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Deutsche Bank CEO succession issue won’t go away

Being the chief executive of Deutsche Bank is not for the fainthearted. CEOs of banks in other markets are only now suffering the scrutiny and brickbats that Ackermann has faced since the day he took the job in 2002.

"My peers in the industry have had to get used to it over the past three or four years, but I have always had to deal with intense public scrutiny at Deutsche Bank," he says.

But Ackermann rationalizes the intensity and understands why it has to be. "Deutsche Bank has always been very much in the public focus and there are a number of reasons for that. One is we are a proxy for Germany, another one is we have tried something that was considered to be impossible out of Germany: building a global investment bank. That we have become one of the top players in this area in the space of only a decade has surprised, fascinated and irritated a lot of people.

"If we were a retail or commercial bank only, people would not be so interested in us. Through the crisis investment banking has become the symbol of evil for many."

The speculation is now passing on to who will succeed Ackermann when his current contract finishes in 2013. It is a sign of the deep fascination that the market has with Deutsche Bank that an event two years away is already generating such intense speculation.

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