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.