Deutsche Bank director Georg Thoma’s decision to step down after criticism that he went too far in probing potential wrongdoing raises concern that the bank’s board cannot investigate itself, according to a shareholder advisory group.
Bloomberg News reports that Thoma, a Shearman & Sterling lawyer, is stepping down two years before his contract ends, the lender announced last week. His exit raises questions about “potential conflicts of interest” among board members, Institutional Shareholder Services wrote in a report prepared for the lender’s annual general meeting.
“It’s important to shareholders that the bank continue to vigorously investigate questions about potential breaches of duty by members of its management and supervisory boards,” ISS wrote. “There is therefore concern about the recent sudden resignation of the supervisory board member and integrity committee chairman Georg Thoma and the circumstances surrounding his resignation.”
At least least two board members spoke out against Thoma in public after he pushed to investigate Chairman Paul Achleitner and intensive inquiries into Deutsche Bank executives mounted.
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