Commerzbank Said to Have Shortlist for Successor to CEO Blessing

  • Bank conducted interviews with internal, external candidates
  • Mueller says he would consider stepping down before 2018

Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-largest bank, has drafted a shortlist of candidates to replace Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing when he steps down in October, according to a note to staff.

The bank has conducted interviews with internal and external candidates and wants to conclude the process by its annual shareholder meeting in April, Supervisory Board Chairman Klaus-Peter Mueller said in the note to staff on Friday obtained by Bloomberg.

Martin Blessing

Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Blessing, 52, has restructured the lender following its 18.2 billion-euro rescue by German taxpayers during the global financial crisis. The company reiterated on Friday that it plans to pay a dividend of 20 cents per share for last year, its first payout since 2007, after returning to a profit in the fourth quarter.

Mueller said in the note to staff that he was “astonished” by some of the names that have featured in media reports about potential successors to Blessing. The chairman, 71, said that he is looking for his own successor and that he wouldn’t “stand in the way of a change before 2018,” should the bank find a suitable candidate.