Former Aegon CEO succeeds Paul Achleitner as Chairman of Deutsche Bank

The Dutch insurance industry veteran and Citigroup board member Alex Wynaendts will succeed Paul Achleitner as chairman of Deutsche Bank next year. The German bank announced on Friday evening that it has ended a months-long search, in which its regulator has become Getting more and more impatient.

After serving as CEO of Dutch insurance company Aegon for 12 years, Wynaendts retired last year.

Achleitner, a former Goldman Sachs banker and Allianz chief financial officer, joined the Deutsche Bank board of directors in 2012, and said last year that he would not be able to serve in his third five-year term in 2022.

As Deutsche Bank has experienced very difficult times in recent years, the 65-year-old Austrian has been the focus of repeated criticism from investors and analysts. Its investment banks have been hit hard by the financial crisis and have adapted to the new environment much later than their American counterparts.

At the end of 2019, private equity investor Cerberus promote Akle Turner Export, try replace him With former Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher.

Under the leadership of Achleitner, Deutsche Bank made a net loss of 12 billion euros, made 5 strategic adjustments and replaced 3 CEOs. A total of 17 executives left early and Deutsche Bank paid them remuneration. 83 million euros left.

The lender raised 19.5 billion euros in new capital, spent billions of dollars on settlements and fines, and its share price fell by 70%. However, since the appointment of CEO Christian Sewing in 2018, Fierce board battle, The lender is stable and has returned to profitability. In the past three years, its stock price has risen 32%.

Since at least the beginning of 2021, the European Central Bank has been urging the bank to propose a clear succession plan. Europe’s top banking regulator told the bank privately that it wanted to participate in the decision and worried that Deutsche Bank would consider the nomination as a fait accompli before next year’s annual general meeting of shareholders.

Paul Achleitner said last year that he would not be able to serve his third five-year term in 2022 © REUTERS

For a long time, Theo Weimer, CEO of Deutsche Börse, who is a member of the Deutsche Bank Supervisory Board, has been regarded as the most likely successor to Achleitner, but he has stated that he is not interested in becoming chairman. Weimer will have to quit his job at Deutsche Börse early, and his contract will expire in 2024.

Deutsche Bank also announced on Friday evening that Norbert Winkeljohann, who joined the Supervisory Board in 2018 and also served as the chairman of the German chemical giant Bayer, will serve as the vice chairman.

On Friday night, Deutsche Bank announced that its Supervisory Board Nomination Committee will approve Wynaendts as a new member at its annual general meeting on May 19 next year.

The bank said in a statement: “He will subsequently be elected as Paul Achleitner’s successor as chairman.” Deutsche Bank said that the move “must be approved by the plenary meeting of the supervisory board.” People familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that the bank had informally discussed Wynaendts with regulators. The European Central Bank declined to comment.

The incoming chairman started his career as an intern in the capital markets department at ABN Ambro in 1984, and then held various roles in private banking and investment banking before joining Aegon in 1997. Wynaendts has served as a non-executive director of Citigroup since 2019 but will give up that role when joining a German competitor. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Air France-KLM Group and Uber.

“I look forward to joining this leading financial institution headquartered in Europe,” Wynaendts said, calling the nomination a great honor. He stated that he firmly believes that Deutsche Bank is “fully capable of meeting the growing needs of its global customer base.”

Mayree Clark, a member of the supervisory board responsible for finding Achleitner’s successor, said that the new chairman has a good record in the financial services industry, has a deep understanding of technology, and has worked with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to Achleitner, Wynaendts “has the right personality and skills to ensure an ongoing and trusting working relationship between the two boards of Deutsche Bank.”

German regulators and policymakers hope that the chairman of Deutsche Bank can speak fluent German. According to people familiar with the matter, Wynaendts is from the Netherlands near the German border and has solid German skills and hopes to further improve these skills. He plans to move his main office to Frankfurt, where the bank is headquartered.

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