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Shock exit for WestLB boss

City A.M. Reporter
<!--StartFragment--> WESTLB chief executive Heinz Hilgert resigned yesterday following a disagreement with the German bank&rsquo;s owners over how to restructure the stricken lender.<br /><br />The bank did not name an immediate successor for Hilgert, who had been in office since May 2008 and whose resignation was unexpected.<br /><br />His departure came with the bank in the midst of a restructuring, a vital step to consolidating the stricken German Landesbank sector.<br /><br />Hilgert said his situation had become untenable after WestLB&rsquo;s majority shareholder, the regional association of savings banks, declined to back his restructuring proposal.<br /><br />&ldquo;I have laid down my role as chief executive and member of the management board of WestLB. I deeply regret this development,&rdquo; Hilgert said. WestLB needs about &euro;5bn (&pound;4.4bn) of guarantees to help it restructure, Hilgert said.<br /><br />Dusseldorf-based WestLB is seeking to transfer about &euro;80bn in risky assets off its balance sheet into a special purpose vehicle.<br /><br />The proposal to offload risky assets such as troubled financial instruments tied to student loans and government bonds, was &ldquo;not met with sufficient support&rdquo; among the bank&rsquo;s owners, Hilgert added. <!--EndFragment-->