Big Deutsche Bank investors seek clarity on CEO: sources

Stock Market
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan

By Tom Sims and Andreas Framke

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Large investors in Deutsche Bank (DE:) have urged its chairman to provide a clear signal on whether the board backs the lender’s embattled chief executive or not, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Separate sources had told Reuters on Tuesday that Germany’s flagship bank had begun looking for a new CEO to replace John Cryan to mollify investors frustrated by the slow turnaround of the loss-making lender.

Cryan said in a staff memo on Wednesday that he was “absolutely committed” to the lender. But Paul Achleitner, the board chairman who the sources said had initiated the search for a new CEO, has remained silent.

Two major investors contacted by Reuters said they have called Achleitner to ask him to provide clarity.

Cryan’s staff memo “looks like an affirmation that he at least wants to remain in his seat”, said one source with knowledge of the thinking of one of the large investors. “But where’s the confirmation from the board? Why doesn’t Achleitner say anything?”

A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Cryan’s memo had urged staff to “focus on executing” the bank’s strategy despite “widespread rumors”.

The bank’s strategy has come under criticism by some investors who have grown impatient after three consecutive years of losses.

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