When John Cryan was named chief executive of Deutsche Bank last June, its shares leapt 8% on hopes that the Briton could revive the fortunes of the German institution.
But the Yorkshireman’s honeymoon period has been very short - the bank’s shares have plunged 50% since he took charge.
The 55-year-old, a fluent German speaker, earned his reputation as a straight-talking, deal-making banker and corporate financier in a three-decade career in the City and at UBS. Cryan was at the centre of many of the big deals between banks and other financial firms, including the now infamous one between Royal Bank of Scotland and ABN Amro. According to one account, Cryan, who was working for the Dutch bank, warned RBS boss Fred Goodwin that the deal could backfire on the Scottish institution.
Educated at Cambridge and married to an American lawyer, Cryan trained as an accountant at Arthur Andersen before joining the City broking firm SG Warburg in 1987. Warburg was later taken over by UBS.
When the banking crisis was threatening the future of UBS, Cryan was appointed finance director and helped negotiate the government rescue of the Swiss bank.
He left UBS in 2011, joining Singaporean investment firm Temasek and taking a seat on the board of Deutsche Bank before he was elevated to chief executive.
Cryan has been a harsh critic of bankers’ pay – saying they earned too much for simply turning up to work to handle other people’s money. He added it was doubtful whether bankers – including himself – worked any harder when they were offered huge bonuses: “I have no idea why I was offered a contract with a bonus in it,” he said, “because I promise you I will not work any harder or any less hard ... because someone is going to pay me more or less.”
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