Deutsche Bank extends CEO Sewing’s contract to 2026

Christian Sewing is set to stay in charge of Deutsche Bank for five more years after its supervisory board extended the chief executive’s contract until 2026, Germany’s largest lender announced on Monday.

The 50-year-old, whose current contract was set to expire next year, has been at the helm of Deutsche since April 2018, when his predecessor John Cryan was ousted in an acrimonious boardroom battle.

Under Sewing, the Frankfurt-based lender has embarked on the most radical restructuring in decades as it ditched equities trading, earmarked a sizeable chunk of its balance sheet for divestment and pledged 18,000 job cuts by 2022.

Shares in Deutsche have increased more than 50 per cent since the restructuring was unveiled in July 2019. Sewing earlier this month came under criticism from unions after he received a 46 per cent pay increase last year, to €7.4m, on the back of a pandemic-led trading boom.

Two months ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in late May, the lender on Monday also formally unveiled details of its looming management board reshuffle, which was partly reported last week.

“Christian Sewing’s management team has impressively transformed and strengthened Deutsche Bank over the past three years,” said chair Paul Achleitner. The reshuffle will give the chief executive more time “to focus on cross-divisional priorities” such as clients, sustainability and compliance.

Chief operating officer Frank Kuhnke will leave Deutsche at the end of his contract this year, and Rebecca Short will join the management board as its new chief transformation officer, the second woman among eight men. Short, who will also be in charge of Deutsche’s asset divestment unit and global procurement, was previously head of group planning and performance management.

As reported on Friday, Short’s predecessor Fabrizio Campelli will be put in charge of the lender’s investment bank and its corporate bank — a role previously held by Sewing alongside his responsibilities as chief executive.

Since that dual position was announced in mid-2019 following the departure of Deutsche’s top investment banker Garth Ritchie, regulators had been pressing the bank to change this set-up because they were concerned about Sewing’s excessive workload and potential conflicts of interests.

Deutsche’s chief legal officer Stefan Simon’s role will be strengthened as he will be put in charge of its anti financial crime unit, alongside compliance — areas that are currently overseen by chief risk officer Stuart Lewis.

Lewis, the longest-serving board member, will resign at the AGM in 2022, one year before his contract will expire, after holding the job for a decade.

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