Annual Report 2016

Dieter Hermes and Walter Syndikus

Making international business simple – pooling expertise for global strategies

Globalization is one of the defining trends of our time and is affecting all areas of life. From an economic perspective, this process means markets are becoming more interconnected and internationalized with a demonstrable impact on business activities.

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Dieter Hermes and Walter Syndikus




Even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are benefiting from new growth prospects generated by international relationships. This is also reflected in Germany’s rising export figures: according to data from the German Federal Statistical Office, goods worth almost €1,207 billion were exported from Germany in 2016. German exports in 2016 were therefore 1.2 percent higher than in 2015.

Importance of global activities is growing

A representative survey of international activity in SMEs carried out on behalf of DZ BANK in autumn 2016 found that 58 percent of SMEs with revenue of €0.5 million to €125 million currently engage in international business. Even if a business is not itself manufacturing outside Germany, it is increasingly importing or exporting goods or services.

58% of SMEs with revenue between €0.5 million and €125 million are currently involved in international business.

DZ BANK uses its expertise and global network to support the international business activities of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken and their SME customers. To this end, it has pooled its capabilities in its ‘competence center for international business’. Cooperative banks and their customers benefit directly from the comprehensive, expert advice and support for international business. “The customers of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken are SMEs with an increasingly international outlook as a result of the growing interconnectivity of global trade. Our aim is to make sure we give these customers appropriate support in their international activities,” says Walter Syndikus, project manager responsible for furthering international business with the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken, describing the motivation behind DZ BANK’s approach.

“Our aim is to make sure we give our customers appropriate support in their international activities.”

Walter Syndikus

International market expertise and a fully functioning network

Companies that plan to expand their business activities abroad need to be well prepared, however. DZ BANK is on hand to help SMEs develop new growth markets. As emphasized by Dieter Hermes, Head of Group, Advisory and Sales International Business West, “Our organization has a comprehensive range of expertise at its disposal, enabling it to provide our SME customers with the best possible support as they expand into relevant target markets around the globe.” The Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken, which number around 1,000, have strong regional ties and in many cases have known their SME customers for years. DZ BANK acts as a subsidiary partner of the cooperative banks, providing the local banks with access to experienced international specialists and a well-structured network of branches and representative offices in key economic centers and growth markets around the world. To offer customers even greater geographical coverage, DZ BANK also maintains links to leading correspondent banks in around 150 countries in addition to its own international network.