Germany’s Deutsche Boerse in a state of flux amid insider trading scandal
Shareholder adviser says chairman Joachim Faber should pave the way for a successor following 'management missteps'
Frankfurt — The chairman of Deutsche Boerse’s supervisory board said on Wednesday he would not insist on serving another full three-year term amid criticism that he is partly to blame for management missteps.
Shareholder adviser Hermes EOS and other investors have said Joachim Faber should pave the way for a successor after the company’s former CEO stepped down in 2017 amid an ongoing insider trading investigation.
"I reserve the right to prepare for a transition in the chairmanship of the supervisory board during the next term of office," Faber told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting, where he was up for re-election. He did not elaborate on the timing of the transition.
The German stock exchange operator is seeking to open a new chapter after it became entangled in the insider trading scandal, a failed merger with the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and a profit warning in 2017.
Theodor Weimer, who took the reins on January 1 as the company’s new CEO, told shareholders that he was on the lookout for acquisitions as one of the pillars of the company’s growth strategy.
Acquisitions were "part of our strategy, in particular where it would complement our business", he said.
Acquisition priorities include fixed-income securities, energy products, currencies, services for investment funds, data and indices, he said.
But Weimer ruled out some mega deals, a year after the collapse of Deutsche Boerse’s proposed merger with the LSE.
"Transformational transactions, whereby we thereafter no longer hold majority … are not an option for us," he said.
Soon after taking the helm, Weimer announced that he would review the company’s strategy and in April Deutsche Boerse outlined the broad cornerstones of its plans.
Weimer’s comments at Wednesday’s annual general meeting flesh out that roadmap and further details are expected later in May.
Another pillar of the strategy is organic growth and investment, with Weimer saying that Britain’s exit from the EU offers business opportunities.
Deutsche Boerse aims to win a quarter of the lucrative euro clearing market from London.
"It is up to us, in the interest of our customers, to provide a well-organised transition to a new European market order," Weimer said.
The CEO has been studying cost cuts and staff reductions.
He said that up to 50 management-level staff could lose their jobs.