Annual Report 2018

Profile of the DZ BANK Group

Partners in the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network

The DZ BANK Group forms part of the German cooperative financial network, which includes around 850 Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken and is one of Germany’s largest private-sector financial services organizations measured in terms of total assets. Within the cooperative financial network, DZ BANK AG functions as the central institution and is responsible for supporting the business of the cooperative banks in their regions and strengthening their competitiveness. It also operates as a corporate bank and acts as the holding company for the DZ BANK Group.

The Group Coordination Committee is the highest-level management and coordination committee in the DZ BANK Group. The objectives of this committee are to boost the competitiveness of the DZ BANK Group and to manage the coordination of fundamental product and sales issues. The committee ensures coordination between the key entities in the DZ BANK Group to achieve consistent management of opportunities and risks, allocate capital, deal with strategic issues, and leverage synergies. The members of the Group coordination committee comprise the Board of Managing Directors of DZ BANK, the General Executive Manager of DZ BANK, and the chief executive officers of Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, DZ HYP, DZ PRIVATBANK, R+V Versicherung, TeamBank, Union Investment, and VR Smart Finanz.

Services offered by the DZ BANK Group for the cooperative banks and their customers

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Network focus and principle of subsidiarity

Strengthening the market position of the cooperative banks is a key factor for the success of the cooperative financial network. The DZ BANK Group supports the pursuit of this objective within the framework of its network-focused corporate strategy based on the principles of subsidiarity, decentralization, and regional market responsibility. It is guided by its overarching mission as a network-oriented central institution and financial services group, within which its activities are shaped by a three-pronged strategy with a systematic focus on growth in accordance with the needs of the cooperative financial network, continuation of the network focus, and integration within the network and with the cooperative banks.

Strong brands – strong partners

Selected brands of the DZ BANK Group

DZ HYP

DZ HYP is a leading provider of real estate finance in Germany, and a centre of competence for Public-Sector Clients within the Cooperative Financial Network. Servicing cooperative banks as an associated provider is a key element of the Bank's sales activities: DZ HYP supports cooperative banks in their regional market coverage, through its broad, decentralised presence and great client proximity it its four business divisions Commercial Real Estate Investors, Housing Sector, Public-Sector Clients and Retail Customers/Private Investors. DZ HYP offers its commercial real estate clients – investors, as well as residential and commercial real estate developers – highly customised financing solutions. The Bank's focus is on the core segments of office, residential and retail properties. DZ HYP is also involved in the specialist segments of hotels, logistics and real estate for social purposes. As a sustainable partner to housing enterprises – cooperatives as well as municipal and church-owned entities – DZ HYP provides tailor-made, long-term financing solutions.

Dedicated contacts maintain close relationships with clients, and with the relevant organisations within each sector. Moreover, as part of the Cooperative Financial Network, DZ HYP acts as a centre of competence to the German cooperative banking sector in its Public-Sector Clients business. It supports local cooperative banks in developing business with districts, cities and municipalities, their legally dependent operations, as well as special municipal administrative unions. DZ HYP also works together closely with cooperative banks in the retail business: The Bank provides initial and follow-up financing, safely and quickly, to joint customers – private developers and investors acquiring properties for their own use, or for investment purposes. DZ HYPmaintains a nationwide presence with two Head Offices (in Hamburg and Münster), plus Regional Centres in the key economic centres as well as additional Regional Offices.


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DZ BANK AG

DZ BANK is the second-largest commercial bank in Germany and the central institution in the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network. It is the central institution for all cooperative banks in Germany, which number around 850 and between them hold the majority of its shares. Under the tagline ‘DZ BANK. Die Initiativbank’, it supports the business of the independent cooperative banks in their regions with the aim of strengthening their competitiveness. The combination of local customer knowledge and central product expertise has proved to be highly effective.

DZ BANK’s range of products and services extends from classic and innovative products, structuring, and issues, to trading and sales in the equity and bond markets. DZ BANK also acts as a corporate bank for businesses and institutions. It maintains branches and representative offices in key economic regions around the globe, helping businesses to further their international activities.

