A city packed with private banks is quietly serving the needs of a large and wealthy part of northern Germany, yet it remains generally unnoticed as a wealth management powerhouse.
“This is how everyone imagines what a private bank looks like,” Axel Rogge smiles, spreading his arms wide.
He’s not wrong.
Rogge is a senior director and head of institutional clients, Germany, at Bethmann Bank. Dutch owned and Frankfurt headquartered it may be, but Bethmann’s offices on Harvestehuder Weg are pure Hamburg.
We’re sitting in a broad, airy space – it’s too disjointed and sprawling to be considered a room – with vaulted ceilings. At the centre of it stands a wooden table long enough on each side to host the entire cast of the Last Supper. Every quarter hour, several antique baroque clocks spring to life, bathing the air in lilting chamber music.