|Member of the Bundestag|
1994 – 2009
|Member of the European Parliament|
1989 – 1994
11 November 1955 |
Brilon, North Rhine-Westphalia
|Political party||Christian Democratic Union|
|Alma mater||University of Bonn|
Friedrich Merz (born 11 November 1955) is a German lawyer and politician, a former Member of the European Parliament (1989–1994), a former member of the Bundestag (1994–2009), and a former chairman of CDU/CSU parliamentary group (2000–2002).
He was elected chairman of the CDU/CSU group in the same year as Angela Merkel was elected chairman of the CDU, one of the two parties constituting the CDU/CSU group. In 2002, he stepped down as chairman in favour of Merkel.
After finishing Abitur in 1975 and serving in the army Merz began to study law (1976) in Bonn. He became a member of KDStV Bavaria Bonn, a Catholic student fraternity that is member of the Cartellverband. After finishing law school in 1985 he became a judge in Saarbrücken. In 1986 he quit his position in order to work as an attorney-at-law.
Member of the European Parliament, 1989–1994
Member of the German Bundestag, 1994–2009
In October 1998 Merz became vice-chairman and in February 2000 Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, succeeding Wolfgang Schäuble. In this capacity, he was the opposition leader in the Bundestag during Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's first term.
Ahead of the 2002 elections, Edmund Stoiber included Merz in his shadow cabinet for the Christian Democrats’ campaign to unseat incumbent Schröder as chancellor. During the campaign, Merz served as Stoiber’s expert for financial markets and the national budget. After Stoiber’s electoral defeat, Angela Merkel assumed the leadership of the parliamentary group; Merz again served as vice-chairman until 2004. From 2002 to 2004, he was also a member of the executive board of the CDU, again under the leadership of Merkel.
Career in the private sector
Upon leaving politics, Merz has taken on numerous positions on corporate boards, including the following:
- BlackRock Germany, Chairman of the Supervisory Board
- Deutsche Börse, Member of the Supervisory Board
- Deutsche Rockwool, Member of the Supervisory Board
- Ernst & Young Germany, Member of the Advisory Board
- HSBC Trinkaus, Chairman of the Advisory Board
- Interseroh, Member of the Supervisory Board
- IVG Immobilien, Member of the Supervisory Board
- Odewald & Compagnie, Member of the Advisory Board
- WEPA Hygieneprodukte GmbH, Chairman of the Supervisory Board
- DBV-Winterthur Holding, Member of the Supervisory Board
- Robert Bosch GmbH, Member of International Advisory Committee
- Stadler Rail, Member of the Board of Directors
Other activities (selection)
- Deutsche Nationalstiftung, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Bayer Foundation for German and International Labor and Business Law, Member of the Board of Trustees (1998-2002)
- Ludwig Erhard Foundation, Member (1998-2005)
- Profile at Mayer Brown
- Riedel, Donata (December 23, 2004), "Nicht süchtig nach Politik: Friedrich Merz", Handelsblatt.
- Wahlkampf: Stoiber-Team ohne Kompetenz bei den Staatsfinanzen Spiegel Online, January 22, 2002.
- Eyk Henning (January 17, 2016), BlackRock Hires Former Merkel Deputy for Its German Operations Wall Street Journal.
- Jack Ewing (February 16, 2011), For Germany’s Banks, a Grim Future New York Times.
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