Deutsche Börse, Germany’s leading stock exchange operator in Frankfurt, often made headlines in 2017, but not for reasons investors in the company would have liked. In March, European Commission antitrust regulators blocked a merger between Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange. Around the same time, CEO Carsten Kengeter, came under investigation by state prosecutors for suspected insider trading. Mr. Kengeter maintains his innocence, but in October, under the cloud of the investigation, he announced he would resign from his post.
Investors are hoping that Mr. Kengeter’s replacement, Theodor Weimer, the CEO of Munich’s HypoVereinsbank, will bring renewed stability to Deutsche Börse when he takes the reins at the beginning of 2018. But the possibility of continued uncertainty over the composition of the company’s leadership ranks – and the continued fallout over the insider trading allegations – could mean that the turmoil at Deutsche Börse is far from over.
Much of that uncertainty revolves around the future of Joachim Faber, the non-executive chairman, who is considered a mastermind of the ill-fated tie-up with the London Stock Exchange and long a supporter of the outgoing CEO, Mr. Kengeter. Some shareholders believe that, on account of the recent tumult, the 67-year-old Mr. Faber should not be re-elected when his term expires next year. On the other hand, with Mr. Kengeter already on his way out, other shareholders worry that too much change, too quickly, will create chaos inside the executive suite.