The Dutchman Roland Boekhout is a top candidate to become the new CEO of Commerzbank, succeeding departing CEO Martin Zielke at the second bank in Germany.

Boekhout, 56, has been working at Commerzbank since the beginning of this year as a manager in the branch for business customers. He previously worked at ING, responsible for the bank’s Dutch and Belgian activities. He previously served as CEO of ING’s German operations from 2010 to 2017.

Commerzbank’s financial director Bettina Orlopp would also hold good chances to get the highest position.

Zielke announced on Friday that he was prepared to step down under pressure from shareholders. The council will vote on this on 8 July. President-in-Office Stefan Schmittmann also announced that he will be leaving. In particular, major shareholder Cerberus Capital Management accuses the bank’s management of pursuing a failed policy. The criticism includes costs and profitability. Reportedly, Zielke was already planning a major reorganization that could see up to 7,000 jobs disappear. Some 400 bank branches would also be closed for good.

Commerzbank shares lost about a quarter of their value on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange this year.

In 2019, an intended merger with Deutsche Bank was underway. A possible merger with ING was also canceled. The German and Dutch governments are said to have discussed this behind the scenes.

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