On behalf of the customer

Long-term sustainability instead of short-term profit targets and ongoing relationship management instead of perfunctory tactics. Bankhaus Metzler is the oldest German private bank in continuous family ownership. Independence is paramount – and also has been an essential success factor through the centuries. The customer relationships of this traditional company are also designed to be long-term. Metzler will maintain these relations in future with BSI CRM. 

What you inherit from your father must first be earned before it is yours.” These words from Goethe’s “Faust” are actually put into practice by the von Metzler family. Bankhaus Metzler has been solely owned by its founding family for eleven generations. The capital has been held by the von Metzler family since 1674 – assuring the independence of the private bank. For Metzler, this central value means to act solely in the interest of the customer and orient business with a view towards long-term sustainability – there are no externally held shareholders who could potentially place the priority on short-term profit goals.

“Tradition and innovation must go hand in hand.”

Friedrich von Metzler, personally liable shareholder

For Metzler, independence also means freedom – when it comes to forming an opinion, when conducting analyses, when designing services and with customer service. Furthermore, independence creates staying power, if you are convinced of the long-term success of a business idea. No quarterly reports demand rapid success stories and new concepts have time to prove themselves.

“My son, enjoy doing business during the day, but only the kind of business that allows us to sleep peacefully at night,” is a quote from the book “Buddenbrooks” by Thomas Mann, which became a motto for Friedrich von Metzler. The banker and patron of the arts joined the company’s management board in 1971. And with success: The bank profits year after year and steers clear of risky real estate deals. In this way, it steadily earns profits, has withstood wars, occupations and currency reforms in the course of its 340-year history and has constantly remained independent.

“Sustainable innovations arise when you listen to customers.”

Friedrich von Metzler, personally liable shareholder 

The strengths of a family-owned company

One of the major strengths lies in the clear structure of a family company the size of Bankhaus Metzler, which employs around 700 people. Flat hierarchies favor a climate in which talking with one another is more important than delegating from above. Such a climate promotes the productive potential of each individual employee and that, in turn, immediately benefits the company, because business success is designed by the people who work here.

Operational duties are undertaken by small, autonomous groups. The advantage lies in the direct customer contact and the management size of the departments. The customer has fixed, reliable contact partners who look after his concerns intensively as specialists. And in return, the high degree of flexibility enables the company to quickly react to customer requests and to develop appropriate concepts to meet all their needs through extensive market expertise.

Tradition and innovation – a contradiction?

Tradition and innovation must go hand in hand for Metzler, “otherwise even the longest tradition will one day come to an end. Sustainable innovations arise when you listen to customers. What are his or her needs? Which products make sense for them in the respective market environment? This leads to ideas that give our employees a profile and which offer the customer added value,” accord-ing to the philosophy of Friedrich von Metzler.

Employee satisfaction is extraordinarily high. The long-term business strategy, looking ahead to the day after tomorrow, also benefits the employees, because a healthy, stable company is attractive to them. A consensus about the company’s values and, above all else, its independence, fosters a sense of belonging.

In addition to the banking business, the commitment to science, art, education, and social issues have a long tradition in the Metzler family. The Metzler Foundation focuses on projects for children and youth with an emphasis on the promotion of language. While doing so, the foundation places great importance on looking after each project personally, whether through a foundation representative or a bank employee.

Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt
Independent for centuries: Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt.

Bankhaus Metzler decided to replace the separate solutions operated by the individual departments with a new, central CRM system. The primary focus is on the holistic view of the customer with contact and activities management along with campaign management. The Unicode capability and multilingualism of the system were especially important when it came to deploying a new system

“A trusting, partnership-oriented working relationship has arisen with BSI.”

Thorsten Heinen, Head of IT at Bankhaus Metzler

After subjecting it to close scrutiny, Bankhaus Metzler chose to work together with BSI: “In numerous calls to BSI reference customers, they spoke of their entirely positive experiences both with the CRM software itself as well as the collaboration with the people representing BSI. The BSI CRM software was also well matched to our strategic orientation in IT. And last, but not least, we were convinced by BSI’s corporate philosophy: “As owner-operated companies, both BSI and Metzler stand for continuity. Customer satisfaction and the thus result-ing long-term customer relationships are very important for both companies,” stated Thorsten Heinen, Head of IT at Metzler.

The data for the respective departments has, up till now, been stored in a decentralized manner. This meant a lot of work and high costs for administra-tion and development. “We will work with BSI CRM in the future, which ideally meets the requirements and processes of the departments. The solution is extensively a standard application for which only a few Metzler-specific adaptations will be made,” according to Thorsten Heinen.

All employees at the private bank, who are involved in some way with customer-oriented processes, will work with BSI CRM in the future. “We will successively introduce the CRM software one department after another over the next two and a half years,” explained Thorsten Heinen.

CARISMAtic customer relationship management

Since the term CRM was already in use for another purpose at Metzler, the team decided to use CARISMA for the project and system name. CARISMA stands for Customer Acquisition and Relationship Management. The go-live of the first release at the end of August was the first important milestone. “We are really looking forward to seeing how the software proves itself in daily use and what findings and requirements we will still be confronted with,” stated Thorsten Heinen. He is confident: “We have come to know our colleagues at BSI to be extremely reliable. They are very committed and adapt to meet our needs. A trusting, partnership-oriented working relationship has arisen.”

Portraitbild von Thorsten Heinen im Breitformat

Thorsten Heinen, Head of IT at Bankhaus Metzler, chose BSI due to its thoroughly positive customer references and its similar corporate philosophy – and because the CRM software matched the private bank’s strategic orientation.