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Deutsche boss urged to give up investment banking job

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany
Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany Credit: ARMANDO BABANI/EPA-EFE/REX

Deutsche Bank chief executive Christian Sewing is under pressure from shareholders to hand over supervision of its troubled investment banking division, amid concern it may distract him from his main job steering a turnaround.

Top 20 shareholder Deka is the latest to call on Deutsche to end Mr Sewing’s dual role. It argued it is “unusual” for a chief executive to run such an “earnings-sensitive department” while also overseeing a restructuring that involves the loss of 18,000 jobs.

“It’s more appropriate to split the function given the bank is in a restructuring mode,” said Ingo Speich, head of corporate governance for the German investor. You can’t turn around in a quarter or two quarters what went wrong in a decade.”

Another top investor, who did not want to be named, said Mr Sewing is "crazy to try anything else" given the major overhaul ahead.  

Their comments come days after European regulators were said to be privately demanding Mr Sewing lose the investment role.

Deutsche said “there are presently no plans to change management board responsibility for our investment bank”.

Former investment banking boss Garth Ritchie, who joined the lender in 1996 and was last year paid more than the chief executive – taking home €8.6m (£7.4m) – left in July just before deep cost-cutting measures.

Mr Speich said he does not agree with recent calls by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, a major Deutsche Bank sharheolder, for chairman Paul Achleitner to step down. “It is not our current opinion that the chairman should leave, what we want to see is succession planning,” he said. “The bank needs time to get restructuring done.”