The chief executive of trouble-plagued German lender Deutsche Bank AG has written to employees to dash rumors he would soon be pushed out, saying he was “absolutely committed” to righting the bank.
“I am absolutely committed to serving our bank and to continuing down the path” back to stability and profitability, John Cryan wrote in a letter late on Wednesday.
While Cryan’s contract runs until 2020, press reports in recent days have suggested a rift over strategy with supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner, who is said to be seeking a replacement.
Given sole command of the lender in 2016, Cryan’s task was to restructure Deutsche and clean up the toxic legacy of its pre-financial crisis bid to compete with global investment banking giants.
He has neutralized the worst legal threats, in part by paying billions in fines and compensation, strengthened Deutsche’s capital foundations with an 8 billion euro (US$9.9 billion) share issue last year and floated asset management division DWS on the stock market this month.
“The financial results have so far not been what all of us would want them to be,” Cryan wrote, in a nod to an unexpected 751 million euro loss reported for last year.
While the bank said the loss was a one-off caused by US President Donald Trump’s corporate tax reform, investors have shunned Deutsche since the start of the year, with its stock dropping around 30 percent in value since Jan. 1.
Nevertheless, “we need to focus on executing the strategy that was agreed and signed off by both the management and supervisory boards,” Cryan said in a bid to smooth over the reported divisions at the top. “There is no difference of opinion here.”
Looking ahead “I personally have to give the company direction as we have to rebalance the often conflicting demands of our various stakeholders,” Cryan said.
As Deutsche moves out of its intensive-care phase there will be “more emphasis on generating attractive shareholder returns and returning to growth,” he added.
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