Commerzbank, IBM Mull Outsourcing Deal

FRANKFURT—In what looks like a pioneering deal, Commerzbank is working out the details of an IT outsourcing arrangement with IBM that would see the vendor take on responsibility not just for low-level infrastructure, but complete management of major portions of the firm's investment banking IT environment, including more than 100 key applications.

The bank, Germany’s fourth-largest, has entered a three-month period of exclusive negotiations with IBM to explore ways to outsource front- and back-office hardware and software support as early as the summer, says Udo Braun, the firm’s global head of investment banking IT.

For the last two months, Braun says the bank undertook extensive analysis of the benefits of outsourcing. The bank, which did review other vendors and will do so again if the IBM talks break down, did not issue a request

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