Shareholder Revolt

High Noon at Deutsche Bank

Hintergrund mit Uhr 5 vor 12
Patience is wearing thin with Deutsche Bank's management team of Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Hermes has caused trouble for a number of German companies in the past. Its decision to withdraw confidence in Deutsche Bank’s management is likely to cause turmoil at the bank’s supervisory board meeting today.

  • Facts


    • Deutsche Bank’s non-executive supervisory board is meeting today to discuss whether a shake-up in the bank’s management board is in order, Handelsblatt has learned.
    • A turbulent annual meeting expected is expected to follow on Thursday in Frankfurt, where the bank’s largest shareholders will gather to discuss the bank’s future.
    • A number of investors are unhappy about the bank’s legal troubles and lack of profitability, and on Thursday could issue a formal disapproval of the actions of the management board.
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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.

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