HSH Finance Chief Ermisch Said to Take Helm as CEO Asks to Exit

  • Von Oesterreich is said to ask bank to dissolve his contract
  • German bank is preparing to sell billions of euros of loans

HSH Nordbank AG Chief Financial Officer Stefan Ermisch will succeed Constantin von Oesterreich as chief executive officer in the coming months as it grapples with soured shipping loans, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Von Oesterreich, 62, asked the lender to dissolve his contract before it expires in October next year, and he may leave after the Hamburg-based bank holds an annual press conference set for June, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the plan before it’s announced. Changes to the contract aren’t yet final, said the person.

HSH Nordbank is preparing to sell billions of euros of loans and put itself up for sale as required by an agreement with the European Union after the bank got a 10 billion-euro ($11.3 billion) guarantee from state owners Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein in the wake of the financial crisis. They together own 85 percent of the lender. Slowing global growth and a dimming forecast for container and bulk carrier markets, which make up most of HSH’s 21 billion-euro shipping loan book, have forced the bank to set aside funds to cover delinquent loans.

Ermisch, 50, is a former board member at UniCredit SpA’s HVB and the German state-owned lender BayernLB. He also serves as the CEO’s deputy, according to HSH Nordbank’s website. Manager Magazin reported the plan to promote Ermisch earlier Wednesday.

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