Deutsche Bank Board Faces Revamp as Staff Representatives Retire

(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Bank AG’s supervisory board is facing its biggest revamp in several years as the majority of labor representatives are set to be replaced.

Seven of the ten employee representatives on the lender’s board have decided to leave the governance body, people familiar with the matter said. Only three incumbents — Jan Duscheck, Timo Heider and Manja Eifert — are seeking a renewal of their mandates. That would be the largest number of new appointments since at least 2018 for the board, which currently has 20 members. 

The staff representatives who will be leaving include Frank Werneke, who heads Germany’s largest services trade union, Ver.di. Werneke has chosen to step down since he’s preparing to take on a board mandate at another big German company, one person said.

German corporate governance rules give staff representatives in large listed companies just under half of the supervisory board seats, ensuring they have a powerful voice in all strategic decisions. Deutsche Bank employees are scheduled to vote on new board candidates to replace the outgoing representatives on April 5.

Representatives for Deutsche Bank and Werneke declined to comment. Martina Klee, who joined the board in 2008, confirmed she’s leaving, while Duscheck confirmed he’s running. The other employee representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The board revamp may continue a month later when the terms of four shareholder representatives — Mayree Clark, Norbert Winkeljohann, John Thain and Michele Trogni — are set to end at the lender’s annual general meeting on May 17. 

None of the four has publicly announced whether they are planning to seek reelection but it’s very likely that most or all will stay on, another person said. The bank last year nominated Winkeljohann for vice chairman of the board and the appointment is scheduled to be ratified at the AGM. 

The board is led by Alexander Wynaendts, the former chief executive officer of Dutch insurer Aegon NV who succeeded long-time Chairman Paul Achleitner last year.

(Updates with chairman in last paragraph.)

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