Abigail with attitude: Co-chiefs could leave Deutsche vulnerable to eurozone crisis
Succession is at the heart of the Murdoch soap story. Now, finally, one of the longest running succession sagas in the financial markets is coming to an end. Joe Ackermann will retire as CEO a year early, in 2012. He will become the chairman of Deutsche’s supervisory board. He will be replaced by two co-CEOs: Anshu Jain, the head of the corporate and investment bank that makes around 70% of Deutsche’s revenues; and Juergen Fitschen, head of the bank’s business in Germany.
This seems like a classic fudge to me. Why won’t the board anoint Jain as the sole CEO? Sources mutter about Jain not speaking fluent German. This is odd: Brady Dougan took sole charge of Credit Suisse in 2007 and I’m positive he didn’t speak fluent Swiss-German.
It seems that the Deutsche board believes unadulterated Jain might be too much of a good thing. If I were Mr Jain, I would be insulted.
Regular readers will recall that I believe next year could be very tough for the global markets. If a eurozone country defaults, Deutsche Bank will be at the centre of the drama. Whoever is in charge at Germany’s largest bank should have their protective armour ready. In a crisis, swift decision-making is key.
If the appointment of co-chiefs leads to squabbling and discord inside Deutsche, the board might have let a Trojan horse into the German citadel. The Abigail with attitude column will follow this story closely.