John Thain Rumored to Join Deutsche Bank as Executive Reshuffling Continues

With share prices near all-time lows, the Executive Board of the largest German bank is under pressure

Deutsche Bank is preparing yet another reshuffling to its senior executives as the company’s shares are hovering near all-time lows. Bloomberg reports that the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, John Thain, is rumored to be joining the largest German lender in May. The move follows a report last week that a successor to current CEO John Cryan is already sought.

The performance of the current top executive at the Chairman of Deutsche Bank’s Supervisory Board, Paul Achleitner, is said to have been heavily scrutinized by shareholders. John Thain is one of the senior financial industry executives that became famous around the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008. He led the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America at a rate that was close to 70 percent above market prices.

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Deutsche Bank Reshuffling Spearheaded by Chairman

The executive reshuffling effort at Deutsche Bank has been spearheaded by Achleitner. Current CEO John Cryan has led a cost restructuring strategy that led to a sharp decline in revenues. The pressure has shifted onto the Chairman of the Board, as three CEOs have been leading the largest German lender throughout the past 6 years.

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Industry insiders have been doing the rounds, commentating that the changes to the Board should have happened earlier. According to one industry insider interviewed by Bloomberg, if Cryan is to step down, Achleitner will have to follow. He has been chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bank since May 2012.

Trading Business Under Review

The top German lender has been struggling to remain afloat since 2008 with the institution holding massive exposure to derivative securities. The risk related to the company’s exposure has investors worried about for over 8 years. After peaking out in April 2010, the company’s shares tanked to below the crisis lows of 2008.

The investment banking unit of Deutsche Bank has been at the center of massive job cuts earlier this year, leading to a slide in revenues just at a time when volatility has come back to the market. The German lender is at present considering another review of its trading businesses.

Recent weeks saw CEO Cryan issuing a memo to staff elaborating on his commitment to the company’s success. Europe’s largest investment bank is continually losing market share at a time when major trading desks have been reporting a record pick-up in tasing activity just as volatility has returned to the market.

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