Berlin: Deutsche Bank has appointed Anshu Jain as the co-CEO to succeed Management Board Chairman Josef Ackermann, who leaves office in May next year. Jain, 48, the head of Deutsche Bank's highly successful investment banking division based in London, will take over the leadership of Germany's largest bank together with his management board colleague, Juergen Fitschen, when Ackermann makes way for them one year ahead of his current term expiring in May, 2013.
Deutsche Bank made the announcement on Monday evening after a special meeting of the supervisory board ahead of its regular meeting on Tuesday, at which the bank will announce its quarterly results.
The supervisory board's endorsement of Chairman Clemens Boersig's nomination of Jain and Fitschen for leadership of the bank three weeks ago brings to an end speculation about who will take over the reins of Germany's leading financial institution from Ackermann.
The two members of the management board were appointed as equal co-chairmen of the board and co-chairmen of the group executive committee of the bank, it said in a press statement.
Fitschen, 62, who manages Deutsche Bank's domestic business, will serve in his new capacity for three years until 2015, while Jain has a five-year contract until March, 2017.
This raises the possibility for Jain to take over as the sole head of the world's fourth largest investment bank when Fitschen's term expires.
"I am greatly honoured to lead this wonderful institution together with Mr Juergen," Jain said, responding to the supervisory board's decision.
Fitschen said, "I cannot imagine a better partner than Anshu to continue the bank's successful course in the domestic market, as well as abroad."
The supervisory board's decision was unanimous, with the close involvement of Ackermann in the entire process, Boersig said, according to the statement.
The new leadership will strive for renewal, while ensuring continuity. Thereby, it will create the best conditions for the bank to continue on its successful course, he said.
Jain has been at the centre of the search for a successor to Ackermann and various options explored in the months past focused on keeping the India-born investment banker with Deutsche Bank.
He has earned a great reputation by transforming the company's investment banking into a profitable business and contributing to the steady growth in its earnings.
Investment banking has a more than 70 per cent share in Deutsche Bank's overall profits. However, London-based Jain's inexperience at high-level political networking in Germany and deficiency in communicating in German were a disadvantage for him to take over the sole leadership of the bank.
Therefore, Boersig proposed that he teamed up with Fitschen, who has excellent contacts to the centres of power in Berlin and good relations with German business and industry.
It is hoped that Fitschen can carry out the lobbying work and communicate with shareholders until Jain builds up his political contacts and improves his ability to communicate in German.
Deutsche Bank is in favour of Ackermann replacing Boersig as chairman of the supervisory board so that he will remain with the bank after ten years as chairman of the management board, the statement said.
Boersig has expressed his intention to step down in May next year after leading the control committee during the last six years and this opens up the possibility for Ackermann to succeed him, the statement said.
Boersig will continue to be associated with the bank as a member of the European Advisory Board of the bank. Ackermann, who in April denied any ambitions to shift to the supervisory board, said he is now prepared to take over as its chairman and to serve the bank in the future as well.
He said he is quite pleased with the appointment of Jain and Fitschen as his successors. Ackermann had changed his mind after he was persuaded in recent weeks by several board members, especially its employees representatives, to remain with the bank in view of his top-level political contacts, extensive knowledge of the company's operations and his high esteem in global banking, media reports said.
Ackermann, a Swiss national, also came under pressure from outside the bank to seek a new term as chairman of the supervisory board after he was invited by the heads of state and government of the 17 euro zone nations to join them when they agreed on a comprehensive financial rescue plan for Greece, including a second bail-out package of 109 billion euros, at their summit in Brussels last Thursday, the reports said.
However, he can move to the supervisory board only when the bank's shareholders, who hold 25 per cent of the base capital, propose him for the chairmanship at the next shareholder's meeting in May, 2012.
Deutsche Bank said it will do everything necessary to meet the legal conditions for Ackermann to take over as chairman of the supervisory board with effect from the shareholder's meeting in 2012.