Sal. Oppenheim

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  Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. AG & Co. KGaA
Sal. Oppenheim building in Cologne
Country GermanyGermany Germany
Seat Cologne
legal form AG & Co. KGaA
Bank code 370 302 00
founding 1789
resolution 2018
Board of Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie.
General partner AG: Heiner Arnoldi, Henning Heuerding
Supervisory board Daniel Kalczynski (chairman)

The Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. AG & Co. KGaA was a German bank with headquarters in Cologne . It was founded in 1789 as a private bank and belonged to members of the von Oppenheim family . Until the family sold the bank to Deutsche Bank in October 2009 for 1.3 billion euros, Sal. Oppenheim was the largest independent bank in Europe with total assets of 41.4 billion euros and over 150 billion euros in assets under management. It has been a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank since October 2009 . The focus of business activity until 2018 was asset management . On October 27, 2017, Deutsche Bank announced that it would give up Sal. Oppenheim and integrate the remaining customers and parts of the business into Deutsche Bank. Active business operations ceased on June 30, 2018; the non-core business activities are handled by the legal entity Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. AG & Co. KGaA continued. In 2019, this was renamed Deutsche Oppenheim Family Office AG after the merger .



April 1817: The Farina company across the street from its Frankfurt commission agent bills of exchange for 20,000  fl. Order Sal. Oppenheim jun. & Co.
Letter from Sal.Oppenheim to Johann Maria Farina, May 2, 1832
Sal.Oppenheim compilation for Farina, May 2, 1832

The then 17-year-old Salomon Oppenheim junior founded the bank in 1789 as a commission and exchange house in Bonn together with the influential banker and silver dealer Samuel Wolff, who brought 90,000 thalers into the business. Oppenheim traded in goods, exchanged foreign varieties and granted loans . On May 7, 1793 Salomon Oppenheim appeared for the first time as the creditor of a bill of exchange for 300 thalers to the Bonn couple Schön, which can be seen as the first evidence of the banking business .

In 1798, the French revolutionary troops under Napoleon deposed the Elector of the Electorate of Cologne , whose capital was Bonn. The French introduced religious freedom in Cologne and all the areas on the left bank of the Rhine that they annexed . This was the first time in 400 years that Jews were able to settle in Cologne. Oppenheim then moved to the then important banking center of Cologne , where the JH Stein bank (1790) and A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein (since 1791) had their headquarters. When Salomon Oppenheim died in 1828, his widow Therese continued the business with her sons Simon and Abraham Oppenheim . In 1834 Abraham married Charlotte Beyfus, a granddaughter of Mayer Amschel Rothschild , who founded the Rothschild banking house .


The first domicile in Cologne was the building Am Hof No. 2122 (today No. 16) rented by the wine vinegar manufacturer GJ Hahn between 1801 and 1808 . In January 1808, Salomon Oppenheim acquired the patrician house Große Budengasse No. 8 ("Große Büttengasse" No. 2103, later No. 8-10) from the former mayor Freiherr Franz Jakob von Hilgers, which was built in 1780 for banker Jakob Pelzer in the classical style . The new building erected here in 1904 was preserved until the first bomb attack in 1942, when it was opened on 16./17. Badly damaged on March 1st, 1943 and totally destroyed on June 29th, 1943 The house at An den Dominikanern No. 2 served as a temporary solution between June 1945 and October 1953 , and in October 1953 the bank moved into Fritz August Breuhaus de Groot's six-storey building clad in natural stone at No. 4 Unter Sachsenhausen . In September 2018, Momeni Immobilien and HanseMerkur acquired Insurance group this post-war headquarters and planned the final move out of the old company, which was being wound up at that time, by 2020.

Rhine Province of Prussia

Seat of Sal. Oppenheim Jr. & Cie. , Pempelforter Straße 11, Düsseldorf-Pempelfort

Since the 1820s, the bank has financed, in particular, shipping on the Rhine and later also the development of the railways and the industrialization of the Rhine province and the Ruhr area . Other banks in the Cologne banking system also took part .

As early as 1810, Oppenheim rose to become the second largest bank in Cologne after A. Schaaffhausen, and from September 1816 it operated as “Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. ”Oppenheim, together with the Berlin bank Mendelssohn & Co., transferred the French war reparations (265 million francs) to Prussia, which the Aachen Congress in November 1818 decided on. Also in 1818 he co-founded the Rhine nautical insurance industry took place (forerunner of Agrippina insurance ), on 3 October 1825, the Co-founder of "Prussian-Rhenish Steamship Company" (forerunner of the Cologne-Düsseldorf German Rhine navigation ) and a participation of 25%. Bankhaus Oppenheim participated in consortia of the Cologne private banks, which alternately consisted of Deichmann & Co. , A. Schaaffhausen'scher Bankverein , Bankhaus JH Stein , Herstatt and Bankhaus A. Levy & Co. and largely financed the Rhenish-Westphalian heavy industry. They had a significant stake in corporate bond and equity issues . In 1836 Oppenheim founded the first subsidiary in Amsterdam as “Gebr. Oppenheim & Co. ”(existed until 1856), on June 9, 1837 the Rheinische Eisenbahngesellschaft was founded , and on July 16, 1839, the Colonia insurance began its business operations. This started the development of Cologne into an important insurance location. On December 18, 1843, the Cologne-Mindener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft , which was co-founded by Oppenheim, received its license, in April 1846 the world's first pure reinsurance was established with the Cologne Re , and on September 27, 1853 the Concordia Cologne Life Insurance was granted . In 1853 Oppenheim participated in the establishment of the Darmstädter Bank and in 1870 in the establishment of Centralboden .

