FRANKFURT, Germany—At least three major investors in Deutsche Bank want Chairman Paul Achleitner to step down early amid discontent with the bank’s turnaround, two people with knowledge of the matter said on May 21.
Achleitner, whose term expires in 2022, is due to face investors at the bank’s annual general meeting on May 23.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment, both on behalf of the bank and Achleitner.
The sources did not want to identify the three investors, and while they do not have the power to push through management change on their own, their calls are a sign of the pressures facing Germany’s biggest bank after years of failed turnarounds.
In recent years, Deutsche Bank has been plagued by failed regulatory tests, ratings downgrades, big fines, and management reshuffles. It posted its first profit in four years in 2018.
Achleitner’s record of installing executives and overseeing the lender has been chequered, said one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The bank was already facing a potential rocky ride at this year’s gathering after two advisory groups to shareholders—Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis—urged them to issue a vote of no confidence in management.
One small but vocal investor last month added to the meeting’s agenda a vote to oust Achleitner because the bank “remains trapped in an unbroken downward spiral”.
In response, the supervisory board last month said it had full confidence in Achleitner. Last year, a similar effort to force out the chairman garnered just 9.05% of the vote.
Achleitner, an Austrian financier who previously sat on the board of German insurer Allianz and headed Goldman Sachs in Germany, became Deutsche’s chairman in 2012.
Achleitner’s supporters argue he took decisive action last year when he ousted John Cryan as chief executive officer and installed Christian Sewing in his place.
By Tom Sims
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