BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) chairman Paul Achleitner is considering making Juerg Zeltner, the former head of the wealth management business of Swiss bank UBS(UBSG.S), the successor to Chief Executive John Cryan, Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.
Sources had told Reuters on Tuesday that Germany’s flagship bank had begun looking for a new CEO to replace Cryan to mollify investors frustrated by the slow turnaround of the loss-making lender.
Cryan said in a staff memo on Wednesday that he was “absolutely committed” to the lender. But Achleitner, who the sources said had initiated the search for a new CEO, has remained silent.
Without citing its sources, Spiegel said Achleitner had already held talks with Zeltner, who left UBS in December after more than three decades at the Swiss bank, hoping to prepare a change by the annual shareholders meeting on May 24.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
Zeltner is credited with leading a push by UBS into Asia Pacific, which has become an important growth driver, contributing nearly a third of third-quarter operating income in the wealth management division.
Separately, WirtschaftsWoche weekly and the Wall Street Journal reported that veteran banker John Thain was a candidate to join the board of Deutsche Bank, with other changes also planned. The bank also declined comment on that.
The German magazine cited sector experts as predicting that Thain would support Achleitner’s strategy to continue to lead Deutsche as a global investment bank.
Thain headed Merrill Lynch before it was sold to Bank of America Corp at the height of the financial crisis and served as chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, where Achleitner also worked earlier in his career.
Thain, who began his banking career in 1979, formerly headed the New York Stock Exchange and engineered a series of mergers that shaped it into NYSE Euronext by 2007.
Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Tom Sims; Editing by Edmund Blair