How the Deutsche Girozentrale (DGZ) became one of the largest investment services providers in Germany – the Deka Group.
1918 - 1949 in the Deka chronicle
The year we were founded
Deutsche Girozentrale (DGZ) is founded in Berlin in 1918. It is a legally dependent banking institution of the Deutsche Zentral-Giroverband – and therefore part of the Sparkasse organisation. DGZ has two main tasks: It acts as a financial broker and it promotes cashless payment transactions between the Sparkasse banks and giro centres (Girozentralen).
DGZ becomes a public banking institution
Thanks to its recognition as a public banking institution, DGZ can issue so-called bearer bonds. The names of the owners of these bonds are unknown, making them easy to transfer.
New branch in Frankfurt am Main
DGZ hopes that the stock market city of Frankfurt am Main will give it more opportunities in the market.
Additional function: Central institution for municipalities
DGZ receives a new role. Starting now, it is the central credit financing institution for cities and municipalities. “Deutsche Kommunalbank” (German municipal bank) was therefore added to its name.
DSGV and other responsibilities
The Deutsche Sparkassenverband (German Sparkasse Association) and Deutsche Zentral-Giroverband merge to form the Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV) (German Savings Bank and Clearing Association). After this merger, DGZ focuses on providing financing to cities and municipalities and develops into a central money market trader. It also assumes other responsibilities, such as transaction clearing, currency trading and international payments.
DGZ becomes legally independent
The Third Decree of the President of the German Reich for Securing the Economy and Finances restructures the municipal banking system. DGZ becomes legally independent. In the following year, it receives its own articles of association for the first time. Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV) continues to bear unlimited liability.
Political restrictions on municipal lending
DGZ granted loans to states, cities and municipalities until 1931. Starting in 1931, this was no longer possible due to a ban on municipal loans. After the ban was lifted, from 1939 to 1945 DGZ mainly acted as a liquidity hub for savings banks and processed payment transactions.
DGZ in the Soviet sector
After the Second World War, the Allies divide Berlin into sectors. The DGZ headquarters was in the Soviet-occupied sector. Under a suspension order (Ruhensordnung), banks have to restrict themselves to their previous business. DGZ is forced to discharge more than 90 per cent of its employees. In May 1949, all banking assets in the Eastern Sector of Berlin pass into the “possession of the people” of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). One month later, DGZ is given access to its assets in West Berlin.
New office in West Berlin
DGZ opens a provisional office in West Berlin.
A “transferred financial institution”
By decree, the Finance Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia recognises DGZ as “transferred” in Berlin. Düsseldorf is now the registered office for activities in federal territory. The recognition was granted with the proviso that it would restrict itself to the long-term municipal credit business and its other business would be unwound. DGZ opens a branch in Düsseldorf.
1950 - 1989 in the Deka chronicle
Active in Düsseldorf again
Starting in 1954, DGZ resumes all of its banking business in Düsseldorf. Its primary focus is on liquidity equalisation and cash transactions. Municipal lending is mainly concerned with the federal government and its organisations. Securities are also becoming more important for DGZ's business operations.
Formation of Deka Deutsche Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH
"Deka Deutsche Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH” is established on 17 August 1956 in Düsseldorf. It forms the basis for all of today's investment activities under the Deka Group umbrella. It manages equity, bond and money market mutual funds formed under German law and special funds for institutions.
Deka and DGZ move to Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main established itself as the central location of the German financial system after the Second World War. DGZ and Deka also move to Frankfurt in 1965. DGZ wants to strengthen its profile as a public-sector, profit-oriented commercial bank. Thanks to positive market sentiment and new products, such as the fixed income fund RenditDeka, Deka also strengthens its position at the new location.
New line of business for real estate funds
Interest in open-ended real estate funds is growing in Germany. Deka forms Deutsche Sparkassen-Immobilien-Anlage-Gesellschaft mbH (Despa) together with the regional giro institutions. This new line of business was very successful and operates under the name Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH today.
Start in the European market
DGZ forms Deutsche Girozentrale International S.A. to strengthen its market position in Europe.
DGZ opens its own branch in Luxembourg – bringing it closer to international clients.
Deka International S.A. (DIL) is formed in Luxembourg. It launches and manages mutual funds. It also manages equity funds, bond funds, money market funds and funds of funds established under Luxembourg law.
