[MILAN/LONDON] Rainer Neske, the head of Deutsche Bank AG's private and business clients division, is poised to step down as the firm prepares to cut back its consumer unit, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Mr Neske, 50, sits on the lender's eight-member management board, where he has overseen the company's retail operations. He had pushed for the bank to sell all of that business as a stand- alone company, said the person, asking not to be identified because his departure hasn't been announced. The bank's supervisory board meets May 20 and his successor may be named as soon as this week, the person said.
Co-Chief Executive Officers Juergen Fitschen and Anshu Jain plan to sell a stake in the Postbank retail unit and scale back the securities division in the biggest overhaul since taking charge three years ago. Mr Neske joined Deutsche Bank in 1990. Handelsblatt reported his exit earlier Monday.
A successor to Mr Neske may be presented at the May 20 meeting, Der Spiegel reported on its website. Christian Ricken, chief operating officer of private and business clients and a member of Deutsche Bank's group executive committee, is a probable candidate, according to the magazine.
Klaus Winker, a company spokesman, declined to comment on Mr Neske's plans. A call to Deutsche Bank after office hours was answered by a switchboard operator, who wouldn't put a reporter in contact with Mr Neske or take a message. Neske's home phone number isn't listed in directory assistance and there was no response to a message sent to a Deutsche Bank e-mail account.
Deutsche Bank is set to hold its annual shareholders meeting May 21. Shareholder groups including ISS Proxy Advisory Services and Ivox GmbH have criticized management and called on investors to be wary of backing management at the meeting. Some investors have questioned the CEOs' ability to revive returns after targets were missed and regulatory probes boosted legal bills and raised concern about internal oversight.