Ackermann Interview

Money Talks: The Banker's Legacy

Looking back: Joe Ackermann and his daughter Catherine.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Josef Ackermann has enjoyed a very successful banking career and is a strong proponent of the Swiss banking system. But he has drawn criticism over some of his methods and is currently facing an investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice.

  • Facts


    • Mr. Ackermann was the chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank from 2002 to 2012.
    • He has since resigned two board-level postions in acrimonius circumstances.
    • The banker and several former colleagues at Deutsche Bank are facing a court case over the collapse of the Kirch media empire.
  • Audio


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Josef Ackermann is a 66-year-old Swiss banker who served as the Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank, German’s largest finance house, between 2002 and 2012. He is credited with navigating the bank through the 2008 financial crisis, and after leaving Deutsche Bank worked as the chairman of the board of directors at Zurich Insurance Group, as well as holding other board-level and advisory roles.

His daughter Catherine, 30, is an actress and film producer.

Ms. Ackermann, how often have you been asked whether you are the daughter of THE Ackermann, perhaps Europe’s most powerful financial manager for many years?

Catherine Ackermann: It happened a lot, but more in Germany than in Switzerland.

Josef Ackermann: Tell them about the taxi driver, Catherine!

Catherine Ackermann: Oh yes. It was late in the evening and I had just arrived in Stuttgart on a flight from Zürich. When I took a taxi to the film academy in Ludwigsburg, the driver struck up a conversation with me. When I said I was Swiss, he said, “We got the devil from your country.” He meant my father.

What values are still important in your home?

Catherine Ackermann: A healthy sense of ambition, diligence, curiosity, credibility and openness. Both of my parents, my father and my mother alike, strongly emphasized those values.

Josef Ackermann: As well as remaining grounded.

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