DZ BANK also acts as a holding company for the entities in the DZ BANK Group, each of which has its own strong brand and constitutes a key pillar in the range of financial products and services offered by the cooperative financial network.

DZ BANK aims to offer high quality not only for its customers, but also for its employees. With this in mind, it regularly arranges for its services as an employer to be reviewed by third parties. For example, for ten years in succession, the bank has been singled out as one of Germany’s top 100 employers by the Top Employers Institute. Since 2007, it has also regularly received the auditberufundfamilie® certificate for its life-stage-oriented HR policies. The certificate has to be renewed every three years. Likewise, DZ BANK’s appeal as an employer of choice for university graduates has been confirmed for a number of years by its ranking in the Universum Top 100 Employers and in the trendence Absolventenbarometer graduates survey.


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TeamBank AG

TeamBank AG with its easyCredit product family is the liquidity management specialist in the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network. It provides integrated, innovative products and services that give customers easy access to liquidity wherever they are and whenever they want. The key elements of the ecosystem are the customer-friendly finance service ‘easyCredit-Finanzreserve’, the seamless cross-media payment process ‘ratenkauf by easyCredit’, and an online credit agreement service. TeamBank has also introduced a fully digitalized and integrated contract process for the easyCredit product, meaning customers can sign up whether they are at home using a computer or on the go using a smartphone.

Once again, easyCredit won the Fairness in Consumer Finance seal of approval. This certificate was awarded by DQS GmbH following a specific audit.


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DZ PRIVATBANK

DZ PRIVATBANK is a cooperative private bank, specializing in customised solutions for high-net-worth individuals. As centre of competence for private banking, fund services, and lending in all currencies it is focused on the German-speaking market and the close cooperation with the cooperative financial network. DZ PRIVATBANK operates from ten locations in Germany – Hamburg, Hanover, Oldenburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Munich – and has offices at the international financial centres of Luxembourg (headquarter) and Zurich. Based on assets under management of more than €17 billion it belongs to the largest private banking providers in Germany.

The range of services extends from structuring and managing of assets, pension planning and advice on charitable foundations to the issuing of funds and financing. The option of diversify assets across accounts in Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland as well as the provision of specialized products in each country are further pillars in a comprehensive portfolio of services for wealthy private customers, business and institutional clients. The combination of local, national and international wealth management expertise with cooperative values such as partnership, stability and security makes its business model unique. As they say at DZ PRIVATBANK: "Weil nicht nur zählt, was zählbar ist" – “Because it's not only what can be counted that counts”.


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R+V Versicherung

R+V Versicherung is one of the leading insurance companies in Germany and has been on a growth trajectory for many years now. It is the second-largest insurer in both the life and non-life sectors. Based in Wiesbaden, R+V enjoys the trust of more than eight million customers, who have insured over 24 million risks.

It forms part of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network and offers innovative, tailored insurance solutions. The product range encompasses all established types of insurance. For retail customers, R+V offers bespoke insurance and pension solutions. In its corporate business, R+V is traditionally closely associated with SMEs operating in industry, commerce, skilled trades, agriculture, and other areas of small and medium-sized business activity, and develops specific risk mitigation strategies for these businesses. R+V also takes on inward reinsurance business around the globe.

R+V’s significant financial strength has been constantly reaffirmed by leading rating agencies. For instance, S&P Global Ratings (formerly Standard & Poor’s) has repeatedly issued R+V Versicherung AG with a rating of AA– with a stable outlook, while Fitch Ratings has given R+V Lebensversicherung AG an AA rating. R+V has received a Top German Employer award and holds the Fair Company seal of approval. It also regularly occupies some of the top spots in numerous product ratings. For example, R+V Lebensversicherung AG achieved five stars in the Finsinger rating published in WirtschaftsWoche magazine. In the agricultural insurance business, R+V has been ranked number one for many years in the image barometer of the Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft (DLG) [German Agricultural Society].

R+V is also committed to sustainability and has an environmental management system certified by TÜV Rheinland.


