Deutsche Bank's new CEO Cryan seeks to steady nerves

Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:58pm EDT
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By Thomas Atkins

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE: Quote) top managers have met with the bank's new chief executive John Cryan this week as he works hard to keep them on board, at least for now, following Sunday's shock announcement that he would replace Anshu Jain in July.

Deutsche Bank's chairman Paul Achleitner and departing co-CEO Jain have also offered executives assurances that their positions are secure, signaling no other immediate changes, bank insiders told Reuters.

Germany's largest bank, headquartered in two mirrored towers in Frankfurt, is in the middle of a major restructuring dubbed "Strategy 2020" which will involve cutting back its investment banking operation and selling its Postbank retail banking unit, while fortifying wealth management and transaction services.

Achleitner sent a memo to staff following Sunday's bombshell, stressing Cryan was a seasoned professional, a German-speaker, and that he was not associated with any of the activities that has seen Deutsche hit by heavy fines and burdensome investigations.

But Cryan has been out of sight because the former finance chief at Swiss bank UBS sits on Deutsche's supervisory board, which is responsible for overseeing management, insiders say.

This means he cannot speak on behalf of management before he takes over as CEO on July 1 as it would go beyond his current legal remit, they add.

And it has left Achleitner, who in 2013 hired Cryan as a possible CEO successor, to provide reassurance.

Achleitner, a former Goldman Sachs banker who helped restructure corporate Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, did make a surprise appearance at Deutsche Bank's asset and wealth management unit near Zurich on Wednesday, delivering a pep talk to some 200 members of staff.   Continued...

John Cryan addresses a news conference in Zurich in this February 8, 2011 file picture.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann