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Western Europe: LBBW – Why Rainer Neske feels at home in Stuttgart

LBBW’s new chief executive has put together an ambitious and far-reaching strategy for the state-owned German bank that will surprise many. Can his focus on corporates, international expansion, capital markets and fintech work when private-sector banks are failing?

Illustration: The Red Dress

There were plenty of raised eyebrows in Germany in February 2016, when Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) announced the appointment of Rainer Neske as its new chief executive. 

Neske took up his position at the start of November 2016, replacing Hans-Jörg Vetter, the veteran firefighter who had led the painful but successful restructuring of LBBW after its catastrophic loss of almost €2.1 billion in 2008.

The German media’s surprise at Neske’s appointment was chiefly a product of his 26-year pedigree in the private sector. A computer scientist who joined Deutsche Bank after graduating from Karlsruhe University in 1990, Neske had been in charge of retail banking at Deutsche since 2009.

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