Deutsche Bank, that most treasured of German national institutions, has picked an Indian executive to be its new CEO. Last week, the bank revealed that Anshu Jain, currently working for Deutsche Bank in London, will be filling the shoes of outgoing chief executive Josef Ackermann, who is scheduled to step down in May. Jain currently heads the bank’s investment banking operations, which accounted for nearly 90 per cent of its pre-tax first-quarter profits this year. But the 48-year-old Indian native speaks little German and doesn’t know his way around the corridors of corporate and political power in Frankfurt and Berlin. That’s why the bank also appointed Jürgen Fitschen, a German who currently oversees Deutsche Bank’s national operation, as a co-CEO. In addition, the duo might get some tips from current CEO Ackermann, who is slated to head the bank’s supervisory board.
The complex succession scheme has received mixed reviews from investors, many of whom fear a triumvirate at the top will lead to leadership struggles and slow down decision-making. But, as others suggested, an Indian alone at the helm of Germany’s financial crown jewel might have been too much of a cultural shock for many Germans.