When he got the invitation to speak at the Handelsblatt Economic Club, Carsten Kengeter, the chief executive of the German stock exchange operator Deutsche Börse, had intended to talk about how he saved his organization’s merger with the London Stock Exchange, or LSE. But that was before the €29 billion ($31 billion) deal was scuttled, with the final nail in the coffin being delivered by the European Commission.
The break down of the merger marked the third time that a fusion between the German and British exchanges had failed, yet Mr. Kengeter was still happy to appear before the club’s members and talk about his plans for Deutsche Börse’s future.
Those plans will, however, depend on whether he is allowed to stay on as CEO. Mr. Kengeter’s three-year contract expires next year and the company’s supervisory board has yet to renew it. Board members say they are waiting for the results of an investigation into accusations of insider trading against Mr. Kengeter, who has denied any wrongdoing. Such an act is something “I could never square with my ethics,” he said.
German prosecutors are looking into whether Mr. Kengeter knew about the possibility of a merger when he purchased €4.5 million worth of Deutsche Börse stock in December 2015, using an option in his contract. He says the shares are subject to a holding period until the end of 2019.