Frankfurt The dispute between the major US shareholder Cerberus and Commerzbank is in the next round. The financial investor does not want to accept the favorite for the post of chief executive. Instead of the former head of the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Cerberus wants to send its own candidates into the race.
“Cerberus has identified at least two candidates who have the necessary qualifications to fill the role of chairman and who would presumably also enjoy the trust of all important interest groups,” said the financial investor in a letter on Monday.
Meanwhile, Commerzbank’s second largest shareholder, with a good five percent, has doubts about the skills of the former head of Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), Hans-Jörg Vetter. The bank did not want to comment on the letter from the major shareholder.
Vetter is considered a favorite for the successor to the outgoing Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Stefan Schmittmann. In view of his age, the 67-year-old cousin sees criticism as a transition candidate at best, but Commerzbank needs a permanent solution at the top of the supervisory board for the difficult restructuring. In addition, Vetter has been out of business for three years and has no experience in managing a listed major bank. He also lacks the expertise in important private customer business and digitization. Overall, Vetter is therefore the wrong candidate for Commerzbank.
However, there are also institutional investors who support the former LBBW boss: “Vetter would be a veritable head of the supervisory board. It is good that he is familiar with restructuring. He did a good job at LBBW and put the bank on a sound footing, ”says a major investor who has a stake in Commerzbank.
The Supervisory Board of Commerzbank is looking for a way out of the management vacuum at an extraordinary meeting this Monday. The federal government is the largest Commerzbank shareholder with 15.6 percent. Cerberus has held a good five percent since summer 2017. Since then, the market price of the Frankfurt money house has plummeted by around 60 percent.
The prominent US investor usually prefers to act discreetly in the background. But Comberbank participation apparently frustrated Cerberus so much that the Americans went on the offensive.
More: How the Cerberus and Commerzbank scandal broke out.