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Schwäbisch Hall

Schwäbisch Hall is Germany's largest institution to offer contractual savings for housing plans, with around 7.2 million customers. It is also one of the leading home finance providers. Since its establishment in 1931, Schwäbisch Hall has been firmly anchored in the cooperative financial network. The shared cooperative values – respect, solidarity, responsibility, and partnership – are expressed in Schwäbisch Hall's mission statement 'Creating and maintaining a home together'. The institution’s over 3,300 field staff and around 3,000 inhouse employees provide customers with expert advice and support. Schwäbisch Hall also operates outside Germany. Its investee companies in eastern Europe and China have over three million customers between them.

A commitment to employees and society is part of Schwäbisch Hall's corporate identity. The institution regularly wins awards for its systematic professional development of trainees, specialists, and managers, for its family-friendly corporate culture, and for its health management activities. Since 2013, Schwäbisch Hall has held 'audit berufundfamilie' certification, an initiative of the non-profit-making Hertie Foundation that recognizes companies with family-friendly HR policies. The company has been highly placed in the Top German Employer competition for many years. In 2018, Schwäbisch Hallwas again ranked one of the top 5 employers among all financial institutions in Germany.


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Union Investment Group

The Union Investment Group is the fund management specialist within the cooperative financial network and has been developing investment solutions for retail and institutional investors for more than 60 years. Over 3,100 employees manage assets amounting to some €323.4 billion. In total, more than 4.5 million customers entrust Union Investment with their money.

Union Investment works closely with its partners in the local cooperative banks to provide retail investors with investment solutions that are tailored to their individual circumstances. Multi-asset solutions, open-ended real estate funds, and fund-based saving in regular installments are especially popular products. Despite the turmoil in the stock markets, the total sum invested in 2018 by retail investors came to €7.5 billion. The volume of assets under management for retail investors amounted to €135.7 billion.

As an experienced risk manager, Union Investment provides domestic and international institutional investors with asset management concepts and sustainable investment solutions. In Germany, it is the second-largest partner to institutional investors such as corporations, banks, insurers, pension funds, and charitable foundations, for which it manages some €187.7 billion.

Union Investment has won a number of awards that bear testimony to the high quality of its services. It has a particularly strong track record in respect of the Capital Fund Compass: Union Investment is the only fund management company to have received the highest rating 17 times in succession. Furthermore, it again won a Top Employer award.


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VR Smart Finanz

In the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network, VR Smart Finanz is the subsidiary partner for simple solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. It thus specializes in the provision of quick and convenient financing solutions tailored to regional SMEs and the cooperative banks’ small-business and self-employed customers. The product range encompasses leasing, hire purchase, and loans. VR Smart Finanz also offers digital services that help business customers to manage their day-to-day finances.

Its strengths lie in reliable, digitally supported financing decisions made within just a few minutes. For example, ‘VR Smart flexibel’ is a business lending product that provides instant financing up to a sum of €60,000 and can be arranged entirely online on selected Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken websites. ‘VR Smart express’ is a hire purchase solution offering financing up to €250,000, with a decision still being made during a meeting with the customer.

VR Smart Finanz sees itself as a sustainable company that lives up to its responsibilities toward employees and the environment. As a brand of VR-LEASING Aktiengesellschaft, making it part of the DZ BANK Group, it has committed itself to the sustainable development goals of the UN Global Compact and to a groupwide climate strategy. The company has received the audit “berufundfamilie” certificate and has been awarded “ECOPROFIT” certification from the City of Frankfurt.


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The DZ BANK Group includes Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall, DZ HYP, DZ PRIVATBANK, R+V Versicherung, TeamBank, the Union Investment Group, the VR Smart Finanz, and various other specialized institutions. With their strong brands, the entities in the DZ BANK Group constitute key pillars in the range of financial products and services offered by the cooperative financial network. The DZ BANK Group delivers its strategy and range of services for the cooperative banks and their customers through its four business lines – Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Capital Markets, and Transaction Banking.

This combination of banking, insurance, home savings, and personal investment products and services has a long and successful tradition in the cooperative financial network. The specialized institutions in the DZ BANK Group provide highly competitive products at reasonable prices within their specific areas of expertise. This ensures that the cooperative banks in Germany are able to offer their clients a comprehensive range of outstanding financial services.