After Therese Oppenheim's death (1842), the two sons continued to run the company. Abraham Oppenheim's two sons, Eduard and Albert von Oppenheim , converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1858 and 1859 . This made it possible for them to marry into important Christian entrepreneurial families in Cologne. Oppenheim also invested in cultural and political projects in Cologne. Eduard von Oppenheim helped with the founding financing of the Cologne Zoo in 1859 and with the Flora in 1863 , in 1869 he founded the Schlenderhan Stud and in 1870 acquired Schlenderhan Castle for 170,000 thalers. Abraham Oppenheim donated the Glockengasse synagogue , which was inaugurated on August 29, 1861. King Wilhelm I raised him to the baron status in 1868 as the first Jewish entrepreneur in Prussia to honor his entrepreneurial merits.

The German Imperium

The German Empire took out numerous loans to finance the development of the transport system. Banks were needed to place these bonds . The bank became a permanent member of the Prussian Consortium founded for this purpose in 1859 , which organized regular meetings from 1867 onwards. As a banking consortium operating across Germany, it comprised 39 member banks. At that time Oppenheim was one of the upper banks in Prussia ("haute banque"). The bank only partly participated in bonds for the city of Cologne. Sal. Oppenheim was also active in foreign business, especially in the export of capital - mostly in cooperation with the Berlin Disconto-Gesellschaft . The bank was also involved in colonial business.

On October 10, 1871, the bank, along with Schaaffhausen, participated in the financing of the Gotthard Railway with a quota of 15% in the issuing syndicate. In November 1871, Oppenheim and Schaaffhausen founded the Antwerp Centralbank SA , and in April 1872 the German-Belgian La Plata Bank . In 1873 there were representatives from Oppenheim on 24 industrial supervisory boards; Simon Alfred Oppenheim had 40 supervisory board mandates in 1909. In 1873 Oppenheim had an unusual number of large investors, as eleven depositors each owned more than one million RM. Here lies the beginning of private banking, which for a long time remained insignificant at Oppenheim . Bankhaus Oppenheim acted as the house bank of Basalt AG , in which Oppenheim and Wilhelm Werhahn each held a 20% stake. Both also held shares in Strabag (33% each).

After the death of Abraham and Simon in 1880, their sons Albert and Eduard took over the banking business. The bank worked together with other banks, above all the Disconto-Gesellschaft, to raise capital for industrial companies in western Germany. The bank financed the creation or expansion of the Union, AG for mining, iron and steel industry , Phoenix AG , Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG , Eschweiler Bergwerkverein , Fortuna union, which in 1908 joined other companies to form the Rheinische AG for lignite mining und Briquettfabrikation merged, and the Harpener Bergbau AG . Sal. Oppenheim had a friendly relationship with the Felten & Guilleaume cable works , with which they founded joint overseas telegraph companies. Oppenheim participated in a 29-member banking consortium that financed the establishment of Hypothekenbank Rheinboden AG , which was created on January 26, 1894 . After bad investments in the electrical industry, especially at Helios AG , Sal. Oppenheim experienced a corporate crisis. The help came not least from a 15-year silent contribution from the Berliner Disconto-Gesellschaft, at that time the second largest bank in Germany.

On the occasion of an upcoming generation change, in 1904 the previous legal form of the OHG was converted into a limited partnership based on shares with limited partnership capital of 5 million marks . In 1914 the bank had only 61 employees. Due to the bankruptcy of the borrower Nordwolle in July 1931, Oppenheim had to make provisions of 1.45 million RM , but was able to cope with this. The Sal. Oppenheim KGaA was henceforth managed by Simon Alfred von Oppenheim and its cousin Emil. In 1904, Ferdinand Rinkel, who had been the bank's authorized signatory for over ten years, was also appointed partner. He and Simon Alfred von Oppenheim ran the bank. From 1914, the bank participated in nine German war bonds to finance the First World War . Before and during the war, the bank was involved in the placement of bonds that provided money for defense companies. On the other hand, the bank's international business failed almost entirely during this period. During Simon Alfred von Oppenheim's military service, Rinkel managed the bank alone. In 1916 Oppenheim returned from the war after being seriously wounded in a car accident. In 1919 the Disconto-Gesellschaft got its deposit back, but it has remained on friendly terms with the Kölner Bank ever since.

Weimar Republic

At the beginning of the Weimar Republic there were several changes in the group of shareholders. Ferdinand Rinke left. Instead, Otto Kaufmann, who had previously worked for Deutsche Bank , stepped in . At the beginning of 1922 Eberhard and Waldemar von Oppenheim (1894–1952), two sons of Simon Alfred Oppenheim , joined the partners. Furthermore, his cousin Alix-May von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf (later Countess von Faber-Castell ), as well as Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley were accepted into the circle of shareholders. Count von Arco auf Valley, became famous for the assassination attempt on Kurt Eisner , the first Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria, on February 21, 1919 . Like Waldemar and Eberhard, they were grandsons of Eduard von Oppenheim . Wilhelm Chan, who had been an authorized signatory at Sal. Oppenheim since 1912, was also accepted into the group of shareholders. Simon Alfred Oppenheim, the bank's top manager, was also in demand as an advisor. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Reichsbank and sat on many supervisory boards . His son Eberhard Oppenheim, who was less interested in a banking career as a successful equestrian tournament participant, left in 1931, but his brother Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim (1900–1978) had already become a partner in 1930.

