The chief government of Germany’s high asset administration agency DWS Group has resigned hours after the corporate’s places of work in Frankfurt had been raided by police over allegations of greenwashing.
DWS mentioned in a press release on Wednesday morning that Asoka Wöhrmann, chief government since late 2018, would step down as of June 10, the day after the group’s annual shareholders’ assembly.
He can be changed by Stefan Hoops, beforehand head of the company financial institution at Deutsche Bank, DWS’s majority proprietor, which holds an 80 per cent stake. Hoops can be changed in flip by British-born David Lynne, who presently heads Deutsche’s company enterprise within the Asia-Pacific area.
The government reshuffle got here shortly after about 50 German police raided the places of work of DWS and Deutsche Bank in downtown Frankfurt on Tuesday, as a part of an investigation into potential prospectus fraud on the asset supervisor. The search concerned public prosecutors from Frankfurt, federal police and officers from the German monetary regulator, BaFin.
BaFin launched an investigation into DWS final 12 months, following an identical probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which was prompted by allegations from former DWS government Desiree Fixler.
Fixler mentioned the corporate had made deceptive statements in its 2020 annual report over claims that greater than half the group’s $900bn belongings had been invested utilizing environmental, social and governance standards.
DWS has denied any wrongdoing, however has modified its ESG standards since Fixler’s revelations. In its 2021 annual report, printed in March 2022, DWS reported solely €115bn in “ESG assets” for 2021 — 75 per cent lower than a 12 months earlier when it said that €459bn in belongings had been “ESG integrated”.
The group’s shares fell by greater than 6 per cent on Wednesday morning in Frankfurt, whereas Deutsche Bank’s shares dropped by half a proportion level.
Wöhrmann’s substitute within the wake of the greenwashing raid comes just a few months after the Financial Times revealed that Deutsche Bank was investigating a €160,000 cost made by a shopper to the senior banker, when he was head of the lender’s personal shopper enterprise. The government mentioned the switch was a part of a failed try to purchase a Porsche.
Wöhrmann has additionally confronted criticism over his use of a private electronic mail deal with for enterprise functions throughout his time at Deutsche.
In a press release launched by DWS, Wöhrmann mentioned he was leaving “to clear the way for a fresh start,” as “allegations made against DWS and myself in past months have become a burden for the company, as well as for my family.”
Karl von Rohr, chair of DWS, mentioned that Wöhrmann had performed a “major role” within the financial institution’s asset administration operation lately. “Under his leadership, DWS has expanded its market position and performed well in a recently challenging environment,” he mentioned.