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Friedrich von Metzler was honoured with the German Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award

Berlin, 21 June 2017 – Yesterday in Berlin Friedrich von Metzler was honoured with the German Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr von Metzler has transformed the privately-held Metzler Bank, founded in 1674, into one of the leading names in asset management and capital market services.

While his peers were immersing themselves in adventure stories, Friedrich von Metzler was scouring the business section of the newspaper; while they were playing football, he was peering over the shoulders of employees in the family's bank. “Even when I was at school I looked forward to working in the bank” recalls the 73-year-old. Then as now, business wasn't just about numbers for Friedrich von Metzler, but a veritable myriad of entrepreneurial strategies. After graduating from school he learned the tricks of the stock market trade at the traditional financial centres New York, London and Paris, “a wonderful time”. In 1969 at the age of twenty six he joined the family bank, becoming a personally liable shareholder in 1971. Like his father, the son also concentrated on the traditional core business of a private bank: capital market transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate and private asset management. However the family has deliberately left the handling of other business segments like credit and savings to other institutions. “This requires size and an extensive branch network – not appropriate for a private bank. My predecessors had the foresight and tenacity to hold out till our specific expertise on financial investments was once again in demand following the economic miracle of the 1950s.”

In the 1970s the capital markets in Germany rapidly grew in importance. “We were able to grow with the market.” Friedrich von Metzler is fascinated by long-term strategies that allow success in turbulent times. He aims for long-term growth, not short-term speculation. The 350-year history of the bank means this far-sighted strategic thinking is in his entrepreneurial DNA. What's more: “We are absolutely independent and solely committed to the interests of our clients.” This is how in the 11th generation Friedrich von Metzler transformed the bank into one of the leading names in asset management and capital market services. Still today he is fully engaged in customer interactions and strategic decision-making. But the next generation stands at the ready: daughter Elena (29) works in private asset management at the bank and son Franz (31) in capital markets.

Like his father before him, Friedrich von Metzler was president of the what used to be relatively unimportant Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In 1992 the time was ripe for an idea also shared by his father: in the newly established Deutsche Börse AG he brought together – in an unprecedented step – the hitherto separate individual exchanges, safe custody services and clearing and settlement as well as IT services into one entity. Having the entire value chain under one roof was key to the rise that now sees Frankfurt as one of largest international financial centres.

Friedrich von Metzler continues the social commitment initiatives practised by his family for generations. “Because Metzler is such a successful bank we are able to support lots of things.” Under the direction of wife Sylvia (61) the Metzler Foundation focusses on children and young people, and the family is also unambiguous in its commitment to culture and the arts. “Friedrich von Metzler is a shining example of how to successfully advance family wealth and embrace social corporate responsibility”, reasoned the German Entrepreneur Award's distinguished panel when acknowledging Friedrich von Metzler with the Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. “The economy can only thrive when there are new entrepreneurs”, says the banker. “Which is why the German Entrepreneur Awards are so important.”

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About the German Entrepreneur Award:
The German Entrepreneur Award is the country's most prestigious acknowledgement of entrepreneurial excellence and achievement. It aims to foster a positive entrepreneurial environment in Germany and encourage people to go into business. The award is conferred annually in the following categories: Student, StartUp, Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. There is also a Special Award for exceptional business success. The German Entrepreneur Award is presented by the partners Stern magazine, Sparkassen, ZDF and Porsche, who have been actively fostering a culture of entrepreneurship since 1997. The German Entrepreneur Award is supported by a stellar advisory committee that is tasked with mentoring the nominees and award winners. The German Entrepreneur Award is sponsored by Bertelsmann SE, Gruner + Jahr GmbH & Co. KG, Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

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