The inflation from the turn of the year 1921/1922, the subsequent expansion of loans to industry and their losses caused the bank assets to shrink, including the shareholders' equity of Sal. Oppenheim's owners. This and the general economic situation (rising unemployment , political instability, devaluation of the Rentenmark, loss of confidence among investors) also brought Bank Sal. Oppenheim into great difficulties. With the prevailing concentration in banking , the only way out was to merge with another bank. Sal. Oppenheim merged with A. Levy & Co. in Cologne in 1922. The bankers chose the form of a "community of interests" and were thus able to stabilize the economic situation of their banks. The head of Bank Levy, Louis Hagen , had 68 supervisory board mandates and had a lot of information about German companies. Through the merger, he became a partner in Sal. Oppenheim and remained so until his death in 1932. Sal. Oppenheim hoped to profitably participate in the process of concentration in the economy. With this merger, Hagens Bank gained access to the most respected and solid private bank in Cologne. At first both banks were active in the coal and steel industry. In a bank consortium that had been founded for the capital increase of Rheinische AG für lignite mining , they had a quota of 21% and were thus ahead of Deutsche Bank.

In 1928 the world economic crisis began. When it worsened, Simon Alfred von Oppenheim decided in January 1931 to hire Robert Pferdmenges as a partner. Oppenheim's sons were still relatively young and had no banking experience. Pferdmenges, on the other hand, was a very experienced and successful banker who had for a long time headed the A. Schaaffhausen'schen Bankverein, which was part of the Berliner Disconto-Gesellschaft . Pferdmenges had excellent connections to politics and business, was represented on several committees of the Reichsbank and in 1928 had merged the Disconto-Gesellschaft with the Deutsche Bank. Pferdmenges was also a close advisor to Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brüning , had been friends with Konrad Adenauer since the 1930s and became his financial advisor after the Second World War. Since Pferdmenges did not want to work as an employee of a major bank after the merger, he accepted Oppenheim's proposal in 1931. A year later, Simon Alfred von Oppenheim died and Pferdmenges became the primus inter pares among the partners in Bank Sal. Oppenheim .

Louis Hagen died on October 1, 1932. As his successor, an authorized signatory at Bank A. Levy, Hermann Leubsdorff, became a partner in Bank Sal. Oppenheim in November 1932. A short time later it was revealed that Louis Hagen had given Bank A. Levy currency debts of over 200 million Reichsmarks through speculation during the global economic crisis , as the previously unsuspecting partner Paul Silverberg discovered. These debts required annual payments of 30 million Reichsmarks, which A. Levy could not afford. There was also over-indebtedness . An insolvency of Bank A. Levy would also have threatened the existence of Bank Sal. Oppenheim. In addition, according to the interest group agreement of 1922, its partners were obliged to take over Bank A. Levy after Hagen's death. Pferdmenges initially managed to have this takeover suspended. Then he worked with Silverberg to prevent A. Levy from going bankrupt. The heirs were urged to use their inheritance to help maintain the bank. In addition, the shareholders of Oppenheim agreed to continue the two banks for their own account and to discuss the fate of A. Levy again in 1935. In order for the restructuring measures to be successful and Sal. Oppenheim not to be endangered, the illiquidity of Bank Levy was not allowed to become known. Pferdmenges joined A. Levy as a partner in order to solve their problems with his personality and the weight of the Sal. Oppenheim bank. Together with Silverberg, he asked the Reichsbank for permission to carry out a "silent liquidation". The Reichbank directorate accepted this proposal. Because the end of Levy and perhaps Oppenheim could have led to a new banking crisis after the German banking crisis of June 1931 had just been overcome. Between 1933 and 1935 the securities on the stock exchanges recovered, so that an improvement occurred at A. Levy. A very large profit from a deal made years ago after the US dollar fell, offset a large part of the bank's losses. However, when the A. Levy Bank was closed in 1936, there was hardly anything left for the heirs and shareholders. Bank Oppenheim also lost the capital it had contributed to A. Levy. After the war, partner Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim made it clear that the liquidation of Bank A. Levy was not caused by National Socialist persecution, but that the silent liquidation was inevitable because of the ailing bank.

time of the nationalsocialism

Accompanying the seizure of power , anti-Semitic actions by the Nazis took place in Cologne. For April 1, 1933, the Gauleiter and his district leaders planned to participate in the nationwide boycott of Jewish companies . At that time, however, the National Socialist government was still reluctant to include Jewish banks in the boycott. Because these banks were important for the German Reich because of their good international contacts, for example they were irreplaceable for loan negotiations with foreign countries at that time. Therefore, the day before the event , the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels published a ban on harassing Jewish banks during the boycott.

Nevertheless, local rulers took action against Jewish banks and bankers before and after the boycott - this was also the case in Cologne. From a National Socialist, racist point of view, Bank Oppenheim was viewed as Jewish, even though the owner family had been of Christian faith since 1860. A few days after his inauguration, Lord Mayor Günter Riesen announced a ban on municipal authorities from placing orders with Jewish companies. This also affected the two banks, Oppenheim and A. Levy. On March 27, 1933, Riesen issued a general ban on newspaper advertisements by “Jewish” companies in Cologne. This regulation was also disadvantageous for Oppenheim and Levy. The actions of Riesen were particularly explosive because Riesen had been the authorized signatory of the Levy bank for many years.

Under the influence of Nazi propaganda , many “Aryan” business friends broke off contact with the owners of Sal. Oppenheim. Thereupon Karl Georg Schmidt , regional economic advisor of the NSDAP, issued a certificate to the bank in June 1933, which among other things read: “... that the majority of the responsible capital is in the hands of the Christian families Freiherr von Oppenheim and Robert Pferdmenges . The bank is therefore to be regarded as a German company ”. In fact, this letter was of little value, because actually it was not about the religion of the Jews, but about a racial ideological distinction as it was legitimized in the Nuremberg Laws . There were more and more anti-Jewish attacks on the Oppenheim family and their bank. A pioneer of anti-Semitism in Cologne was the banker Kurt Freiherr von Schröder , partner in Bankhaus JH Stein , a company that competes with Sal. Oppenheim . He personally ensured that the Oppenheims were no longer invited to the meetings of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Bankenvereinigung, of which their father had been a co-founder. After Schröder had eliminated his competitor Paul Silverberg, who was of Jewish origin, as president of the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry , he himself took over the chairmanship of this institution. As one of his first official acts, he had a ban on inviting non-Aryan members to the general meetings. Above all, this meant the Oppenheims. Schröder also ensured that the Oppenheims lost most of their supervisory board positions in the companies they oversee. The bank lost many customers through public ostracism and persecution. The balance sheet total in 1935 was only half of the value in 1928.

When the critical condition of Levybank continued to require capital contributions from Sal. Oppenheim and the heirs of Louis Hagens, the decision was made to take over Levybank in 1936. The balance sheet total then rose again to 103 million Reichsmarks and then fell again. With the takeover of Bank Levy, the balance sheet improved briefly, but anti-Semitic attacks increased. The Völkische observers warned on 23 January 1936 before the emergence of a purely Jewish bank large format in Cologne. At the end of January, under pressure from the local NSDAP rulers, the Jewish shareholders Otto Kaufmann, Wilhelm Chan and Hermann Leubsdorff had to leave the bank as partners. They emigrated and survived the Third Reich. Leopold Valentin Kaufmann, a relative of Pferdmenges, stood up for the Jewish bank shareholders who had left the bank.

According to the racist Nuremberg Laws of 1935, the descendants of Eduard Freiherr von Oppenheim , as baptized Christians of the third generation, were regarded as problem-free descendants of Jews, "second-degree hybrids". After that, they could have lived legally unmolested in the Third Reich. Yet they were continually exposed to anti-Semitic attacks and humiliated. Among other things, they had to give up foundations or transfer them to the state, the collection in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum was no longer allowed to bear the name Oppenheim and was sold, and they could no longer send their children to public schools. In order not to lose the bank, they did not emigrate and stayed in Germany. Alix-May Countess von Faber-Castell , a cousin of Waldemar and Friedrich Carl , was deeply reviled for her luxurious lifestyle by the propaganda magazine Der Stürmer . The family's castle was also painted with the words “The Oppenheim, the Jewish pig, must get out of stone”.

In 1938, Nazi propaganda launched a newspaper campaign that gave the bank the choice of either giving up the Oppenheim name or being expropriated. At the beginning of 1938 the political and business pressure during the Aryanization became so strong that it was decided on May 20, 1938 to change the company to “Bankhaus Pferdmenges & Co.”. In May 1938, the bank informed its customers that "we will continue to run our company, which has existed since 1789, unchanged under the name Bankhaus Pferdmenges & Co". Robert Pferdmenges steered the bank through the turmoil of the Second World War . Waldemar and Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim remained co-owners and formally co-managing directors. But they no longer appeared on the outside.

In 1942 the Oppenheim family had to cede their Schlenderhan stud to the SS . After the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944 , both Oppenheim brothers were arrested. The brothers were accused, among other things, by the Cologne Gestapo of " having made false statements about their Jewish descent". Waldemar was released by chance and was able to hide underground in Cologne. Friedrich Carl was charged before the People's Court for undermining military strength. At the same time it became known that he had helped Jews to emigrate from the Netherlands. Friedrich Carl was sentenced to death but liberated after the occupation of Germany by the Allies.

post war period

The business opening after the war took place on March 16, 1945, and since June 30, 1947 the bank has been trading as “Bankhaus Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. ”In 1948, it was the first West German bank to receive approval as a foreign trade bank. After the East German Auto Union factories had been dismantled, the opportunity arose in West Germany in January 1948 to recreate their DKW brand . With Oppenheim's participation, AUTO UNION GmbH was founded on September 3, 1949 (Oppenheim stake 5.7%, Maxhütte and Ernst Göhner each 41%), the reconstruction of which was primarily financed by Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim . When the managing partner Waldemar Freiherr von Oppenheim died in December 1952, his widow Gabrielle took his place as a temporary solution.

In August 1954 all limited partnerships were held by 10 shareholders around Countess Emmy Arco-Valley (née Freiin von Oppenheim), Victoria von Frankenberg-Ludwigsdorf (née Freiin von Oppenheim), Dr. Stanislaus Graf Strachwitz, Karin Baroness von Ullmann , Ingrid Freiin von Oppenheim, Friedrich Carl Freiherr von Oppenheim , Wolf Graf von Bredow , Clemens Carl Freiherr von Wrede , as well as the descendants of Robert Pferdmenges , Heinz Pferdmenges and Ilse Bscher.

Georg Baron von Ullmann, who married Karin Freiin von Oppenheim in 1953 , became a new partner after 1954. Victoria von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf died in the same year and bequeathed her shares to daughter Alix-May Countess von Faber-Castell (born von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf). In the 1960s, Oppenheim retained its industrial finance and equity investment policy. The bank acquired a stake in "Glas- und Spiegel-Manufaktur A.-G." (Gelsenkirchen), the majority of which belonged to "Glaceries de Saint-Roch SA" (Brussels), in which Oppenheim also held a 25% stake.

In 1964 Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim became a partner; he was the founder's great, great-great-grandson . In 1968 Sal. Oppenheim took over the Heinrich Kirchholtes & Co. banking house in Frankfurt am Main . Further expansion took place through subsidiaries in Zurich , Munich , Paris and London . In 1971, Oppenheim took over Hypothekenbank Rheinboden into his group, from 1992 onwards the majority of the shares were held by Oppenheim, and in 2001 the bank separated from Rheinboden in favor of its merger to form Corealcredit Bank . In April 1978 Oppenheim sold the shares in Basalt AG, and in July 1989 the majority stake in the Colonia Group for DM 3 billion to the French "Compagnie Financière du Groupe Victoire" and thereby increased the bank's equity from DM 180 million to DM 1 billion Increase DM. Victoire in turn founded the Dutch holding company "Colonia Victoire BV", in which Sal. Oppenheim acquired a 22% stake. The stake in the loss-making Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschifffahrt was sold to WestLB AG in December 1993 . The bank's business volume in December 1981 totaled DM 3.581 billion.

Realignment since 1986

Matthias Graf von Krockow became a personally liable partner in January 1986 . In the course of German reunification , the bank positioned itself as an advisor to the state on privatizations . In January 1992, the former President of the Bundesbank, Karl Otto Pöhl, joined as a partner, and from 1993 he also acted as the partner's spokesman.

After the gradual dismantling of industrial financing, private banking moved more into the foreground. Furthermore, from 1991 the cooperation with Josef Esch developed into a business focus . This not only resulted in conflicts of interest , but also increased errors in banking operations. The Oppenheim-Esch Holding GbR was founded in 1992 as a joint venture between Josef Esch and Sal. Oppenheim (50% each). The holding acted as the managing holding of closed real estate funds. After it was founded, 72 closed-end real estate funds with a value of EUR 4.5 billion were successively launched. Esch regularly proceeded with the same structure. The real estate funds were given the legal form of a KG or GbR, with the capital investors acting as tax-privileged limited partners and the holding as general partner . The properties were either still being built or already existed. Oppenheim often took on the pre-financing of the funds. The total costs included so-called "soft costs" ("soft costs" for planning, sales or tenant search), which in some cases made up up to 40% of the total costs. The properties were then rented to well-known anchor tenants for periods of 10 to 30 years , and the existing rental risks were partially secured by excessive rent guarantees from public institutions such as the Stadtsparkasse Köln ( Coloneum ) or the City of Cologne ( Kölnmesse ). Sal. Oppenheim acquired the wealthy limited partners from its own group of customers and lent the limited partners' shares up to a lending limit of 60% of the loan value . The limited partners included Hubertus Benteler , Alfred Neven Dumont , Heinz-Horst Deichmann , Oetker , Wilhelm Wehrhahn and Henry Maske , either once or on a regular basis . Thomas Middelhoff , who became a member of the Arcandor Board of Management in May 2005 , got into a conflict of interest due to his limited partner participation of 107 million euros. Between 2000 and 2008, the holding company reportedly paid 80 million euros in profit to Oppenheim every year. The connections between the bank and Esch had now reached unacceptable proportions, because Esch had an office in the bank and took part in the shareholders' meetings without being a partner.

In the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in September 1998 DaimlerChrysler AG, the shares of both companies were first in the special purpose vehicle SPV transferred "Oppenheim AG" because the bank was one of the largest mergers and acquisitions involving significant transactions . On November 17, 1998, the full page of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung read: “Dear DaimlerChrysler. Good luck and success in the future. Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. “In the same year Graf von Krockow became spokesman for the personally liable partners. In 2000, Christopher von Oppenheim , Alfred's son , became a partner.

Acquisitions and restructuring

In February 2004 the bank acquired a 25.1% stake in IVG Immobilien AG in Bonn . In December 2004 the strategically important takeover of the much larger BHF-Bank was made for 600 million euros. The acquisition made Oppenheim the largest private bank in Europe with a consolidated balance sheet total of 32 billion euros and 3,160 employees. With funds of over 100 billion euros, securities holdings of over 180 billion euros and equity of more than 1.7 billion euros, Oppenheim was even ahead of the Swiss Pictet Group . Long-time bank boss Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim died in January 2005, and Georg von Ullmann became chairman of the supervisory board in the same year . At the end of 2006, the bank had 3,490 employees in 27 branches and managed assets of 149 billion euros. In March 2007, Sal. Oppenheim announced that it would relocate its headquarters from Cologne to Luxembourg "to make the planned expansion to Europe easier". The move was completed on July 1, 2007.

Oppenheim-Esch crisis

In 2005, the Esch funds generated half of the bank's profit. The highly profitable businesses enjoyed great popularity with investors and bank customers. However, the public saw numerous projects critically at an early stage. The suspicion arose that with the help of the Esch Fund the public sector was harmed.

In September 2008 Oppenheim took over the majority (28.6%) in Arcandor from Madeleine Schickedanz , the heiress of the Quelle Group . This purchase and the capital increase cost the bank 154 million euros. Schickedanz bought further shares from free float in 2008 and financed this with an Oppenheim loan of 215 million euros against pledging of their shares. The subsequent decline in the share price forced Schickedanz to encumber 14 villas belonging to her, including her parents' house, in favor of Oppenheim. The fall in the Arcandor share price also hit Oppenheim hard as the majority shareholder. In order to absorb the collateral collateral of the bank loans to Schickedanz, the general partners of Oppenheim took on guarantees totaling 680 million euros. The 2009 financial year brought the bank a loss of 1.065 billion euros due to " write- downs on loan commitments , real estate and investments".

Esch made the bank Madeleine Schickedanz's largest creditor . She needed more funds to keep the business going. Esch recommended the former Bertelsmann manager Thomas Middelhoff to Schickedanz as CEO of KarstadtQuelle. At the same time he used his access to KarstadtQuelle (later Arcandor ) to transfer five (later one sold) Karstadt stores to the funds set up for this purpose; Middelhoff and Schickedanz invested in this. The high rents in the department stores put a strain on the Arcandor group balance sheet. In June 2009 Arcandor filed for bankruptcy , which resulted in total losses of an estimated 700 million euros at Oppenheim. The impending insolvency of the third oldest German private bank (after Berenberg Bank and Bankhaus Metzler ) could only be prevented by selling it to Deutsche Bank .

Criminal and civil proceedings
Since March 2010, the Cologne Public Prosecutor's Office has been investigating former members of the management team for breach of trust and aiding and abetting. Extensive raids followed in April and August 2010 . In February 2012, the Cologne public prosecutor's office brought charges against the bank's former personally liable partners - Matthias Graf von Krockow, Dieter Pfundt, Christopher Freiherr von Oppenheim , Friedrich Carl Janssen - and Josef Esch for embezzlement in a particularly serious case.

Sal. Oppenheim's collaboration with Esch triggered a wave of lawsuits that began with the opening of criminal proceedings in November 2012 before the Cologne Regional Court . The process started on February 27, 2013. It concerns two controversial deals with office properties in Cologne and Frankfurt am Main , through which Sal. Oppenheim is said to have been damaged by a total of around 134 million euros. At more than eight million euros, the prosecution puts the damage that the bank is said to have sustained as a result of excessive investments in a villa in Cologne that is rented too cheaply. At the end of April 2013, another pending criminal case was merged with the former. The trial is considered to be one of the largest German economic criminal trials of the post-war period.

Well-known investors such as Madeleine Schickedanz , Heinz-Horst Deichmann , Wilhelm von Finck junior and Alfred Neven DuMont are suing for damages in at least 15 civil proceedings . In addition, two further lawsuits by former Deutsche Bank managers led to further proceedings. In one of these proceedings, the Frankfurt Regional Court approved the aggrieved investor to be repaid by the bank in the amount of 2.1 million euros for fund units purchased.

The allegation of aid against Esch for breach of trust was discontinued on March 25, 2015 according to § 153a StPO by the regional court in return for a payment of 6 million euros (of which 3 million to the state treasury, 2 million to Sal. Oppenheim and 1 million to non-profit organizations). On July 9, 2015, the Cologne Regional Court imposed prison sentences on Janssen (2 years and 10 months), von Krockow and Pfund (2 years) and Christopher von Oppenheim (1 year and 11 months) for serious joint infidelity. Esch was first convicted by the regional court of negligent unauthorized conduct of banking business , but this guilty verdict was tightened by the Federal Supreme Court in July 2018 following the appeal by the public prosecutor's office to deliberate conduct of banking business; the penalty of 90 daily rates of 5,500 euros each, a total of 495,000 euros, remained unchanged.

Takeover by Deutsche Bank

On October 28, 2009, Deutsche Bank announced the takeover of the entire group for a purchase price of EUR 1 billion. The management at Sal. Oppenheim has been completely changed. After 220 years, Sal. Oppenheim's history as a family-run private bank ended. The Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. With CAM Private Equity and VCM Capital Management, SCA founded the private equity division Sal. Oppenheim Private Equity Partners SA (SOPEP) on January 1, 2009 . Deutsche Bank also took over this company and incorporated it into the newly established DB Private Equity unit.

Since the takeover by Deutsche Bank in 2009, Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. Luxembourg SA a wholly owned subsidiary of Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. AG & Co. KGaA in Cologne. In 2009 Oppenheim sold its share in Oppenheim-Esch-Holding GbR .

Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. Luxembourg SA and Oppenheim Asset Management Services S.à rl were sold to Hauck & Aufhäuser in 2017 .

On October 27, 2017, Deutsche Bank announced that it would give up Sal. Oppenheim and integrate the remaining customers and parts of the business into Deutsche Bank.

Active business operations in asset management ceased on June 30, 2018. New accounts and custody accounts can no longer be opened.

See also


  • Ingolf Gritschneder and Georg Wellmann: Reports from the WDR series die story
    • 2005: Billion Monopoly - The secret business of Oppenheim-Esch-Holding , editor: Gert Monheim , first broadcast: July 4th, 2005.
    • 2005: Billions Monopoly II - ... the game goes on , editor: Gert Monheim, first broadcast: December 12, 2005.
    • 2008: Billions Monopoly III - New traces in the trade fair scandal / Opaque businesses and losses of millions - Search for clues on the Cologne exhibition grounds, Europe's largest office construction site , first broadcast: June 23, 2008.
    • 2009: Advising and selling - How politicians and investors cashed in at Sparkasse KölnBonn , first broadcast: March 9, 2009.
    • 2010: Karstadt - The big sale - How the department store went bankrupt , editors: Mathias Werth and Jo Angerer, first broadcast: February 24, 2010. ( DWFP 2010)
    • 2011: Nobility destroyed - The remarkable decline of the Oppenheim banking house , editors: Barbara Schmitz and Jo Angerer, first broadcast: November 21, 2011. ( DFP 2011 )
    • 2012: Oppenheim Esch in the sights of the judiciary - The accounting , first broadcast: December 3, 2012.
    • 2015: Everyone against everyone - Middelhoff, Karstadt and the Oppenheim bankruptcy , editors: Ulricke Schweizer and Jo Angerer, first broadcast: January 26, 2015.
    • 2019: The billionaire mason from the Rhine , first broadcast: December 11, 2019.


  • Ingo Köhler: The "Aryanization" of private banks in the Third Reich. Repression, elimination and the question of reparation. (Dissertation 2003) Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53200-4
  • Michael Stürmer , Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue : Wagons and Wagons. Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a bank and a family. 3rd, revised and expanded edition, Piper, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-492-03282-6 .
  • Gabriele Teichmann:  Oppenheim, barons of. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 19, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-428-00200-8 , p. 559 ( digitized version ).
  • Wilhelm Treue: The fate of the Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. and its owners in the Third Reich. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1983, ISBN 3-515-03882-5 .
  • Wilhelm Treue: The Cologne bankers Oppenheim: Simon Oppenheim (1803–1880), Abraham Oppenheim (1804–1878) and Dagobert Oppenheim (1809–1889). In: Cologne entrepreneurs in the 19th and 20th centuries. Aschendorff, Münster 1986, ISBN 3-402-05588-0 , pp. 171-202.

