Deutsche Boerse Said to Favor UniCredit's Weimer for CEO

Updated on
  • CEO Kengeter to resign on Dec. 31 after insider-trading probe
  • Weimer, head of UniCredit’s German unit, may be named in days

Photographer: Boris Roessler

Theodor Weimer, the head of UniCredit SpA’s German unit, is the lead candidate to succeed Carsten Kengeter as Deutsche Boerse AG’s chief executive officer, according to people familiar with the plans.

Weimer, a 57-year-old Goldman Sachs Group Inc. alumnus, may be named in the coming days, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing an internal matter. A final decision hasn’t been made and other candidates are still in the running, they said. The supervisory board’s nomination committee is set to meet this week to discuss the CEO succession, one of the people said. A Deutsche Boerse representative declined to comment.

Theodor Weimer

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Kengeter is due to step down on Dec. 31 after becoming embroiled in an insider-trading probe. Prosecutors in Frankfurt had been investigating the purchase of 4.5 million euros ($5.3 million) of Deutsche Boerse shares in December 2015, before it emerged that the exchange was seeking to take over London Stock Exchange Group Plc -- a deal that ultimately failed.

Kengeter became CEO in 2015 after having previously helped run UBS Group AG’s investment bank. The CEO of rival LSE, Xavier Rolet, also has a banking background -- he started as trader at Goldman Sachs.

“It’s important for the boss to understand the business, and bankers know what it’s like to be a client of the exchange,” said Dieter Hein, an analyst at Fairesearch, who has a reduce recommendation on Deutsche Boerse shares. “I had expected more from Kengeter.”

The stock has soared under Kengeter’s tenure, outpacing the benchmark DAX Index to gain about 24 percent since he started in June 2015. Deutsche Boerse shares rose 1 percent to 91.25 euros at 11:15 a.m. in Frankfurt.

The company has called the insider trading allegations “unfounded,” while Kengeter has said such an offense betrays “his innermost conviction.”

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