Morgan Stanley German boss offers resignation over emails

City A.M. Reporter
THE head of Morgan Stanley’s German unit has offered to step down following an uproar over emails he reportedly exchanged with a regional politician, and the bank has not yet decided whether to accept his resignation, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The departure of Dirk Notheis would be a blow for the US investment bank, which had come to rely heavily on him to deliver lucrative advisory roles in mergers and acquisitions, known as mandates.

The 44-year-old Notheis is one of Germany’s best-connected dealmakers with close ties to Berlin, a fact that rivals say has helped Morgan Stanley snare mandates involving companies that are partially state-owned.

Emails published in the German newspapers Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Handelsblatt in the past week suggest Notheis gave strategic advice on moves by politicians in a way that has drawn sharp public criticism. The emails have not been independently verified.

In some of the emails, he appears to ask to keep German Chancellor Angela Merkel – whom he refers to as Mutti, German for mum – out of the loop until just before a controversial deal to nationalise an energy utility was completed in 2010.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.