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Cerberus has "serious doubts" about candidate for Commerzbank chair

Credit: REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Cerberus, one of the largest investors in Germany's Commerzbank, said it had grave concerns about Hans-Joerg Vetter, a candidate to take over the chair of the lender's supervisory board.

Board meets on Monday

Concerns expressed in letter dated Aug. 2

Cerberus says it has identified its own candidates

Updates with Commerzbank no comment, details, background

FRANKFURT, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Cerberus, one of the largest investors in Germany's Commerzbank, said it had grave concerns about Hans-Joerg Vetter, a candidate to take over the chair of the lender's supervisory board.

Cerberus made the comments in a letter to the bank's supervisory board dated Aug. 2 ahead of a Monday meeting of the board to discuss the role.

"We have serious doubts that Hans-Joerg Vetter is the right person for this job or has the right experience for it,"

A spokeswoman for Commerzbank declined to comment.

A decision on Monday by the board to back Vetter, a former chief executive of Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, would go some way toward filling a leadership vacuum at the top of Germany’s No. 2 bank.

The lender was thrust into turmoil last month when Chief Executive Martin Zielke and supervisory board Chairman Stefan Schmittmann said they would step down to give the bank a fresh start.

That followed a public campaign for change by a top investor - the U.S. private equity firm Cerberus, which holds a 5% stake in the bank.

"Cerberus has identified at least two candidates who have the required qualifications to fill the role of chairman and secure the confidence of all key stakeholders," Cerberus said without naming them.

"We would be happy to introduce them," the investor said.

(Reporting by Tom Sims Editing by Michelle Martin)

((Tom.Sims@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1242;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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