Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Cryan has denied recent media reports that he is growing tired of leading the embattled German lender, in an interview with CNBC on Monday.
The enthusiasm of Deutsche Bank's CEO to continue with what has been an arduous job since he took the reins, firstly in a joint role in June 2015 and as sole head as of last May, has been recently questioned by some elements of the media.
"I am not weary of Deutsche Bank. I said yesterday I am 150 percent in and I am around to see this reversal," confirmed the CEO. German daily business newspaper Handelsblatt recently reported that it has been claimed by inside sources that the CEO has "grown tired of his post".
Cryan was speaking the morning after Germany's biggest bank announced another strategic overhaul with aspects including an 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) capital raise to be launched on March 21 and undertaken via the issuance of new shares with subscription rights for existing investors.
The company chief disagreed with the notion that the discount being applied to shares in order to raise the 8 billion euros was wide, telling CNBC, "I think the pricing looks about right."
Investors showed their skepticism over this stance, sending shares below 18 euros apiece on Monday morning. They had recovered slightly by lunchtime trade to hover around 5.5 percent lower than Friday's closing price.
The beleaguered firm also estimates an additional 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) could be raised through the disposal of non-core assets and the partial flotation of its minority stake in Deutsche Asset Management.
The firm will be slimmed down into three divisions and will seek to retain and to reintegrate Postbank, a unit it had previously aimed to put on the auction block.
Cryan deflected suggestions that this latest strategic reshuffle represented a significant switch in strategy from the restructuring announced less than a year and a half ago. He noted that the decision to reduce the company's four divisions – as announced in October 2015 – to merely three was only a "slight reorganization" not a wholesale strategic change.
However, Deutsche Bank's decision to integrate Postbank into its private and commercial clients division will lead to a "difficult" period and will "inevitably" result in further job cuts, according to the company's chief.
"There will be a difficult integration process in Germany but it's only in Germany that that applies," Cryan said from the company's London headquarters, referring to the bank's announcement Sunday to combine the units and create a "clear market leader".
Cryan added that further headcount reductions would be unavoidable but that Germany's largest lender had not yet worked out exact numbers or developed a plan. He noted that a program of branch closures and headcount cuts within Deutsche Bank's German operations still had another quarter or two to play out, after which point the bank should have a plan in place to tackle this latest integration.
Addressing concerns that that this is the company's third capital hike since 2013 with around 20 billion euros of additional capital raised since the financial crisis, Cryan said that listening to market feedback had indicated to management that there was still an existing worry among clients and counterparts that Deutsche Bank's capital base was still insufficient.
He noted that this concern, combined with the lender's strategic about-turn on retaining Postbank had led to management's decision to pursue a further capital raise at this time.
"We feel confident we've done the right thing," Cryan concluded.