Deutsche Börse restructures operations

Deutsche Börse restructures operations

German exchange Deutsche Börse is restructuring its operations into three distinct business areas - cash market, derivatives and securities settlement and custody - and has appointed management board members to oversee each division.

Details of the restructuring follow the abrupt departure earlier this month of Deutsche Börse CFO Mathias Hlubek and chief operating officer Matthias Ganz who both quit the firm on 8th March.

Their departures were thought to signal a cultural shift at the exchange, which has been under pressure to revamp operations and spin off its clearing and setlement units after failing to find a merger partner. Deutsche Börse's largest shareholder - hedge fund Atticus Capital - called on the exchange to shake-up its strategy in light of the consolidation sweeping the sector.

But in today's statement Deutsche Börse insists that the new structure - which will be implemented in the second quarter of 2007 - will strengthen its current integrated business model and increase focus on customer requirements.

Under the restructuring, members of the executive board will be held accountable for the financial performance of each of the new divisions, which consist of: derivatives - which now includes market data and analytics; cash markets; and securities settlement and custody.

Frank Gerstenschläger will be responsible for the new cash market unit, with effect from 1 April 2007. Andreas Preuß and Jeffrey Tessler will maintain their positions of responsibility for derivatives/clearing and securities settlement/custody respectively. Michael Kuhn remains responsible for IT.

The exchange says it is also dropping the position of COO.

The Börse is also revamping decision-making processes, with the head and staff of each division able to make decisions relevant to their business without deferring to the executive board.

The exchange says the new structure will accelerate the market launches of new products and services and optimise efficiency.

Commenting on the new structure Deutsche Börse CEO Reto Francioni says: "In the future we will focus on our customers even more so than in the past, and with increased innovative strength and shorter decision chains create more value for customers and shareholders."

Francioni says the new management structure will "reinforce the group's successful integrated business model and increase our impact".

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