If we are already excited, Gerhard Wiesheu must be overwhelmed: Today, May 25 2022, our chairman was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. And how highly deserved: Gerhard Wiesheu carries Japan in his heart and German-Japanese relations constantly in his mind. His first professional steps took him to Japan, and the country's culture has continued to shape his life to this day. He has been a member of DJW board since 2009 and has chaired the board on an honorary basis since 2011. Eleven years in which our business association has been significantly shaped, strengthened and developed; eleven years in which our DJW has grown into the network it is today. Gerhard Wiesheu always says: "Everything is possible with a strong team." He is right! And we are happy and proud to know that he is part of ours.
From the bottom of our hearts: Congratulations!
The following Metzler press release was originally published on Metzler's website on May 25, 2022: https://www.metzler.com/en/metzler/bank/press-news/details/news/Metzler/Bankhaus/Presse/220524-Bank-Wiesheu-Bundesverdienstkreuz.
Metzler’s Executive Board Member Gerhard Wiesheu has been awarded the Cross of Merit (First Class) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Wiesheu received the award, which is conferred by the German Federal President, from Hesse's Prime Minister Volker Bouffier in a special ceremony. The award honors Mr. Wiesheu’s successful engagement in developing German-Japanese relations in the German-Japanese Business Circle (Deutsch-Japanischer Wirtschaftskreis (DJW)), his support of the Nippon Connection Festival for Japanese films, and his work as a business ambassador for the Asian community in matters relating to economic developments in Frankfurt/Main. The award also honors him for his commitment to the Society of Friends of Bayreuth, the Georg Speyer Haus and the Paul Ehrlich Foundation.
Mr. Wiesheu is Member of the Executive Board at B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. Aktiengesellschaft and is involved in numerous organizations on a voluntary basis. "Metzler Bank has benefited enormously from Gerhard Wiesheu's knowledge and personality, as his engagement goes far beyond his immediate work environment. For years, he has worked tirelessly for several voluntary causes – ranging from Frankfurt/Main to Bayreuth to Tokyo and from culture to business to science," says Friedrich von Metzler, a previous recipient of the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. “Mr. Wiesheu has always been committed to bringing people from different countries and fields together.”
Mr. Wiesheu focuses especially on German-Japanese relations, which also has personal reasons. For many years, he lived and worked in Japan. He is married to a Japanese national and has two children with dual citizenship. He has come to appreciate the Japanese culture and way of life. Since 2009, he has been building bridges between Germany and Japan with the Japanese-German Business Association (DJW). Since 2011, he has been Chairman of the Board of DJW, the largest supra-regional German-Japanese business platform for members and interested parties who want to shape German-Japanese relations. In addition, due to his expert knowledge of Asia, he has accompanied German government representatives and cabinet members on delegation trips to Asia on several occasions. Most recently, he traveled to Japan with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in April of 2022.
In order to facilitate the flow of knowledge between the two countries, Mr. Wiesheu is also Chairman of the Foundation Board of the Japanese-German Center in Berlin. This foundation brings experts from both countries together for scientific symposia at regular intervals to discuss cross-national topics like demographic change, sustainability and the environment, among others. Other similar engagements include his involvement on the Board of Trustees at the Interdisciplinary Center for East Asian Studies at Frankfurt Goethe University and his membership on the Advisory Board of the German-Japanese Society in Frankfurt.
The world's largest festival for Japanese film, the Nippon Connection in Frankfurt/Main, is one of his favorite projects. On his initiative, a cooperation between Metzler Bank and the festival was established 17 years ago. Thanks to this cooperation, the festival, which is organized entirely on a voluntary basis, has been able to transform over the years from a student project into an internationally highly respected cultural event.
Furthermore, Mr. Wiesheu has been involved in the Society of Friends of Bayreuth since 2006. He became Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2013 and has been an honorary member since 2021. Here, too, he brings his extensive contact network to the table for the benefit of the association, which is committed to keeping Richard Wagner's artistic legacy alive.
He also attaches great importance to promoting science in Germany. As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Georg Speyer Haus, Institute for Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapy, he has been working since 2015 to accelerate progress in tumor research. In addition, he has worked for many years on the Board of Trustees of the Berlin-based Paul Ehrlich Foundation to honor excellence in science. Mr. Wiesheu is also involved in the Hessian Circle, which aims to promote dialog between science, business, religion and culture on a non-partisan, independent basis.
Of course, the city of Frankfurt/Main and the banking industry in the Rhine-Main region also benefit from Mr. Wiesheu’s unremitting commitment. For example, he acts as a business ambassador for the Asian community in matters relating to economic developments in Frankfurt/Main and, as a member of the Advisory Board at Frankfurt RheinMain GmbH, he helps advance the Rhine-Main region – above all, with his contacts and know-how. As a member of the Board of Trustees of the Marketing Club Frankfurt, he helps to provide experts with an exclusive forum for professional exchange.
Mr. Wiesheu has been President of Frankfurt Main Finance since October of 2020. This financial center initiative, which was launched in 2008, aims to position Frankfurt/Main as a top-ranking financial center in Germany and abroad and, to this end, pools the forces of the players in Frankfurt/Main and markets the location.
Gerhard Wiesheu joined Metzler in 2001 and is responsible for the Asset Management division. In addition to his post as Member of the Executive Board at B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. AG, he is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Metzler Asset Management GmbH and Metzler Pensionsfonds AG, as well as a Member of the Board of Directors of the group companies Metzler Asset Management (Japan) Ltd. in Tokyo, Metzler Realty Advisors in Seattle and Metzler/Payden LLC in Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Metzler, Gerhard Wiesheu worked as Managing Director at Commerz International Capital Management GmbH (CICM) in Frankfurt/Main. From 1994 to 1999, he was Managing Director of CICM (Japan) Ltd. in Tokyo. During this time, he was also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Japanese Asset Management Association in Tokyo. Mr. Wiesheu studied business administration at Landshut University and received his degree in 1987. He also completed postgraduate studies in East Asian economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen from 1987 to 1989.