• Germany's news in English

Hypo Real Estate boss quits abruptly

The Local · 25 Mar 2010, 17:49

Published: 25 Mar 2010 17:49 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Axel Wieandt, who took over as chairman of the real estate bank after it was saved from a Lehman Brothers-style collapse by the German government stepped down amid “differing views … regarding the management of the company,” a statement from the bank said.

He was at odds with the Financial Market Stabilisation Fund (Soffin), the government fund that was set up in the midst of the financial crisis and which has effectively owned the Hypo Real Estate (HRE) since the bailout. Then, teetering on the brink of collapse, HRE was rescued with a bailout package of €100 million, much of which came from the government.

The bank board said it regretted the departure of Wieandts, who had played a central role in stabilizing and providing fresh direction for the firm.

“Axel Wieandt took on the responsibility of CEO at the height of the crisis and has made a significant contribution to the stabilization and realignment of the Company,” said Bernd Thiemann, chairman of the bank’s supervisory board. “A course has been clearly set for the future. We wish Axel Wieandt all the very best.”

Wieandt will be succeeded by Chief Risk Officer Manuela Better “until further notice,” according to the statement.

Story continues below…

The HRE board has relieved Wieandt of his duties with immediate effect.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

19:11 March 25, 2010 by peschvogel
No suprise here. These clowns are all on 2-yr contracts and he has to announce his "departure" 6 months in advance. The GErman banking system is dysfunctional. Most are zombie banks. There are over 2500 banks in Germany. More than France & UK combined. After this crisis is over in a few years, you will see half of these still standing. Germany is entering a "double-dip" back into recession now. Their reliance on "landesbanks" by political gains is over. One of these banks are going to go down soon. German govt would have thrown them a line in the old days but no more. They will fail. A change in German thinking of letting old, broken business models fail is underway. Soffin wants to shut this place down sooner than later but Depfa remains a problem. Look out for more Soffin controlled (silent or majority) banks to start to whither. Its unavoidable and welcomed dead wood approach that should have happened sooner.
22:58 March 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You're such a ray of sunshine, blackbird. The end is near! The end is near! The sky is falling! Germany is doomed! Europe is doomed!

Hypo is bankrupt and Wieandt was canned. End of story.
01:38 March 28, 2010 by peschvogel
No, your wrong. The German banking system has been fudging its mark-to-market accounting laws and they have been carrying on with unrecognized losses that should be NPL's. No bank is lending these days on assets except Berlin Hyp, West LB and West LB has been ordered to shut down. Deustche and 2 others have "announced' they are lending but their not, more like a PR move....No bank will lend on assets where their MV is falling and they are "still" falling in Europe. A landesbank is going down soon. Look at LBBW, HSH, Bayern...They are all running bad, bad, bad losses, even for 2010. That will trigger a tsunami. The Soffin also controls these banks, not the mkts. Soffin is the reason Axel left. READ the article dope and lay off the crack pipe. Look, you should read some of the "flexible" and "over leveraged" Kreditvorlages at some of these banks. They would never pass deals in the US with these funny documents. Its like they were giving loans via US Sub Prime but for CRE. They overleveraged, over extended and under priced the markets and Basel 3 will crush them. Look at the cries from Geran bankers. Ne ne, halt Basel drei. Das ist forbodden. Its going to come. Not the end like you say, but German banks. Besides, too much capacity, too many employees for saturated market share....Suck on that PruCock2010. Umph!
09:30 March 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
There you go, hyperventilating again -- calling names, speaking in tongues, making wild prognostications of doom. Judging by the success rate of your recent predictions, I would not want to go to the racetrack with you.

In the Darwinian world of contemporary unregulated banking, in which profit is privatized and loss is socialized, the banking industry will prevail every time as long as taxpayers like me are forced to absorb their losses. Some weaker banking institutions will be thrown to the wolves, only to be absorbed by the bigger, stronger ones. This is the classic redistribution of wealth from the very many to the very few. This is the inherent evil of free market capitalism, or what Noam Chomsky refers to as neo-liberalism.
18:11 March 28, 2010 by peschvogel
Well, you can philosophize all you want but it boils down to economics here. This is a case of an over-banked country with over-leveraged banks that have to consolidate. Most banks like the above (Hypo Real Estate) are balance sheet lenders and have to downsize and merge. Their (all banks) balance sheets are hemmoraging now due to NPL's, over-leverage, weakend RoE's. The industry is not expanding and with new regulation, Germany knows that it has to do something to at least "try" to engage meaningful conversation with its banks to consolidate. This will be a painful period in Germany. The bigger consuming the smaller is not always a MoE so to your point above (e.g. wolves), it has no merit.

Now, where the fun starts is when these banks are forced to cpmply with new Basel 3 regulations. This law will state the obvious that capital and leverage ratio's at German banks are weak. There must be a higher target set and these banks are "all" scrambling for new capital now. They cant attract any new capital because their are no "private" investors who are willing to risk their own LP money to rescue a bank that keeps filling a hole with taxpayer money.

Forget your "Darwin" theory and your "assumptions". In the real world of M&A, they are all targets and must consolidate. There is too much scale and too much employees at these banks who are doing process. They will be forced into the inevitable. Consolidation. Its coming...hear it roar!
00:21 March 29, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"Consolidation. Its coming...hear it roar! "

My point exactly. Redistribution of wealth to the few at the expense of the many.
01:07 March 29, 2010 by peschvogel
Consolidation and M&A are a naturally occuring product. However, hostile takeovers are unfortunate. Consolidation and M&A are necessary. No "little guy" getting left out in this scenario. Think of it like dead wood in a storm when it gets washed on the beach and then back out to sea and then back to shore. Well, sometimes the dead wood needs to be carried away. Thats what is happening in Germany!!!
14:40 March 29, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Yeah, that's what the Bush administration believed about the victims of Hurricane Katrina, too.

In the business and financial sector, consolidation and M&A are not naturally occurring "products." They are artificially created EVENTS intended to redistribute the wealth from the many to the few by eliminating competition, creating monopolies and defying regulation. It is the essence of economic Darwinism, as your detritus analogy inadvertently illustrates.
17:42 March 29, 2010 by peschvogel

There you go opening your mouth again and crap starts pouring out about stuff you have no knowledge about.

In your defense, if "It is the essence of economic Darwinism, as your detritus analogy inadvertently illustrates." If this was true, every company in Germany should have failed 20 years ago however, the German Govt just throws all of its companies a life line in downturns and the dead wood just keeps coming back to shore. Thats why Germany's companies and their workers are not "competitive" anymore on a global scale.

M&A are artificially created EVENTS. pff. Lay off the crack pipe DD
Today's headlines
This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd