DAccording to information from financial circles, the Federal Ministry of Finance is planning to send 50-year-old Harald Christ to the supervisory board of Commerzbank, which has been partially nationalized since winter 2008/2009. Unusually, Christ has already served as treasurer for two traffic light parties, SPD and FDP. He is to replace Frank Czichowski after the Annual General Meeting at the end of May. The former treasurer of the state development bank KfW has been one of the two representatives of the federal government on the Commerzbank supervisory board since 2020. The second, Jutta Dönges, on the other hand, will continue to work after the next general meeting, although she resigned as managing director of the federal finance agency in October.
With these personal details, which were confirmed in financial circles on Thursday, the ministry led by Christian Lindner (FDP) is showing its influence on the composition of the supervisory board of the second largest listed German bank for the second time within a few days. It was announced on Saturday that former Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann would take over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board from Helmut Gottschalk after the Annual General Meeting.
The federal government is reluctant to appoint the chairman of the supervisory board from among its own representatives, even though it is the largest shareholder with 15.6 percent. According to FAZ information, Weidmann’s obligation also goes back to Florian Toncar (FDP), the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Christian is seen as down-to-earth
Unlike central banker Weidmann, who holds a doctorate in economics, Harald Christ is seen as down-to-earth. After training as an industrial clerk at the public utility company in his hometown of Worms, Christ worked for the building society BHW, for Deutsche Bank, for the Hamburg capital investment company HCI, for West LB and for Postbank. This is just a few of the stations in his meteoric career, which brought him to the board of the insurer Ergo in 2016. Today, Christ is Chairman of the Ergo Foundation, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the listed Hamburg shipping company Ernst Russ and an independent communications consultant.
His move to the FDP in 2019, after having previously been a member of the SPD for 31 years and appearing in the shadow cabinet of Chancellor candidate Frank-Walter Steinmeier in 2009, is now paying off. Although a member of the Verdi trade union, which is strongly represented at Commerzbank, Christ will have to represent the interests of the federal shareholders on the Commerzbank Supervisory Board.