GERMANY – DekaBank, the asset manager of Germany’s state-owned savings banks (Sparkassen), has recruited Thomas Killius from HypoVereinsbank as its new head of institutional sales.

DekaBank said Killius would join it by 1 January 2007 at the latest. He will report to Oliver Behrens, the board member responsible for asset management and capital markets.

At HypoVereinsbank, the 42-year-old Killius is a sales executive in charge of the corporate and private clients business done by the bank’s branches nationwide. The takeover of HypoVereinbank by Italy’s UniCredit a year ago has sparked an exodus of senior executives from the former institution.

DekaBank said that in his new role, Killius would focus on the assets held by its Sparkassen shareholders, and seek to increase the asset manager’s third-party business.

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

DekaBank also stated that it had recruited the fixed income specialist Frank Hagenstein from rival fund manager Union Investment. Hagenstein is to join the fund provider at the start of January 2007.

Killius’ appointment is part of a general shake-up of DekaBank’s management board that began in March 2005, when Axel Weber resigned as chief executive.

Weber stepped down after DekaBank’s real estate fund business was rocked by scandals and billions of euros in investor outflows. At the end of March, DekaBank had around €19bn invested in its open-ended property funds, which are mainly targeted to retail clients

Behrens, Killius’ future boss, joined DekaBank’s board at the start of 2006 from Deutsche Asset Management. The chief executive of DekaBank’s revamped board is Franz Waas.

At the end of March, DekaBank had €43.1bn in institutional assets under management, a good portion of which comes from its Sparkassen shareholders. Pension funds in Germany only account for a small portion.