April 11, 2019 / 4:24 PM / 2 months ago

Deutsche Bank investor to file AGM motion to oust chairman

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank investor Riebeck-Brauerei plans to file a motion seeking a vote to oust the bank’s chairman Paul Achleitner at this year’s annual general meeting, a lawyer for the shareholder said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Deutsche Bank's Supervisory Board Chairman Paul Achleitner gestures as he addresses the audience during the bank's annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

Jan Bayer, Riebeck-Brauerei’s lawyer, said the justification to oust Achleitner was for his “dismal performance” and for pursuing a “value-destructive” merger with Commerzbank.

Bayer said that he planned to file the motion for his client in the next week. Riebeck-Brauerei is an investment company which has a small shareholding in Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank, which is due to hold its annual general meeting on May 23, declined to comment.

The disaffection with Achleitner comes as Germany’s largest bank has begun talks to merge with Commerzbank.

If successful, the tie-up will bring together Germany’s two biggest banks to create one of Europe’s largest financial services groups.

German government officials, led by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, have pushed for a merger to create a national banking champion and end questions over the future of the two banks, which have struggled to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

Last year, Riebeck-Brauerei filed a similar motion to oust Achleitner, prompting Deutsche to issue a statement supporting the chairman for his “comprehensive personal and professional skills and integrity”.

At the annual meeting last year a small shareholder group led by Riebeck-Brauerei failed to oust Achleitner, garnering 9.05 percent of the vote.

Bayer also said Riebeck-Brauerei would file other motions, including one to not ratify the actions of the management and supervisory boards over the past year.

Also, the investor plans to file motions for votes of no confidence against several management board members related to the bank’s failure to prevent money laundering and to pass stress tests.

Senior management at Commerzbank has come under pressure from employees, prompting its supervisory board chairman on Thursday to dismiss reports of board dissatisfaction with its chief executive as irresponsible and unfounded.

Reporting by Tom Sims, additional reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker; Editing by Edward Taylor and Jane Merriman

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