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Opinion

Abigail with attitude

Abigail Hofman
The banking industry will miss Joe Ackermann...
As Deutsche’s chief executive, Josef Ackermann, spoke briefly about the euro, the European ideal and courage, I found myself thinking what a loss he will be for the industry when he finally retires.

...but the handling of his succession leaves much to be desired
A mole at the dinner murmured that he had interviewed a senior Deutsche employee recently. The potential candidate had revealed that the battle over who should replace Ackermann is acrimonious and is taking a toll on morale.

Co-chiefs could leave Deutsche vulnerable to eurozone crisis
If the appointment of co-chiefs leads to internal squabbling and discord inside Deutsche, the board might have let a Trojan Horse into the German citadel.

Generosity adds to buoyant mood at Euromoney dinner
The highlight of the evening was the generosity shown towards Euromoney’s chosen charity: Little Rock Inclusive Early Childhood Development Centre.

Why do CEOs ignore a key part of their role?
It occurs to me that none of the major banks has a proper succession plan in place today. Think about UBS, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and even HSBC. Who would step into the breach if the current chief fell under a bus?

Calamity Ken’s legacy grows at Bank of America
Someone who was an autocratic bank chief and who never bothered to put in place a proper succession plan was Ken Lewis, the former chief executive and chairman of Bank of America. Lewis’ legacy is a murky mess.

Wendi slaps the pie-man
We were all mesmerized by the testimony of the Murdochs before the House of Commons select committee in mid-July. Rupert’s leggy wife, Wendi, stole the show.

Egan leaves egg on big raters’ faces
Sean Egan has a good track record. Unfortunately, he is pessimistic about the European sovereign debt crisis.

Stress tests worthy of derision, not discussion
I have seen no widespread derision surrounding the European authorities' latest round of stress tests.

Headcount alert: Goldman leads where others are sure to follow
I was surprised to see a shrill headline in the FT in late July that trumpeted: “Goldman to cut 1,000 staff after disappointing drop in earnings.”

Nat Rothschild, 2007 and all that
Titans of the financial and political establishment gathered in Montenegro on July 7 for a three-day fiesta to celebrate Nat Rothschild’s 40th birthday.

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