Deutsche Bank Names Next CEO
Sep. 21, 2000
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Deutsche Bank named a Swiss investment banker Thursday to succeed chief executive officer Rolf Breuer, who is due to step down in 2002 after five years at the helm of Germany's biggest bank.
Josef Ackermann, 52, a member of the bank's management board, was chosen by the board to replace Breuer, signaling that Deutsche Bank will pursue its strategy of expanding in investment banking. Ackermann was to take over starting with the 2002 shareholder meeting, the bank's announcement said.
The 62-year-old Breuer, whose plans to step aside had been known, is expected to become head of Deutsche's supervisory board.
Since taking over in 1997, Breuer has sought to position his bank as a global power and shift its focus more toward U.S.-style investment banking. Last year, Deutsche Bank swallowed New York-based Bankers Trust to claim the No. 1 spot in terms of assets with $840 billion.
Two American investment bankers, Edson Mitchell and Michael Phillip, were appointed to Deutsche's board this year.
But Breuer suffered a setback last spring when a merger attempt with German rival Dresdner Bank collapsed because of clashes over how to integrate overlapping investment banking operations.
Speculation that he might have to resign sooner than planned recently grew after the Frankfurt stock exchange's failed attempt to merge with its London rival. Breuer heads the Deutsche Boerse's supervisory board.
He was also one of the corporate chiefs behind the recently established $4.4 billion German compensation fund for Nazi-era slave workers.
Ackermann had a steep career at Credit Suisse, rising to board chairman at the Swiss bank in 1993. He quit the post in 1996 and moved to Deutsche Bank.
He holds a doctorate in economics and is considered one of a new breed of youngish Swiss corporate chiefs, even appearing in TV ads for his bank.