Former UBS Finance Chief Named co-CEO of Deutsche Bank

John Cryan's appointment may drive a turnaround at the beleaguered German bank.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJune 8, 2015

John Cryan, the former UBS chief financial officer who led the Swiss bank from the brink of collapse during the financial crisis, is now charged with leading the recovery of beleaguered Deutsche Bank.

Germany’s largest bank on Sunday appointed Cyran, 54, as co-chief executive, effective July 1, following the decision of Jürgen Fitschen, 66, and Anshu Jain, 52, to step down early from their roles as co-CEOs.

Cryan has been a member of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board since 2013 and has served as chairman of the audit committee and a member of the risk committee. Upon becoming co-CEO, he will step down from the supervisory board.

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Cryan was widely credited for helping UBS recover from record losses tied to the U.S. housing market, Bloomberg said Sunday. After leaving the CFO post there in 2011, he served from 2012 to 2014 as the president for Europe at Temasek, the Singapore state-owned investment company, and then joined Deutsche Bank.

Jain will step down on June 30 but will remain as a consultant to the bank through year-end. Fitschen will stay in his current role through the end of the annual shareholder meeting next May, “to help ensure a smooth transition,” the company said. Cryan will then become the sole CEO.

During Jain’s and Fitschen’s tenure as co-CEOs, Deutsche Bank’s stock “posted the worst performance among global peers,” according to Bloomberg.

The company is valued at about 40.3 billion euros ($44.9 billion), or about 65% of its tangible book, “indicating it’s worth less than investors should expect to receive if the company liquidated its assets,” Bloomberg said.

“With John Cryan as CEO, we think that Deutsche is transitioning from one of the least credible management teams in investors’ minds to one of the most highly regarded,” Jefferies analyst Omar Fall wrote in a note to clients. “We do not foresee a dramatic change in strategy or capital raising, but market confidence on delivery should clearly increase.”