The Management Board
The Management Board is responsible for managing the company. In doing so, it is obliged to act in the best interest of the company and undertakes to increase its sustainable enterprise value. The Management Board ensures that all provisions of law are complied with, and endeavours to achieve their compliance throughout Group companies.
The Management Board develops company strategy, coordinates it with the Supervisory
Board, and ensures its implementation. It ensures appropriate and sustainable risk management and risk controlling throughout the company. The Management Board cooperates on the basis of trust with Aareal Bank AG's other executive bodies, and with employee representatives.
Hermann J. Merkens has been Member of the Management Board since 2003 and has been appointed as Chairman of the Management Board in September 2015. He is responsible for the strategic development as well as the Investor Relations, HR, Legal, Audit and Corporate Communications divisions, among others.
Hermann J. Merkens holds positions in various associations and institutions such as the Association of German Banks as Member of the Management Board and member of the Committee for "Banks directly supervised by the ECB".
Already in 1999, he joined Aareal Bank AG (back then DePfa Bank AG) as Head of Division Commercial Property Financing Germany, and was appointed Deputy Member of the Management Board in 2001. He became Deputy Chairman of the Management Board in 2014. Before, Hermann J Merkens was Director with general authority at Deutsche Interhotel Holding GmbH & Co. KG. His professional career started in 1985 at Deutsche Bank Group.
He was born in 1966 in Aachen, Germany, and graduated from Berlin School of Economics with a degree in business administration.
Marc Hess has been a Member of the Management Board of Aareal Bank AG since 1 October 2018. He is Chief Financial Officer and responsible for Finance and Treasury.
Prior to this, Marc Hess was Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Postbank AG from 2007 to 2018. He also held positions at Deutsche Post AG and Deutsche Bank AG. He started his professional career at HVB Group in 2000.
He holds positions in various positions, among others as member of the Management Board of the Association of German Pfandbrief Banks.
Marc Hess was born in 1973 in Coburg, Germany, and graduated from the University of Bayreuth with a degree in business administration.
Dagmar Knopek has been a Member of the Management Board of Aareal Bank AG since 2013. As Chief Lending Officer she is responsible for Credit Management (CM) (encompassing loan administration and management), Operations (OPS), and the Workout (WO) portfolio.
Dagmar Knopek started working for DePfa Bank AG - Aareal Bank AG's predecessor, as Head of Desk Great Britain in 1999. In 2004, she started heading the Credit Management division for international property financings, before going to New York in 2008 as Chief Credit Officer at Aareal Capital Corporation. From 2010 onwards, she was Head of the CM Division for accompanying the Bank's activities in Europe, the USA and Asia. From 2013 to 2016 Ms Knopek held responsibility for the markets in the Structured Property Financing segment as a Member of the Management Board at Aareal Bank AG. Her professional career started in 1980 at Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechsel-Bank AG.
Dagmar Knopek is banking clerk and was born in Herford in 1958.
Christiane Kunisch-Wolff has been a member of the Management Board of Aareal Bank AG since 15 March 2016. As Chief Risk Officer, she is responsible for Risk Controlling, as well as for Regulatory Affairs, Compliance and Information Security and Data Protection.
Prior to her arrival at Aareal Bank, she was a member of the Management Board of Westdeutsche Immobilienbank AG ("WestImmo") in Mainz, where she was responsible for accounting and financial reporting, administration and organisation, IT, private customers (portfolio management), as well as the Compliance/Anti-Money Laundering division. Having started her professional career with WestLB in 1993, she was appointed to the Management Board of readybank AG in October 2006; her responsibilities included risk management, finance and controlling, IT, organisation and business process management, together with associated projects, internal audit, as well as the readypartner GmbH subsidiary.
Christiane Kunisch-Wolff was born in 1966; she is a qualified bank clerk, and studied economics at the University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Niederrhein. In 2006, she obtained a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA).
Thomas Ortmanns has been Member of the Management Board at Aareal Bank AG since 2005. He is responsible for the Consulting/Services business segment which combines Aareal Bank Group’s activities in relation to the housing and property industry and the energy sector, as well as for the Group Technology division.
He holds various offices, for example as Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Aareon AG.
Before, Thomas Ortmanns was managing partner at the Consart Management Consultant GmbH. He started his professional career at the Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechsel Bank. Thomas Ortmanns was born in Berlin in 1960 and holds a degree in business administration ("Diplom-Kaufmann") from the Technische Universität in Berlin.
Christof Winkelmann has been Member of the Management Board at Aareal Bank AG since 1 July 2016 and is responsible for the markets in the Structured Property Financing segment.
Prior to this, Christof Winkelmann was Head of the Special Property Finance division of Aareal Bank. He first worked for Aareal Bank from 2000 to 2006, being responsible for the Bank's hotel financing business. He moved to Zurich-based Valartis Bank in 2006, as a Managing Director, returning to Aareal Bank in 2008 as Managing Director Special Property Finance. In this function, he was responsible for the Bank's Special Property Finance business, i.e. financings for hotels, retail and logistics properties. Mr Winkelmann started his career at the Palace Hotel, New York City, and with consultancy firm Arthur Andersen in Frankfurt/Main.
Christof Winkelmann was born in 1975 and studied Hospitality Management and Business Adminstration at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a member of the Lodging Industry Investment Council (LIIC), the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC Europe) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI Europe), among others.