May 6, 2020 / 3:52 PM / 20 days ago

Deka demands removal of Wirecard CEO

BERLIN, May 6 (Reuters) - German public sector bank Deka is calling for the removal of the chief executive of payments company Wirecard, in which it holds shares, Wirtschafts Woche magazine reported on Wednesday.

“We demand the resignation of Markus Braun,” Ingo Speich, head of sustainability and corporate governance at Deka, told the magazine.

“We informed the chairman of the Wirecard supervisory board, Thomas Eichelmann, of this in the course of this week.”

A Deka spokeswoman confimed the comments.

Eichelmann voiced support last week for Braun despite the controversy swirling around the company for months.

Deka owns a 1.6% stake in Wirecard, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Speich said Braun was the main reason that capital markets had lost confidence in the company, but added that if Braun were to go, the company would lose a lot of knowledge.

“As much as Braun might be a visionary, he does not appear to be able to take the group to the next level,” he said.

Chris Hohn, head of $24 billion fund TCI, said in an open letter to Wirecard’s supervisory board last week that an audit by KPMG raised questions over management’s compliance with anti-money laundering and know-your-customer laws.

Wirecard has denied any wrongdoing. (Reporting by Patricia Uhlig, writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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