Deutsche Bank Leans Toward Replacing Cryan With Sewing

Deutsche Bank Leans Toward Replacing Cryan With Sewing

Deutsche Bank AG’s supervisory board is leaning toward naming Christian Sewing to succeed Chief Executive Officer John Cryan, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

No final decision has been made as the supervisory board prepares to meet Sunday evening to discuss the situation, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The bank, which said it expects to give a decision after the board meeting, is preparing the third leadership appointment in six years amid pressure from investors to improve profitability and reverse a share slump.

The supervisory board’s nomination committee, which proposes management candidates, is unanimous in seeking to replace Cryan, one person said. Officials for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Sewing, a lifelong Deutsche Bank veteran, is co-deputy CEO along with investment banking co-head Marcus Schenck. He also jointly heads the private and commercial bank. He won plaudits for successfully negotiating job cuts in the German retail unit with the influential workers’ councils, implementing the agreement on schedule and without a strong media backlash. He also headed Deutsche Bank’s internal probe into its role into alleged money laundering at the bank’s Russian unit, which led to the bank shuttering its securities unit in the country.

Cryan’s Future

Over recent weeks, as Chairman Paul Achleitner intensified a search for a successor, speculation in the media mounted on Cryan’s future, forcing the CEO to say he was committed to the post while the chairman remained silent. Separately, both Schenck and Garth Ritchie, who jointly lead the investment bank, are considering leaving the firm as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Discussions with potential successors to Cryan have focused on a leader who speaks German and who works well with regulators, people familiar with the matter said. Sewing, along with Schenck and Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke, had been seen as the leading internal contenders, while the bank and its backers have also reached out to external candidates including Bank of America Corp.’s Christian Meissner and ex-JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Matt Zames, people familiar with the matter said last week.


Achleitner broke off his vacation to meet with stakeholders the past week to discuss his next move, people familiar with the discussions have said. The run of CEOs and strategy changes since he became chairman in 2012 has also led some analysts and investors to question Achleitner’s responsibility.

Even up to recent days, investors have expressed mixed views on Cryan and who should replace him. At least two key investors have been pushing for his ouster, while another has signaled it won’t stand in the way if Achleitner removes him, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. But another major owner is still backing the CEO, one person said.

Cryan, then a supervisory board member himself, took over in mid-2015 with a mandate to stabilize and clean up the company. He has struggled to restore revenue growth at Europe’s largest investment bank after cutting risk, settling billion-dollar misconduct cases and raising fresh capital. Just over a year ago he named Schenck and Sewing deputy co-CEOs as part of the company’s latest strategy overhaul.

Sewing was tasked with helping to run a new private and commercial banking unit, as well as corporate clients and wealth management. Sewing has served as deputy chief risk officer from 2012 to 2013 and head of group audit from 2013 until 2015.

The future of the investment bank, the lender’s largest unit by revenue, has been a central point of contention in Cryan’s restructuring efforts since he took over. Senior executives are undertaking a review of the investment bank, dubbed “Project Colombo,” and plan to decide where to cut and where to invest, two people with knowledge of the matter said last month. The U.S. operations are a particular focus, though the review stretches across the global trading unit, the people said.


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Publish date : 2018-04-08 07:35:21
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