Bernhard Scholz, the member of pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank’s management board with responsibility for real estate finance and public sector finance, will leave the German bank when his current contract ends in April 2017.
In its Q1 2016 update this morning (12 May), pbb said that Scholz’s departure is at his own request and that he will join a real estate consultancy in Munich as a partner, focussing his attention on other areas outside banking.
Thomas Köntgen, co-chief executive officer of the bank, has taken over the real estate lending division, effective today. Köntgen will also remain responsible for treasury for the time being, although the bank’s supervisory board has begun looking for a new board member for treasury.
During his remaining time at pbb, Scholz will focus on public investment finance origination, the expansion of syndication and placements, and the setting up of the US business, as well as additional strategic initiatives regarding the bank’s lending business.
Scholz joined pbb in January 2010, prior to which he was on the management board at Hypo Real Estate.
As part of its review of the management board, Andreas Arndt and Köntgen were reappointed as members of the board for a further five years. Arndt will remain chief financial officer and has also been made chief executive officer. Köntgen has been made deputy chief executive officer.
On its Q1 2016 performance, pbb said that it wrote €2.7 billion of new commercial real estate loans during the first quarter of 2016. The total included extensions beyond one year and formed the vast majority of total new business volumes of €2.9 billion, up slightly from €2.8 billion in Q1 2015.
Half of new real estate finance business was done in Germany, followed by 23 percent in the UK, 10 percent in Central and Eastern Europe and 7 percent in France. The average loan-to-value ratio was 63 percent, stable compared to 2015.
The bank made pre-tax profit of €45 million during the quarter. Profit was down from €51 million during the same quarter last year, although pbb said that it was within the scope of expectations for the current year.
In terms of funding, pbb issued two long-term pfandbrief issues and one unsecured bond during the quarter. In total, pbb raised €2.3 billion of long-term funding through public offerings and private placements, an increase from €1.4 billion in Q1 2015. Pfandbriefe accounted for €1.3 billion of new issuance.
“The bank has made a solid start into the year, within our expectations. Having said that, we anticipate persistently increasing competitive pressures and very demanding credit markets. Independent from our day-to-day business, we are preparing ourselves for stricter regulatory requirements – especially in terms of the risk weightings of our assets,” said Arndt.
On the departure of Scholz, chairman of the supervisory board Günther Bräunig, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bernhard Scholz for his commitment to the company. As the longest serving board member at pbb, he has earned a great deal of credit through the restructuring and realignment of pbb as well as with its positioning on the market. We regret his decision but respect his wish not to consider a reappointment. A seamless transition is ensured by the transfer of the area of commercial real estate finance to Thomas Köntgen.”