Deutsche Bank investors shake-up scorned


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Shareholders have dismissed Deutsche Bank’s move to boost the power of its co-chief executive Anshu Jain as insufficient, and demanded more changes to restore confidence in the leadership of Germany’s largest bank.

Only 61 per cent of investors endorsed the chief executives’ performance in 2014 in a vote at the bank’s annual meeting. This was despite the bank rearranging responsibilities among its top brass late on Wednesday night in an attempt to appease investors.  Mr Jain was put in charge of a reorganisation and cost-cutting and the departure of Colin Grassie, the head of the British business, was also announced.

“The reshuffling of chairs didn’t go far enough,” Hans-Christoph Hirt of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, told the meeting. “We no longer have confidence in the management board.”

Deutsche has trailed rivals under the leadership of Mr Jain and his co-chief executive, Jürgen Fitschen. Despite fallout from the financial crisis, they stuck to a costly universal banking model offering everything from mortgages in Germany to derivatives in London.

A restructuring plan unveiled last month to axe unprofitable business lines was judged too little, too late by investors.

The bank’s problems have been compounded by a series of scandals including a recent $2.5bn fine from regulators to settle allegations Deutsche traders rigged benchmark Libor rates, and a lengthy court case in Munich, where Mr Fitschen is defending himself against allegations that he misled investigators in a dispute with the heirs of the Kirch media empire.