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Deutsche to unveil new strategy in September as wealth, asset management divisions merge

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  • Deutsche to unveil new strategy in September as wealth, asset management divisions merge

GERMANY - Deutsche Bank is not expected to shed further light on the fate of its asset management business for several months, with the company saying it would unveil its new corporate strategy in September.

However, in a statement released last week, it said a new Asset and Wealth Management division would "stand equally" beside its remaining banking divisions and argued the bank would be "strengthened" by the new arrangement.

The announcement follows an AGM that saw Hermes Equity Ownership Services (Hermes EOS) and other major institutional shareholders vote against the discharge of the former supervisory board chairman at Deutsche Bank.

At the bank's AGM last week, 22.26% of investors voted against a discharge for the former supervisory board at Deutsche Bank under Clemens Börsig, the German shareholder group VIP revealed now.

Among the shareholders rejecting the motion were the UK's BT Pension Scheme, California State Teachers' Retirement System, Calvert and Mn Services - represented by Hermes - as well as PGGM and Phitrust. The UK's Railpen and Robeco were also supportive of Hermes and VIP - who together represented 10 million votes.

In his speech at the AGM, Hans-Christoph Hirt, global head of corporate engagement at Hermes EOS, noted that the shareholders he was representing were "unsatisfied with the work of the supervisory board over the last years" and added that they had "lost faith in its current members".

He mentioned "deficiencies in the succession planning" for replacing former head of Deutsche Bank Josef Ackermann, "failure to take account of significant investor concerns about management board remuneration" and  "insufficient alignment of the company culture and strategy with the principle of sustainability" as main reasons against a discharge of the supervisory board.

In a note issued earlier this week, German shareholder group VIP noted that the 'no' votes were "a slap in the face" for outgoing Börsig who is succeeded by Paul Achleitner.

VIP mentioned that the shareholders asked what would happen at the bank now that Jürgen Fitschen and Anshu Jain have taken over the management of Deutsche Bank from Ackerman but "the question was not answered by the only partly discharged supervisory board chairman", the German shareholder group said.

In a statement issued on Friday, Deutsche Bank said that it will "communicate a long-term strategy in September" after "a period of inclusive dialogue with shareholders, clients, employees, and other key stakeholders".

The bank stressed its "clear commitment to a universal banking model" which will be "strengthened" by the establishment of a new business division titled Asset & Wealth Management.

The division would "stand equally" alongside the other business divisions including Corporate Banking & Securities, Global Transaction Banking, as well as Private and Business Banking Clients, it noted.

It added that Asset and Wealth Management would be created by "integrating" its existing asset and wealth management businesses.

Earlier this year talks with US manager Guggenheim on the sale of Deutsche Bank subsidiaries DB Advisors, Deutsche Insurance Asset Management, RREEF and mutual funds business DWS Americas ended, with only a RREEF sale still being negotiated.

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