GERMANY – DekaBank, the asset manager tied to Germany’s state-owned savings banks (Sparkassen), has declined comment on press reports that 21 managing directors have been demoted and that it will miss its revenue and profit targets for this year.

“We have no comment on the reports as they did not come from us,” a spokesman for DekaBank in Frankfurt told IPE.

On Friday, Germany’s Börsen-Zeitung reported that DekaBank chief executive Franz Waas had demoted 21 out of 45 managing directors at the fund provider.

Citing internal sources at the asset manager, Börsen-Zeitung said the shake-up followed Waas’ disgruntlement with continued weak performance from DekaBank’s funds and its sales team. While these people are still employed at the asset manager, their former positions no longer exist.

The performance of DekaBank’s funds and troubles at its property investment arm in 2004 and early 2005 have prompted its Sparkassen shareholders to begin shunning its products.

Waas joined DekaBank from German Landesbank HSH Nordbank in January 2006 with the chief task of boosting its fortunes. He is being assisted by Oliver Behrens who joined DekaBank’s board at the same time and is in charge of asset management. Behrens was previously head of Deutsche Asset Management in Germany.

However, according to a report to appear in Germany’s WirtschaftsWoche this week, DekaBank will miss revenue and profit targets for 2006.

WirtschaftsWoche quoted internal sources as saying that DekaBank’s revenue would total near €1bn this year – or 11% below target. The magazine added that owing to excessive costs, pre-tax profits for this year, which were put at around €400m, would also be below target.

The reported difficulties at DekaBank follows last week’s announcement that the asset manager had hired Thomas Killius from HypoVereinsbank as its new head of institutional sales. He will report to Behrens.

When he takes up his new role by January, DekaBank said Killius would seek to win over more business from the Sparkassen and from other institutional clients.

Another key assignment for Killius would be to “consolidate the various institutional sales activities within the group and take operational responsibility for them,” DekaBank said.