- Experienced banker and economist
- Became State Secretary in the Imperial Colonial Office in 1907
- Served as Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor in 1919
Bernhard Dernburg worked for Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Treuhandgesellschaft, and Darmstädter Bank für Gewerbe und Industrie. His reputation was based on his work in rationalizing business operations. He organized restructuring programs in various sectors, using his close contacts in the US. In 1906, he was granted the mandate to represent Prussia on the Bundesrat (Union Council). He became State Secretary in the Imperial Colonial Office one year later. He redirected Germany’s colonial policies, making greater use of colonies to promote economic growth. After World War I, he was one of the DDP’s founders. In Scheidemann’s cabinet, he served as Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor. He was a Member of the Reichstag from 1920 to 1930.