Deutsche Bank: difficult search for a new chairman of the supervisory board – economy

Admittedly, it’s a bit speculative, but we have to give in to Paul Achleitner’s vanity that the search for a successor to the outgoing chairman of the Deutsche Bank Supervisory Board is as slow as it seems now. Achleitner, as we know in principle since his re-election four and a half years ago, will leave the general meeting of the financial group in May 2022; then the 64-year-old Austrian – in office since 2012 – has two five years as the highest overseer behind him and, according to the statutes, cannot be elected a third time.

But as it is, when we know well in advance that we have things to do, we postpone the decision until the end. Or, this case is also possible, you just cannot find a solution. So in this case no substitute for Achleitner. In any case, the situation is delicate, that is clear. The European Central Bank (ECB), as the continent’s main banking regulator, has been pushing for months for Deutsche Bank to finally find a successor for the chief controller. No wonder, after all, that it is one of the largest credit institutions in Europe, which with its focus on investment banking is also not so easy to understand and understand. control. Years ago, the International Monetary Fund even described Deutsche Bank as “the most dangerous bank in the world.” And the restructuring of the financial institution promoted by CEO Christian Sewing is far from over.

In any case, the names of the candidates have been circulating on the financial scene in Frankfurt for months, all currently members of the supervisory board: Theodor Weimer, 61, currently CEO of Deutsche Börse and member of the supervisory body for a good year. . Frank Witter, former VW CFO and former boss of the automaker’s financial subsidiary. As well as Norbert Winkeljohann, 64, former director of the German audit firm PwC and now also chairman of the Bayer supervisory board. A woman, it also seems clear, is apparently out of the question for the top post of responsibility at the top of the supervisory board.

Achleitner is rumored to be aiming for a third term

The men, however, whose names have been exchanged for a long time, one after another, for different reasons and for different reasons: Winkeljohann is already busy. Weimer flirted with the preference to become head of the foundation in Knorr-Bremse and manage the estate of the recently deceased founder Karl Hermann Thiele. Or, what is more obvious, simply to work in his well-paying job at Deutsche Börse until the end of the contract in the spring of 2024. The VW man, on the other hand, keeps a low profile, but is not seen as everything. quite appropriate in financial circles as he may not have the qualifications. Weimer, as a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Winkeljohann as a balance sheet auditor, certainly bring that expertise with them.

This is how a rumor has been circulating for some time in Frankfurt that Achleitner could run for a third term, which would not comply with the regulations, but would certainly correspond to his image of himself. Even after his first term, there would simply be no successor in sight. The problem with this is that the ECB cannot actually commit to such a deal, and Achleitner would lose credibility again as well.

To prevent this from happening, Deutsche Bank has now reportedly started contacting external candidates for the successor. This would have the disadvantage that the candidate could not get a taste of it as a member of the supervisory board, at least one member of the capital would have to give up his place. But you would have a candidate up your sleeve if Weimer ultimately refused. Regardless, the nominating committee headed by supervisory board member Mayree Clark has now broadened the search after the candidates signaled they were unlikely to be available, Bloomberg writes.

In addition, the supervisory board also tasked headhunter’s personnel consultant Egon Zehnder with drawing up a shortlist of candidates. Including those who are not from Germany – knowledge of German being a prerequisite, he said. The bank declined to comment further, but was “on the right track”. Internally, we can hear that the House of Money wants to decide on the successor towards the end of November. However, the staff will not be officially communicated until the spring – with the invitation to the Annual General Meeting.

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