Paul Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank, has practiced self-criticism after ten years in his post. Deutsche Bank overestimated the situation when he took office in 2012, an “inflated self-image” stood in the way of the necessary change.

Deutsche Bank Supervisory Board Chairman Paul Achleitner is self-critical on the occasion of his departure after ten years in the post. “I, too, assessed the starting conditions in 2012 differently than they look in retrospect today,” says the chief controller, according to the text of the speech published on Wednesday at the annual general meeting of Germany’s largest bank, which will take place online on Thursday next week (May 19).

The bank’s “inflated self-image” stood in the way of the necessary change. In the meantime, however, the bank is back on the right track and has the very best prerequisites for it to stay that way.

“Who would have thought back then that we would have to spend billions on legal costs, penalties and settlement payments over the years – for cases the causes of which for the most part lay in the past?” said Achleitner.

In this context, the outgoing chief controller praises the successes of CEO Christian Sewing, who has been in charge of the institute since April 2018. After difficult years, Sewing ordered the bank to undergo a radical restructuring and led it back to billions in profits in 2021.

The head of the supervisory board also attests “very good work” to John Cryan, who took office as a reorganizer in 2015. However, he will continue to refrain from criticizing previous generations of managers, says Achleitner. He doesn’t mention a word about former CEOs like Anshu Jain, Jürgen Fitschen or Josef Ackermann.

After two five years at the top of the supervisory board, the 65-year-old Achleitner is no longer standing. Alexander Wynaendts, longtime CEO of the Dutch financial group Aegon, is to be his successor.


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