Whilst our general strategic orientation remains in place, we will develop the individual business activities in a targeted manner, in order to sharpen their own independent profiles, thus creating value for all stakeholders in an increasingly challenging environment.
For many years, Aareal Bank Group has been a success story in the German banking sector. During this story's current chapter, we have consistently – and very successfully – implemented the "Aareal 2020" programme for the future, launched in 2016.
In the Structured Property Financing segment, this has enabled us to materially increase our flexibility regarding regions, asset classes, structures, and exit channels, whilst driving the expansion of our business along the value creation chain, for example, with our investment in Mount Street.
Our Consulting/Services segment on the other hand, has been clearly geared towards growth – both regarding the Bank and especially our subsidiary Aareon, whose international business we have significantly strengthened within the scope of "Aareal 2020" – also by way of acquisitions. Furthermore, we have laid the foundation for Aareon to increasingly position itself as a digital solutions provider.
We have pursued numerous new initiatives in the start-up sector and increased our power to innovate in both Group segments, clearly enhancing the efficiency of structures and processes – and we have also invested heavily in our IT. For example, Aareal Bank was the first institution in Germany to fully migrate its core system to S/4 HANA – a milestone on our path towards a highly efficient organisation.
In the course of its final year, the "Aareal 2020" programme's results are gratifying. Our Bank has reinvented itself: in terms of content, organisation, and culture. Today, Aareal Bank Group performs better, is more robust, more efficient, more innovative and more agile than ever. This is something we can build upon when entering the next phase of our development.
The next development level –
Aareal Next Level
The challenges we – and the rest of the financial sector – are confronted with in these times of regulatory pressure, digitalisation and persistently low interest rates, are huge. To be prepared, we initiated a Group-wide strategic review process in 2018, the results of which are now available: under the guiding principle "Aareal Next Level", we will lift Aareal Bank Group onto the next development level over the medium term – and thus not only allow its business potential to take effect, but also to exploit new strategic options.
Our principal objective is to achieve an evolutionary development based on what we have already achieved; we see no need to fundamentally change our strategy in the near future, and the strategic beliefs which have guided us during the implementation of "Aareal 2020" remain viable.