Profits Pressure

Gloom Descends on Deutsche Bank's CEO

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A manager, not a magician: Deutsche Bank boss John Cryan. Source: Handelsblatt Global, DPA [M]

About a year ago, Deutsche Bank was on the ropes. Germany’s largest bank was reportedly on the hook for $14 billion (€11.8 billion) for questionable mortgage dealings in the United States – a titanic sum that would have sunk many a financial institution.

Hedge funds began to pull their business with Deutsche, the bank’s stock price fell to new lows and one prominent investor, the Hungarian-American magnate George Soros, was said to have asked: “Shouldn’t we call Angela Merkel?”

Fortunately for Deutsche, a year has gone by and collapse is no longer imminent. The bank negotiated a more favorable settlement with the US authorities and secured a sizeable capital increase, both of which gave it more wiggle room.

But rather than relief, many institutional investors feel deeply dissatisfied with the bank’s recent performance – and they’re blaming CEO John Cryan.

“The chairman had a favorable starting position in the spring, but he used it poorly,” one influential investor said. “I increasingly believe that he’s no longer the right man for the job.”

Another one of the bank’s top investors voiced similar doubts. “In the two years that he’s been at the helm, not enough has changed,” this investor said.

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