No stranger to unrest, Dutch dealmaker Wynaendts recommends the Deutsche chair

The headquarters of Germany’s Deutsche Bank are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 21, 2020. REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski / File Photo

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  • Alexander Wynaendt’s supervised rescue operations and acts as Aegon CEO
  • Takes over the helm at crucial time for Germany’s largest lender

FRANKFURT, November 20 (Reuters) – As head of the Dutch insurance company Aegon, Alexander Wynaendts headed a complex European financial institution with employees around the world and a large US presence over a turbulent decade, experience that should serve him well as the next chairman of Germany’s German bank (DBKGn.DE).

On Friday, a committee was held on DeutscheBank’s Board of Directors nominated Wynaendts to oversee Germany’s largest lender from next year. The board is expected to discuss his role this weekend with shareholders voting on his appointment in May. Read more

If elected, the position will catapult Wynaendts, who is relatively unknown in Germany, to a role as one of the country’s top bankers at a time when Deutsche is also stabilizing after a rocky decade with a view to a possible future merger. .

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“It is my strong belief that Deutsche Bank is well equipped to meet the growing needs of its global customer base,” Wynaendts said. “I am committed to supporting the management team and all employees in continuing the successful execution of their strategy.”

Only months into his tenure in Aegon (AEGN.AS), a company that in the middle of the 19th century helped the Dutch pay for funerals, Wynaendts, 61, navigated after a state rescue package of 3 billion euros ($ 3.39 billion) and restructuring when the financial crisis in 2008 took his way.

Deutsche has lost billions of euros and faces huge fines, leaving regulators fearful it was on the verge of collapse five years ago. Although it has started to reap small profits under new management, there are still plenty of unfinished business.

The bank is currently working on a new strategy plan to be presented in March and has not yet fulfilled its promise to lay off 18,000 jobs, while analysts say it risks missing an important profitability target next year.

An important issue for the wider industry is the consolidation of Europe’s fragmented banks. Deutsche executives say they are working to make the lender strong for a potential future bond after it broke off negotiations to merge with rival Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) in 2019.

Wynaendts – who oversaw a steady stream of acquisitions, divestitures and partnerships from Canada to Mexico and Romania to China over a decade as head of Aegon – is expected to embrace the strategy.

Aegon was involved in 87 M&A agreements from 2012 to 2020 based on Refinitive data.

He will also be well aware of the challenges of low interest rates and volatile markets, which hit Aegon’s capital position near the end of his time in the company. Aegon’s shares fell sharply during his tenure due to the financial crisis and the pandemic.

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Wynaendts would take over from Austrian Paul Achleitner, another former head of insurance who previously worked for Allianz (ALVG.DE), when he resigns in May. Achleitner is credited with installing current CEO Christian Sewing to help turn the bank around after a series of management reshuffles during his decade at the helm.

($ 1 = 0.8859 euros)

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Reporting by Tom Sims and Frank Siebelt; Editing Kirsten Donovan and Jane Merriman

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