Breuer to step down at Deutsche Bank

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The Independent Online

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, yesterday announced that Josef Ackermann, the Swiss-born chief executive of its investment banking arm, is to take over from Rolf Breuer, the current "Sprecher", or chief executive, in two years' time.

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, yesterday announced that Josef Ackermann, the Swiss-born chief executive of its investment banking arm, is to take over from Rolf Breuer, the current "Sprecher", or chief executive, in two years' time.

The announcement came in a terse statement following a meeting of the bank's management board. It had been brought forward in an attempt to quell speculation in Frankfurt that Dr Breuer was under pressure to go early in the wake of the collapse of an attempted merger with Dresdner, its traditional rival, earlier this year.

Dr Breuer, 62, a vocal spokesman for Finanzplatz Deutschland, the German financial services lobby, has since suffered the further embarrassment of seeing the collapse last week of the planned merger between Frankfurt's Deutsche Börse, which he chairs, and the London Stock Exchange. In the wake of the deal's collapse he has been talking to the Madrid and Milan bourses about mounting a multilateral takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange.

Dr Ackermann, who joined Deutsche Bank in 1996 after a boardroom bust-up at Credit Suisse, his former employer, is credited with having engineered a spectacular turnaround in Deutsche's investment banking operations. The announcement will be seen as a signal of the board's commitment to grow its investment bank.

Dr Breuer is expected to succeed Hilmar Kopper, his predecessor, as chairman of the supervisory board after the bank's annual meeting in May 2002.

Dr Ackermann, 52, who spends much of his time in London, played a key role in managing the integration of Bankers Trust, the US banking group that Deutsche took over last year.

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