FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Theodor Weimer, the chief executive of Deutsche Boerse <DB1Gn.DE>, would make a suitable successor for Paul Achleitner as Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> chairman, a leading investor in the lender said.
The comments by Germany’s Union Investment, a top 20 shareholder in the bank, is a rare public endorsement in the succession wrangling that has so far largely remained behind the scenes.
Achleitner, whose second-five year term as chairman ends in 2022 and has been under pressure to leave earlier, has been working on a succession plan, according to people with knowledge of his thinking.
Weimer is a top contender to replace Achleitner, some of those sources have said. Weimer is up for election to fill a spot on Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board at the lender’s annual general meeting (AGM) on May 20.
Vanda Heinen, Union Investment analyst focused on corporate governance, told Reuters she supported Weimer’s ascension to the board and to eventually become chairman.
“After his departure from Deutsche Boerse, we believe he would be a suitable successor to Mr. Achleitner.”
Investors have been frustrated with the 80% decline in Deutsche Bank’s share price over the past decade, billions of euros in losses, as well as the bank’s involvement in money laundering scandals.
A top shareholder advisor, Glass Lewis, has called on investors to vote against ratifying Achleitner’s actions at the AGM in a blow to one of Europe’s most prominent bankers.
Weimer is under contract to manage Deutsche Boerse until the end of 2024. There is no indication he would leave the well-paying CEO job at the exchange operator early for the less lucrative oversight role at Deutsche Bank.
A spokeswoman for Weimer said he wouldn’t be available to chair Deutsche as long as he is at the helm of Deutsche Boerse.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
(Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by David Clarke)