When Stephen Feinberg, CEO of the US buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management, jetted into Frankfurt just before Christmas, he delivered a critical report card to John Cryan, the British financier struggling to turn around Deutsche Bank.
Mr. Feinberg, who became Deutsche Bank’s fourth largest shareholder in November by buying a 3 percent stake, supported Mr. Cryan’s efforts at reforming the bank, according to Deutsche officials. But he also gave management a failing grade on those efforts. Cerberus believes that Deutsche Bank is still bloated with inefficiencies and management has bungled the attempts to cut expenses in a meaningful way.
“Costs continue to be a high priority,” Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank’s president and the co-head of the private and commercial banking arms, said in an interview with Handelsblatt. “That’s where we have to stay on the ball all the time.”