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Deutsche Bank shares soar on planned leadership change

Published:Tuesday | June 9, 2015 | 12:00 AMAP

Shares in Deutsche Bank soared Monday, a day after the company said its co-CEOs, Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, will step down early.

The bank's shares were up 5.1 per cent in afternoon trading in Frankfurt at €29.02 – by far the biggest gainer on the DAX index of leading German shares, which was off 0.7 per cent.

The rise follows Sunday's statement from Germany's biggest bank that Jain, 52, will depart at the end of this month while Fitschen, 66, will follow next May. Their successor will be British banker John Cryan, initially as co-CEO with Fitschen and then in sole charge. Cryan, 54, is currently a member of the company's supervisory board.

Cryan was president for Europe at the Singaporean investment company Temasek from 2012 until last year. He was previously chief financial officer of the Swiss bank UBS AG.

Jain and Fitschen became joint chief executives in 2012, succeeding Josef Ackermann, and had contracts running through March 2017.

They have sought to move the bank past lawsuits and legal issues that in some cases dated back years and stressed the need for the bank to change its culture. Still, those issues have continued to cast the bank in an unflattering light.

In April, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay US$2.5 billion to authorities in the US and Britain to settle allegations its traders rigged important market interest-rate benchmarks used to determine rates on a variety of debt.

Unrelatedly, Fitschen and two predecessors went on trial that month on charges of attempted fraud for allegedly colluding to deceive judges in a long-running legal battle with a now-deceased media mogul, Leo Kirch. Fitschen and the other defendants have denied any wrongdoing.

Deutsche Bank also recently announced a reorganisation that will involve spinning off its Postbank branches in Germany, closing offices in some countries and eliminating less-profitable business at its investment banking division.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, asked at the Group of Seven summit in southern Germany about the leadership switch, said the move didn't surprise her but that she didn't want to comment further on a company decision.

"I want Deutsche Bank to be able to work successfully," Merkel said.