Exclusive Former Deutsche Bank CEO to Pay €3.2 Million Over Kirch Bankruptcy

Deutsche Bank’s former chief executive, Rolf Breuer, has agreed to pay his former employer €3.2 million ($3.65 million) for his role in a now-infamous TV interview given back in 2002 about Germany’s Kirch media empire. The 2002 interview with Bloomberg , in which Mr. Breuer questioned Kirch’s financial viability, unleashed a storm of events that continue to dog Deutsche Bank to this very day. Kirch declared bankruptcy two months after the interview and its founder Leo Kirch sued Deutsche Bank, accusing the bank of purposely orchestrating the bankruptcy to profit from picking up the pieces. Deutsche Bank denied the charges, but eventually settled the long-running case out of court in 2014 for €925 million. That out-of-court settlement prompted prosecutors in Munich to put Deutsche Bank’s former chief executives, including Mr. Breuer and its current co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen, on trial for obstructing justice – a criminal trial that is ongoing. Now, Deutsche Bank has at least been able to claim a small portion of the settlement back from the man who started it all, through the €3.2 million settlement. The deal with Mr. Breuer was announced in an invitation email sent out to investors for the bank’s annual shareholders meeting in May. Handelsblatt had already reported in February that the two sides were close to a deal. The €3.2 million settlement amounts to three years of salary paid to Mr. Breuer, who was Deutsche Bank’s chief executive from 1997 to 2002 and supervisory board chairman from 2002 to 2006. He is estimated to have a net worth of €10 million. Picture Source: Andreas Gebert/DPA