Deutsche Bank shifts power to co-CEO Jain in board reshuffle

Wed May 20, 2015 6:50pm EDT
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By Thomas Atkins

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) reshuffled its management board late on Wednesday, consolidating restructuring authority under co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain while bidding farewell to its retail banking head Rainer Neske.

The reshuffle comes one day before the German bank holds what promises to be a stormy annual general meeting after shareholders openly expressed dismay at lagging profits, soaring fines and sluggish reforms.

The new board constellation consolidates accountability for an important cost-cutting drive and the bank’s strategic overhaul in the hands of Jain and chips some authority away from his counterpart and co-CEO Juergen Fitschen.

Fitschen ceded control of the bank’s non-core operations unit, comprised largely of assets the group seeks to discard, to fellow board member Stefan Krause.

Fitschen is burdened by what promises to be a lengthy court trial where prosecutors accuse him of attempting to mislead investigators in a long-running battle with the heirs of the Kirch media empire.

Jain, however, has also drawn fire from critics because of a perception that the bank dragged its feet on reforming the investment banking activities at Deutsche that he oversaw for years.

The reshuffle may go some way to assuage mounting shareholder concerns.

Shareholder adviser Hermes Equity Ownership Services on Wednesday called for an overhaul of Deutsche Bank's management board, saying management was late to restructure the business in the face of regulatory changes.   Continued...

Anshu Jain, co-CEO of Deutsche Bank, attends a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, April 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach