Paul Achleitner

How to Stay in Power at Deutsche Bank

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Deciding over strategy and nominating executives, Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board and its chairman wield great powers over the future of Germany’s largest bank, which has struggled for years.

  • Facts


    • Mr. Achleitner, a former Goldman Sachs banker, became supervisory board chairman of Deutsche Bank in 2012; his second term still needs approval from the annual shareholders’ meeting next spring.
    • Critics accuse Mr. Achleitner of holding on to the bank’s old management team for too long and have blamed him for a 45 percent drop in the bank’s share price during his term in office.
    • The position of non-executive chairman is important, because the supervisory board has the power to hire and fire executives, decides on strategy and needs to approve dividend pay-outs.
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Deutsche Bank – Paul Achleitner
Paul Achleitner is set to stay in power, chairing the supervisory board of Germany's largest bank. Source: Arne Dedert / DPA

It’s mid-October at the offices of a major shareholder of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank. Paul Achleitner, the controversial chairman of the bank’s non-executive supervisory board, has announced plans for a visit.

Indeed, there’s a lot to discuss: what will the bank’s strategy look like and when will an agreement finally be reached with the U.S. Justice Department on the feared multi-billion dollar fine for bad mortgage deals? And should Mr. Achleitner, whom investors hold partly responsible for the bank’s plight, extend his term in office beyond spring 2017?

There are many questions but few concrete answers. One inside source at the meeting described Mr. Achleitner as charming and eloquent, but said that the 60-year-old Austrian refused to be pinned down. In regards to the bank’s strategy, Mr. Achleitner is alleged to have hinted at a possible reintegration of retail bank Postbank and a partial withdrawal from the United States. On the issue of his own future, he was less forthright.

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