Deutsche Bank is preparing to change its supervisory board by reshuffling as the future of Chief Executive Officer John Cryan and Chairman Paul Achleitner becomes uncertain.
John Thain, a former CEO of Merrill Lynch, is expected to join the troubled German bank in May. He is one of four nominees invited by the supervisory board to fill positions coming open this year.
Cryan has been struggling to keep investor support amid a slump in revenue despite resetting strategy since taking over in 2015. Concerns about the bank’s turnaround urged Achleitner to hold discussions with potential successors. The chairman is also battered for not being able to make a recovery after going through three CEOs in six years.
“I definitely welcome the overhaul of the supervisory board, although I would have liked to see it happen earlier,” said Andreas Meyer, who manages fixed income securities including Deutsche Bank bonds at Aramea Asset Management in Hamburg.
The change in more directors with financial-sector backgrounds on the board, though a balance might be preferable, he said.
“Should Achleitner now decide to replace Cryan, he has to step down as well,” said Meyer. “He has been chairman of the supervisory board since May 2012 and that means he shares responsibility for the current situation.”
Speculation about Cryan’s position encouraged the executive to tell staff on March 28 that he’s “absolutely committed” to serving the bank and continuing his work.
It’s the latest challenge to hit the bank, which has struggled to recover from the financial crisis that exploded in 2008. A sustained slide at the investment bank has contributed to hundreds of job cuts as the firm seeks to curb costs and improve returns. The shares have declined nearly 30 percent since the start of the year.
Currently, the bank is making a fresh review of its trading businesses. Cryan is examining activities where Europe’s largest investment bank is trailing competitors to determine if it should try to win back market share or exit.
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