Frankfurt In one weekend, Deutsche Bank solved two of its most important personnel problems. After the Dutchman Alexander Wynaendts was nominated as the successor to Chairman of the Supervisory Board Paul Achleitner, the money house also found what it was looking for a new head of risk.
Olivier Vigneron is due to start his new job at the largest German financial institution in early March. The Frenchman comes from French competitor Natixis, where he was also responsible for risk control.
For Vigneron, it’s kind of a return. Before the financial crisis from 2002 to 2005, he already worked once for Deutsche Bank, at that time as a trader of structured credit products. In 2008, Vigneron joined Wall Street giant JP Morgan, still as a trader, in 2012 he switched to risk management at the US bank, and three years later he was appointed head of risk for Europe. The Frenchman has been working for Natixis since 2020.
Vigneron is a proven crisis specialist: at JP Morgan, he was centrally involved in the clean-up work surrounding a dealer scandal that cost the US company six billion dollars. Because of the size of the positions, one of the responsible traders was nicknamed “London Whale” in the financial markets at the time.
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The US securities regulator SEC fined the US bank $ 920 million for a lack of controls. However, no allegations were made against senior managers. According to the SEC, the top managers of JP Morgan were “lied to” by the responsible traders.
Natixis hired Vigneron after its in-house risk management came under massive criticism. The trigger was an offshoot of the fund subsidiary Natixis Investment Managers with the name H2O. The fund had put more than a billion euros in illiquid investments related to the controversial German investor Lars Windhorst.
Vigneron is aware that its job is not done after only a year and a half. But apparently the incentive to switch to the much larger Deutsche Bank was stronger than completing the restructuring of risk management at the French financial institution.
Several construction sites are waiting for the new one
Vigneron does not expect a fire service at Deutsche Bank, but he has to take care of some open construction sites. The US authorities in particular repeatedly criticize weaknesses in the control systems. This year, the money house received another reprimand from the US Federal Reserve because the bank was lagging behind in terms of the agreed improvements in risk management and compliance.
In his new job, he will not only have to deal with the usual market and credit risks, but also with risks that are increasingly coming into the focus of the supervisors: the climate risks on the balance sheets of financial institutions. Vigneron sees this as a systemic one Problem for the entire industry and one of its most important challenges.
The Frenchman is taking over from Stuart Lewis, who after ten years on the board of Deutsche Bank had already announced his retirement. CEO Sewing has explicitly praised the Scotsman several times for his management of the risks during the corona crisis.
So far, the bank has got through the pandemic without any major problems and has been able to release a large part of the additional provisions it has set up for bad loans. “We are very happy that we have found a very strong successor in Olivier Vigneron,” emphasized Paul Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
More: America boss of Deutsche Bank: “We have made the bank smaller and stronger.”