Hans-Christoph Hirt isn’t someone to be underestimated. The manager of British pension fund and investor advisor Hermes Equity Ownership Services has already rocked the boat at several major German corporations, from Siemens to Porsche to Infineon.
At Infineon, he instigated a shareholder revolt that eventually led to the resignation of its then supervisory board chairman, Klaus Wucherer.
Now Mr. Hirt is turning his attentions to Deutsche Bank and its own embattled management board, led by Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen.
“We will ask the supervisory board to review the composition of the management board in the coming months. The board no longer enjoys our confidence,” the London-based director of Hermes, which is named after the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology, told Handelsblatt.
The calls from London lend a new dimension to a resistance movement that has grown among shareholders unhappy with the direction and legal troubles that have dogged Germany’s largest financial firm and one of the world’s largest investment houses.
It may have worked much faster than even Hermes expected.
Handelsblatt has learned that the bank’s non-executive supervisory board, which has the power to hire and fire the bank’s chief executives and other top-level managers, will address the possibility of more extensive changes to the management board at a closed meeting on Wednesday.
Deutsche Bank was unwilling to comment on the reports.