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Deutsche Bank Chief To Face Retrial

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

22 December 2005


It emerged on Wednesday that Germany's Federal Court of Justice has accepted a request to have Deutsche Bank chief, Josef Ackermann retried over allegations that he and several other former Mannesman executives breached the trust of shareholders in the German telecommunications and engineering firm, and failed to carry out their fiduciary duties.

Mannesman was the target of a hostile takeover by the UK's Vodafone in 2000, and doubts have been cast over the way in which bonuses were awarded to the former company's board members, in particular former chief executive Klaus Esser, who was awarded some SFr45 million, despite the fact that he was vehemently opposed to the takeover.

Altogether, more than SFr90 million in "appreciation awards" and accelerated pension schemes were handed over to board members.

Although Mr Ackermann and his co-defendants were found not guilty by a Dusseldorf court in July 2004, speaking this week, presiding Judge Klaus Tolksdorf stated that the earlier decision was wrong regarding "(a) few, but quite decisive points".

Observers have suggested that this second trial is likely to increase pressure on Mr Ackermann to step down from his role with Deutsche Bank. However, the bank has yet to comment on the matter.


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