The outgoing chief government of embattled asset supervisor DWS might nonetheless obtain hundreds of thousands of euros in severance pay, regardless of resigning following investigations into “greenwashing” by US and German authorities.
DWS chair Karl von Rohr instructed shareholders on the firm’s annual shareholder assembly on Thursday that particulars of Asoka Wöhrmann’s remuneration had been nonetheless being negotiated, and that the ultimate sum might rely upon the result of the probes into the Deutsche Bank-owned enterprise.
Two individuals near the corporate confirmed that Wöhrmann, who DWS final week mentioned had “decided to resign”, had in actual fact left by mutual settlement, leaving him entitled to severance funds below the early termination clause of government contracts at DWS.
Wöhrmann, whose complete remuneration elevated by 15 per cent to €6.9mn final 12 months, was appointed till the tip of October 2024.
According to DWS’s annual report, government severance pay is often “two annual compensation amounts”, as really helpful by the German governance code, which means Wöhrmann could possibly be entitled to nearly €14mn
However, von Rohr harassed that DWS might defer compensation funds and as such they might be “subject to clawback [clauses]”.
Deutsche and DWS declined to remark.
Von Rohr’s feedback got here after Wöhrmann, making his first public look since agreeing to step down final week following a police raid on DWS’s Frankfurt workplaces, defended the corporate’s sustainable funding technique on the annual shareholder assembly.
“DWS had clearly positioned itself to make ESG a core part of its strategy. We never made a secret of the fact that it would take effort. Nor did we ever say that we had already reached our goal,” he mentioned.
He went on to claim that the practically 25 per cent stoop in DWS’s share worth within the months since whistleblower Desiree Fixler alleged that the corporate’s standards for labelling ESG investments was flawed, was “not justified”.
“The topic of sustainability is far too significant and far too important for us to be OK with it being instrumentalised by individuals for personal gain,” Wöhrmann mentioned.
Wöhrmann, who handed over the reins to Deutsche Bank’s Stefan Hoops on the finish of Thursday’s AGM, has additionally been criticised for using a private e-mail handle to conduct enterprise in a former position, and was scrutinised for a €160,000 cost made to him by a shopper, which he defined as a failed try and buy a Porsche automobile.
People near the corporate instructed the Financial Times that plans to interchange the chief had been in prepare for a while, and had been accelerated after the general public raid final week, throughout which prosecutors gathered bodily and digital proof.
However von Rohr praised Wöhrmann’s file at DWS, saying he had “successfully established the firm as a leading European asset manager with global reach”.
Following Fixler’s criticism, DWS modified its ESG standards. In its 2021 annual report, revealed in March 2022, DWS reported solely €115bn in “ESG assets” for 2021 — 75 per cent lower than a 12 months earlier when it acknowledged that €459bn in belongings had been “ESG integrated”.
In his speech on the annual assembly, Wöhrmann admitted that the “definition of sustainable energy today is more complex and even more multi-layered than it was just a few months ago”.
He added: “Especially in the coming quarters, these issues are likely to be reflected in the performance of ESG products.”