Following this morning’s news that former Bundesbank chief Axel Weber is going to work for Switzerland’s major bank UBS, a realignment of Deutsche Bank’s top management seems increasingly likely. Axel Weber was the favorite of Deutsche Bank’s CEO J. Ackermann with regard to his own succession which was scheduled for 2013. Due to the conduct of negotiations by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Clemens Börsig, these succession plans foundered. Now Börsig is under intensifying pressure to resign from office. Big institutional investors as well as the members of Deutsche Bank’s board are pushing in that direction.
Börsig has not been up to his task of finding a successor for CEO Ackermann in the past few years, a fund manager of a big investment company told the „Handelsblatt“. A person close to Ackermann also calls the recent development Börsig’s second big failure, after having been unable to present a suitable successor for Ackermann as early as 2009 and after having suggested himself as a possible candidate for Ackermann’s position.
At the moment, there is no backup plan for another external candidate, sources close to the board say. Members of the bank’s board and important major shareholders now would like to see Josef Ackermann moving to the top of the supervisory board. This would guarantee stability and continuity within the bank and beyond it.
This solution is also urged by the German government and from France where current IMF chief Lagarde recently had promoted behind the scenes that Ackermann should stay at the bank. Especially in times of the Euro and the Greek crisis, which might quickly develop into a second banking crisis, political players are noticeably eager to find a solution, which does not break down existing lines of communication. Ackermann thus is the desired candidate of the political establishment in the major Euro states.
In April, Ackermann still objected to a transfer to the supervisory board in an interview with the „Welt am Sonntag“. „I will not renew my contract and I will not move to Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board, either”, Ackermann declared. As of today, this commitment is no longer valid, as the Handelsblatt learned from a reliable source. Ackermann is ready to discharge his duty.