Web links

Commons : Sal. Oppenheim  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Master data of the credit institute at the Deutsche Bundesbank
  4. ^ Communication from Sal. Oppenheim. September 15, 2019, accessed March 3, 2020 .
  5. ( Memento from October 9, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Ulrich Viehöver: The influential. 2006, p. 251 ( ).
  7. Dieter Ziegler: Upper citizens and entrepreneurs: The German business elite in the 20th century. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2000, ISBN 3-525-35682-X , p. 127, fn. 26 ( ).
  8. Michael Stürmer, Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue: Wagen und Wagen: Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a bank and a family. 1989, p. 139.
  9. ^ Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH: Journal for company history. Volume 9, 1964, p. 175.
  10. Location for 231 years - Oppenheim parent company in Cologne's old town sold. In: Kölnische Rundschau . September 25, 2018, accessed October 6, 2018.
  11. Gabriele Oepen-Domschky: Cologne economic citizen of the German Empire. 2003, p. 150.
  12. Frauke Geiken: Freya von Moltke. 2011, p. 15 ( ).
  13. Klaus A. Donaubauer: Private bankers and bank concentration in Germany from the middle of the 19th century to 1932. 1988, p. 41.
  14. Morten Reitmayer: Bankiers im Kaiserreich , 1999, p. 155 ( ).
  15. Massimo Ferrari Zumbini: The Roots of Evil. Founding years of anti-Semitism: From the Bismarckian era to Hitler. Klostermann, 2003, ISBN 3-465-03222-5 , p. 51 ( ).
  16. ^ Kai Drewes: Jewish nobility. The ennoblement of Jews in Europe in the 19th century. Campus, 2013, ISBN 3-593-39775-7 , p. 208 ( ).
  17. ^ Morten Reitmayer: Bankers in the Empire. 1999, p. 86.
  18. ^ Carsten Burhop: The credit banks in the early days. 2004, p. 210 ( ).
  19. ^ Carsten Burhop: The credit banks in the early days. 2004, p. 18.
  20. Morten Reitmayer: Bankiers im Kaiserreich , 1999, p. 134, FN 156
  21. Jutta Bohnke-Kollwitz: Cologne and the Rhenish Judaism , 1984, p. 151
  22. Michael Stürmer, Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue: Wagen und Wagen: Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a bank and a family. 1989, p. 340 ff.
  23. Michael Stürmer, Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue: Wagen und Wagen: Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a Bank and a Family , 1989, pp. 347–353
  24. Michael Stürmer, Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue: Wagen und Wagen: Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a bank and a family. 1989, p. 360 ff.
  25. Michael Stürmer, Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue: Wagen und Wagen: Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a bank and a family , 1989, p. 362 f.
  26. Michael Stürmer, Gabriele Teichmann, Wilhelm Treue: Wagen und Wagen: Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. History of a Bank and a Family , 1989, p. 363
  27. ^ Ingo Köhler: The "Aryanization" of the private banks in the Third Reich. Repression, elimination and the question of reparation Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53200-4 , p. 119
  28. ^ Ingo Köhler: The "Aryanization" of the private banks in the Third Reich. Repression, elimination and the question of reparation Beck, Munich 2005, pp. 119 and 105 ff.
  29. ^ Wilhelm Treue: The fate of the Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. and its owners in the Third Reich , Wiesbaden 1983, ISBN 3-515-03882-5 , p. 53
  30. ^ Ingo Köhler: The "Aryanization" of the private banks in the Third Reich. Repression, elimination and the question of reparation Beck, Munich 2005, p. 352
  33. ^ Historical seminar at the University of Cologne: History in Cologne , Volume 10, 1984, p. 171.
  34. Jutta Bohnke-Kollwitz: Cologne and Rhenish Judaism: Festschrift Germania Judaica, 1959–1984 , 1984, p. 155
  35. Manfred Pohl, Sabine Freitag (eds.): Handbook On The History Of European Banks , 1994, p. 454 ( ).
  36. ^ Ingo Köhler: The "Aryanization" of the private banks in the Third Reich. Repression, elimination and the question of reparation Beck, Munich 2005, p. 353
  37. ^ Gabriele Teichmann: The Oppenheim family - a Rhenish banking dynasty Rhenish history of the LVR Retrieved on August 7, 2015
  39. Hans Pohl / Thorsten Beckers: Deutsche Bankiers des 20. Jahrhundert , 2008, p. 297
  40. a b c d e f g Sören Jensen: Sal. Oppenheim. The mason and the bank. In: Manager Magazin . September 2005, from August 26, 2005, p. 32 ( Memento from August 14, 2009 in the Internet Archive ).
  41. ZEIT ONLINE from 3 ,. January 2012: Josef and his greedy millionaires
  42. the investor wants high rent payments, the Arcandor boss is interested in low rent
  43. Winfried Wolf: Fusionsfieber or Das große Fressen: Globalization myth, nation state, economic blocs. 2000, p. 272.
  44. ^ Albrecht F. Schirmacher: The investment strategies of the capital market elite. 2006, p. 13 ( ).
  45. Ingolf Gritschneder, Georg Wellmann, Gert Monheim (editor): Send manuscript: Billion Monopoly. The secret business of Oppenheim-Esch-Holding , WDR Fernsehen , July 4, 2005, 10.30 p.m. (PDF; 19 pages; 101 kB).
  46. Hagen Seidel: Arcandors crash. 2010, p. 235 ( ).
  47. ^ Sönke Iwersen: Quelle-heir Schickedanz in Bedrunge , Handelsblatt , September 29, 2008
  48. Peter Brors / Nicole Bastian : The Oppenheims - the end of a saga In: Handelsblatt . March 26, 2010.
  49. ^ Rooms of former Oppenheim owners searched , of August 31, 2010.
  50. Press release from the Cologne Regional Court on the “Oppenheim-Esch” criminal proceedings, Ref .: 116 KLs 2/12 justiz-online, February 25, 2013.
  51. Karsten Röbisch: Ex-Oppenheimers land in front of the Kadi. In: Financial Times Deutschland (online edition). November 6, 2012, archived from the original on November 9, 2012 ; Retrieved January 27, 2013 .
  52. Press release of the Cologne Regional Court on the merging of the “Oppenheim-Esch” and “ADG / Arcandor” criminal proceedings, Az .: 112 KLs 4/13 justiz-online, April 26, 2013.
  53. ^ Start of the process in the Sal. Oppenheim case: The noble gentlemen from the private bank , Spiegel online February 27, 2013.
  54. ^ Oppenheim-Esch: Plaintiff Pfeil now also relies on Schelling & Partner , April 18, 2013; Failure for Sal. Oppenheim , Kölnische Rundschau, May 3, 2013.
  55. ^ Judgment in the Sal.Oppenheim trial ,, July 9, 2015.
  56. BGH, judgment of July 18, 2018, Az. 2 StR 416/16 ( = WM 2018, 1171).
  57. LTO: Sal. Oppenheim proceedings before BGH concluded . In: Legal Tribune Online . July 18, 2017 ( [1] [accessed July 19, 2018]).
  58. Purchase price: one billion euros. Deutsche Bank takes over Sal. Oppenheim. In: , October 28, 2009.
  59. Hauck & Aufhäuser takes over Sal. Oppenheim's Luxembourg business. In: December 4, 2017, accessed July 3, 2018 .
  60. Daniela Greulich, Manfred Reinnarth: traditional brand Sal Oppenheim. The end of a 228-year history in Cologne. Kölnische Rundschau, October 27, 2017, accessed on March 1, 2018 .
  61. ^ What Deutsche Bank integrates: The last capital of Sal. Oppenheim. In: May 17, 2018, accessed July 3, 2018 .
  62. Sal. Oppenheim will be history from summer. In: April 24, 2018, accessed July 3, 2018 .
  63. About Sal. Oppenheim - Bankhaus Sal. Oppenheim: private bank since 1789. Retrieved on July 3, 2018 .
  64. WRD - editorial team the story: Billion Monopoly - The secret business of Oppenheim-Esch-Holding (PDF).
  65. New tracks in the Cologne exhibition scandal , Finance & Market Reviews, June 23 of 2008.
  66. ^ Judgment of the Cologne Regional Court of October 1, 2008.
  67. Video on YouTube
  68. Karstadt documentation receives German Business Film Award ( Memento from October 11, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), dapd / themed portal, November 16, 2010, accessed on June 28, 2015
  69. Verena Mayer: Exciting and funny stories ( Memento from October 11, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), , November 17, 2010, interview with the jury chairman Stefan Schnorr.
  70. ^ Die story - prizes and awards 2010 ,, accessed on April 1, 2016.
  71. Video on YouTube
  72. Video on YouTube: Part 1 , 2 and 3
  73. The story in the first: The billion-mason from the Rhine , accessed on December 11, 2019

Coordinates: 50 ° 56 ′ 33.5 "  N , 6 ° 57 ′ 12.8"  E