Deutsche Bank CEO Cryan `Absolutely Committed' to Serving Lender

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer John Cryan said he’s committed to remaining in his job after people familiar with the matter said that the lender has held talks with potential replacements.

“I just wanted to reaffirm that I am absolutely committed to serving our bank and continuing down the path on which we started some three years ago,” Cryan wrote in a memo to staff that seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by the bank. “We need to demonstrate the excellent progress we are making.”

Chairman Paul Achleitner has approached potential successors to Cryan as part of plans to replace the executive should a better candidate emerge, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. Discussions have focused on a leader who speaks German and who works well with regulators, the people said, asking not to be identified.

Cryan, in the memo, said there is no difference of opinion between the management and supervisory board on the execution of the bank’s strategy.

Cryan has struggled to maintain investor backing after failing to return the lender to “controlled growth” as part of the bank’s third strategy revamp. A sustained slide at the investment bank has contributed to hundreds of job cuts as the bank seeks to curb costs and improve returns. The shares have declined about 30 percent this year.

Deutsche Bank is conducting a fresh review of its investment bank that could lead to deeper cuts across the trading businesses, according to people familiar with the matter. Senior executives plan to complete the review, dubbed “Project Colombo,” within weeks, before deciding where to cut and where to invest, said two people. A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

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