Deutsche Bank bosses Anshu Jain and Jurgen Fitschen bow to pressure and quit

Michael Bow
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Anshu Jain has finally said he will stand down as joint chief exec at the bank
Deutsche's co-chief executives quit the global banking giant yesterday, bowing to mounting legal wranglings and shareholder pressure.

Indian-born Anshu Jain, 52, will step down at the end of this month and co-chief executive Jurgen Fitschen, 66, will leave next May.

British banker John Cryan, former UBS finance chief and current Deutsche board member, will become the new sole chief executive from 1 July.

“With John Cryan as chief exec, we think that Deutsche is transitioning from one of the least credible management teams in investors’ minds to one of the most highly regarded,” Jefferies analysts said.

The sudden exit comes just a fortnight after nearly 40 per cent of represented shareholders at Deutsche’s annual meeting voted against the management board, amid growing unrest over the bank’s strategy.

A steady stream of regulatory fines, including a £1.7bn penalty over the Libor scandal, has also put the bank on the back foot and taken a toll on profits and morale.

“It’s probably quicker than we would have expected but it’s the type of reaction you would have hoped for,” said Hermes equity ownership services director Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, who led calls for a change.

“It’s really positive that the supervisory board has heard the message shareholders sent around at the annual meeting.”

Despite a reshuffle two weeks ago designed to placate angry investors, many felt the changes had not gone far enough. The co-bosses had previously laid out plans in April to boost the firm by cutting €3.5bn of costs.

The new strategy came amid growing legal battles at the company over regulatory fines.

Jain – who as head of Deutsche’s investment bank until 2010 built it into the company’s main source of profits – said last month that he took responsibility for Libor fiddling at the bank, but refused to resign.

Fitschen is also set to stand trial in Germany accused of giving false testimony in the long-running court case with the Kirch media group. Fitschen denies wrongdoing.

The change of guard is a coup for Cryan, who moves down from Deutsche’s supervisory board – where he chaired the audit committee – to take over the group.

Unlike Jain’s hedge fund trading background, Cryan made his name as an M&A rainmaker, first at SG Warburg and then at UBS.

Cryan’s appointment comes amid an executive shakeup at some of the world’s biggest banks.

Former JP Morgan banker Bill Winters will replace outgoing Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands this month.

Former Prudential chief Tidjane Thiam will also take over from former investment banker Brady Dougan at Credit Suisse at the same time.

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