to sell art Article from January 7, 2015 in the FAZ.NET portal , accessed on January 24, 2015
  25. Tarisio, "Cremona, 1711, The 'Earl of Plymouth Kreisler'"
  26. WAZ of July 4, 2016, North Rhine-Westphalia buys "nationally valuable" Portigon art

Coordinates: 51 ° 12 ′ 46.8 "  N , 6 ° 45 ′ 44.8"  E