A Deutsche Bank executive who led the bank’s asset management arm has resigned amid an investigation by German officials into allegations of greenwashing within the unit’s investment portfolio.
Asoka Woehrmann, chief executive officer of DWS Group, announced his resignation Wednesday, according to a Deutsche Bank press release. His departure will be effective June 9, the day of DWS Group’s annual general meeting, the bank said.
Woehrmann was also a member of the bank’s group management committee. Effective June 10, Weohrmann’s successor as CEO of DWS Group will be Stefan Hoops, head of the corporate bank, according to his LinkedIn profile. Hoops will also assume responsibility for asset management at the group level, Deutsche Bank said.
“Asoka Woehrmann has played a major role in the success of our asset management in recent years,” said Karl von Rohr, president of Deutsche Bank and chairman of the supervisory board of DWS. “Under his leadership, DWS has expanded its market position and performed well in a recently challenging environment. We would like to thank him for this as well as for his contribution in previous positions, including in the private banking business in Germany.”
Deutsche Bank and DWS Group’s Frankfurt offices were raided Tuesday by agents of Frankfurt’s public prosecutor’s office, German market regulator BaFin, and other law enforcement agencies, according to multiple reports. DWS Group is reportedly under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for overstating the performance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals in disclosures regarding its investments made to the regulator. A whistleblower has reportedly alleged to the SEC that DWS Group’s ESG claims were overblown.
In an emailed statement, Deutsche Bank said, “The measures taken by the public prosecutor’s office are directed against unknown persons in connection with greenwashing allegations made against DWS. In response, DWS has stated that it has cooperated continuously and comprehensively with all relevant regulators and authorities in the past and will continue to do so in the future.”
Replacing Hoops as head of the corporate bank will be David Lynne, currently head of the corporate bank in Asia Pacific and responsible for the fixed income and currencies business in the region, Deutsche Bank said.