1990 - 1999 in the Deka chronicle
Movement to the new federal states of Germany
DGZ functions as a central institution for the savings banks in the new federal states and also offers advisory programmes.
Another subsidiary in Luxembourg
The new company DekaBank (Luxembourg) holds fund units in S-LuxDepot securities accounts for private investors. S-DynamikDepot fund-based asset management is also offered.
Investment funds for institutions
Deka Investment Management GmbH is formed for institutional investors in 1993.
Deka in Switzerland and formation of Deka GmbH
Deka(Swiss) Finanz AG is formed in Zurich in the mid-1990s. It specialises in providing investment advisory services and asset management for funds. Deka Deutsche Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH forms the subsidiary Deka (neu) GmbH.
New structure and new names
Deka Deutsche Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH receives its banking licence and changes its name to DekaBank GmbH. The new holding structure with Deka GmbH makes the organisation flexible, thereby making the desired merger of DekaBank GmbH and DGZ possible. Deka (new) GmbH now has the name Deka Deutsche Kapitalanlagegesellschaft mbH and takes over the fund business of DekaBank GmbH.
DGZ and DekaBank GmbH merge to form DGZ/DekaBank Deutsche Kommunalbank on 1 January 1999. This creates a combination of different business divisions that complement each other perfectly.
2000 - 2009 in the Deka chronicle
A new name for a new century: DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale
Names and structures change in 2002. DGZ/DekaBank Deutsche Kommunalbank becomes DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale. Deka Investment Management GmbH and Deka Investment GmbH become the current company “Deka Investment GmbH”, with registered office in Frankfurt am Main.
Interest in WestInvest increased
Starting 1 January 2004, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increases its interest in WestInvest Gesellschaft für Investmentfonds mbH from 40 per cent to 94.9 per cent. It also takes over the WestInvest real estate funds.
DekaBank adds exchange traded funds (ETFs) to its range of products
DekaBank enters the ETF business in January 2008 with the formation of ETFlab Investment GmbH. These are funds that are directly traded on the stock exchange. They are also specially tailored to the needs of Deka's institutional clients.
First environmental report
DekaBank commits to sustainability. The in-house environmental management system is certified in 2009. Deka publishes its first environmental report the same year.
2010 - today in the Deka chronicle
Deka becomes more sustainable
In 2011, Deka signs the Equator Principles, which are based on social and environmental standards. By signing, Deka undertakes to only provide financing for projects that satisfy these standards. Deka also joins the UN Global Compact. Some structural changes also take place. Starting 8 June 2011, the German savings banks become the sole owners of DekaBank.
Transformation on the agenda
At the end of 2012, the D18 transformation programme starts the conversion to a full-service provider for the securities business. Deka also signs the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. This means it will put more stress on environmental, social and corporate governance factors in its future analyses and decisions and justify them to shareholders.
New markets and strong principles
Starting in January 2013, Deka includes investment certificates for savings bank retail clients to the portfolio. The focus is on simple, transparent, standard products. Starting in September, the Deka Group pools its range of products and services for institutional clients under the “Deka Institutionell” brand. This includes institutional asset management, liquidity management, credit management and risk management, as well as services such as master fund management and custodian bank. The Deka Group promotes the transparent, sustainable orientation of the bank by signing the German Sustainability Code on 12 December 2013.
The new “Deka Investments” brand
The Deka Group takes over the client-oriented capital market business of LBB and LBB-INVEST at the turn of the year. The new “Deka Investments” brand also replaces “Deka Investmentfonds” in the retail client area. An expanded range of products emphasises DekaBank's role as the securities services provider for the German Savings Bank Finance Group (Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe).
Deka enters the digital business
Deka forms bevestor GmbH, an online platform for digital asset investments. The Deka subsidiary develops possibilities for digital asset investment and management for private investors. Deka also acquires full ownership of S Broker in the same year. The acquisition increases online securities expertise in the Deka Group. S Broker AG & Co. KG is the central online broker for the German Savings Bank Finance Group.
A special year for Deka
Deka celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018. The commemorative speech was given by President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Another reason to celebrate: Finanzen Verlag names Deka “Investment company of the year” and gives it the “Golden Bull” award.