Foreword When CEO Joseph Ackermann set Deutsche Bank the target for 2005 of achieving at least 25% return on equity before tax, he was sending out a clear signal: Management in the German banking sector was finally realizing that it had to focus more on share holder interests. Parallel to the discontinuation of German state guarantees, Gewa- tragerhaftung and Anstaltslast, in 2005, there was a change in owner's requirements on members of the largest German banking group - the Landesbanks and savings banks. Some municipalities have been increasing pressure on their institutions to create grea ter financial value, which will then allow higher payouts. The increasing importance of shareholder value orientation in the banking sector poses at least three interesting sets of questions: • How should one measure economic value creation (for shareholders) in banking? Does the banking sector possess any special features that have to be taken into consideration when measuring this? • To what extent do banks' market values truly reflect expected shareholder value creation? Which factors are responsible for systematic deviations of a bank's intrin sic value from its market value? • What are the key financial and operational levers that bank managers should focus on in order to increase shareholder value? This dissertation by Ms. Gross focuses on precisely these three sets of questions.