GERMANY – Oliver Behrens, head of Deutsche Asset Management in Germany, is to join the management board of fund provider DekaBank.

Deka said Behrens - who was also global head of structured and fixed income products at DeAM - would join its board by January 1 2006, when its new chief executive Franz Waas, board executive at German Landesbank HSH Nordbank, takes over.

Deka is the fund arm of Germany’s publicly owned Landesbanken and Sparkassen (savings banks). As Deka has traditionally only managed to recruit executives from these banks, Behrens’ appointment is unusual.

Behrens’ departure follows a shake-up of managers at DeAM which saw Kevin Parker become global head and Axel Benkner, head of retail fund unit DWS, take the reins in Europe.

DeAM has lost several top executives, especially from the UK, since the beginning of 2004. The UK business has also been hit by tens of billions of euros in outflows and parent Deutsche Bank may be considering selling it.

Sources familiar with the move said salary was a factor for Behrens. Neither Deka nor DeAM was willing to comment.

Deka’s institutional fund business currently has €45bn in assets under management, making it the fourth largest in the German market. DeAM, with €79bn in assets, is ranked second.

Separately, Deka said Peter Mathis would step down as deputy chief executive to “enable a new direction for the bank”.

Mathis served as deputy to former CEO Axel Weber, who was forced to resign last March after Deka’s real estate fund business was rocked by a bribery scandal and billions of euros in investor outflows.

Deka said: “The appointments are intended to elevate us to the top rankings in the (fund) industry. The most important task now is to boost the performance of our fund products.”