It was supposed to be a new beginning, a break with troubles of the past. At the beginning of February, Deutsche Bank’s CEO expressed “deep regret” for the scandals of recent years in a public letter on behalf of the entire management board. “We apologize,” John Cryan wrote. At that time, he had just resolved some of the company’s most critical legal cases. Since that letter, the bank has been trying to more forward once again.
But key shareholders and proxy advisory services weren’t quite ready to wipe the slate clean. The two prominent proxy advisory services Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) are recommending that, at the bank’s annual general meeting on May 18, investors support the request of a shareholder who wants to work through the past again with the help of external auditors. Handelsblatt has obtained copies of the two consultancies’ recommendations, which Deutsche Bank did not wish to comment on.
ISS and Glass Lewis are considered influential because many institutional investors follow their advice. A special audit proposal for Deutsche Bank, which both services had supported last year, only barely scraped past a majority recently. This time around the three special audits were proposed by shareholder Marita Lampatz, whose husband has long been at loggerheads with Deutsche Bank over the unprofitable Sal. Oppenheim fund.