Study tour of the Institute for Cross-Border Restructuring

Insolvency and restructuring: great opportunities for young professionals

May 2022 The number of corporate insolvencies in Germany remains at a low level – surprising after more than two years of the pandemic and rapidly deteriorating economic data. It is therefore likely that the topic will start to gain momentum again. Prospective experts from the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol learned about the important role of financiers in reorganization and restructuring processes as well as the good job opportunities for career starters at Hamburg Commercial Bank.

In times of global markets, restructuring has long since become a cross-border issue. Consequently, the institute dedicated to it at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol bears the title Institute for Cross-Border Restructuring. In mid-May, the head of the institute, Professor (FH) Dr. Markus W. Exler, took a group of students on a study trip across the border to Germany. Their journey also took them to Hamburg Commercial Bank. For two hours, these guests from Austria got to know the bank up close. In particular, their visit revolved around the commercial and legal role of HCOB in reorganization and restructuring processes.

Study tour of the Institute for Cross-Border Restructuring

StaRUG and the new role of banks in reorganizations

StaRUG has been in effect in Germany since January 2021. The abbreviation stands for Unternehmensstabilisierungs- und -restrukturierungsgesetz (Corporate Stabilization and Restructuring Act). This new legal standard provides companies with extended financial workout instruments outside of insolvency. Or to put it another way, in the words of Dr. Thomas Dohrmann, Chief Credit Officer and Head of Credit Risk Center at Hamburg Commercial Bank: “As a result of StaRUG, the role of banks in particular as financiers of companies is becoming increasingly significant in phases when things are not going so well and figures are deteriorating.”

In his keynote speech, Thomas Dohrmann provided information about the special interests of financiers in reorganization cases – but also their great expertise in still getting their act together. “The earlier we as a bank are informed and involved, the greater the chances of a happy ending,” says Dohrmann. Johanna Gotter, Head of Restructuring & Workout at HCOB, and Dr. Janina Schmidt-Keßler, Senior Expert in Credit and Insolvency Law at the bank, provided Professor Exler’s group of visitors with very clear information about the commercial and legal details of out-of-court restructurings. But they also discussed the worst-case scenario: insolvency proceedings. In his brief presentation, Tim Wierzbinski, Senior Restructuring Expert at HCOB, described the bank’s representation of interests in insolvency proceedings and also the new opportunities that can arise for companies in this phase. The visit to Hamburg Commercial Bank provided the young students from Austria excellent motivation to continue pursuing their professional plans. “The topic of restructuring has a great future, especially in the banking sector,” says Dohrmann. HCOB itself offers traineeships in this segment year after year.


HCOB encourages and challenges talent with its in-house trainee program

And at HCOB, trainees in the Credit Office get off to a flying start from day one. The 18-month traineeship is demanding, but it also give a lot back, including the finishing touch for a promising, multi-faceted career. The tasks are exciting and require not only in-depth business knowledge but also a great deal of technical understanding. After a short induction period, trainees work alongside experienced credit analysts on new and existing projects. They also assume responsibility for important sub-steps such as profitability analysis and the development of credit structures and financing models. Ronja Farina Ehlers from HR Strategy and Imke Mecke from People Management presented the advantages of HCOB’s trainee program to the students from the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol. These benefits were made even more credible by Sascha Rother’s story of his own personal experience. He is currently completing his traineeship in Restructuring & Workout at HCOB. His report may have even inspired a few of the visitors from Kufstein to act…