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Commerzbank: Who is Manfred Knof?

No golf please, I’m delivering: how the German bank’s new CEO sees himself.


Who is Manfred Knof? Announced last weekend as the new chief executive of Commerzbank, he has already been noted for his ‘crowbar’ approach to negotiations. But is there more to the man?

Commerzbankers are still waiting for him to get his feet under the desk, but in the meantime a student organization in Germany has served up a feast of personal insights.

A 31-question interview with Knof by the EBS Symposium, a European student-run business conference, was uploaded to YouTube in August. And while ‘pithy’ seems an inadequate description of some of his answers (“How much will the economy change during this crisis?” “A lot.”), even the brevity is telling.

There’s no mucking around here. Three words to describe yourself? “Visionary, execution-driven and responsible.” Prefer working from home or the office? “Definitely from my office.”

I’m definitely not playing golf
Manfred Knof, Commerzbank

What’s he like to work with, and for? He does little to deny the impression of a man only remotely acquainted with the word ‘clubbable’. Colleagues say he is impatient, he admits. He says he’s not the best networker. “I’m definitely not playing golf.”


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