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Helaba chairman retiring in May after talks start with DekaBank in January

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, or Helaba, will begin talks with DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale about combining into a "powerful central institution" within Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, or German Savings Banks Association, with an integrated business model.

Helaba's board of owners and supervisory board have both signed off on the talks, set to begin January 2020, according to a Dec. 13 statement.

Helaba also said in a separate statement the same day that Thomas Groß will become its new chairman of the managing board after incumbent Chairman Herbert Grüntker retires May 31, 2020, due to reaching the statutory age limit. Norbert Schraad will also retire as a member of the managing board the same day for the same reason.

Groß has been a member of the bank's board of managing directors since 2012 and has been vice chairman on the board since 2015. He will take over as chairman on June 1, 2020.