Carsten Kengeter, chief executive officer at Deutsche Boerse, has announced his intentions to step down from his role as of 31December this year, amid pressure to quit following an insider trading investigation.
The exchange operator said in a statement his decision to step down was made “in order to allow the company to focus on business, clients and growth, and to avoid further burdens caused by the ongoing investigation”.
Kengeter was investigated by Germany authorities over a share purchase made shortly before Deutsche Boerse moved to merge with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).
On 14 December 2015, Kengeter is said to have purchased shares in Deutsche Boerse worth around €4.5 million. Just two months later, the exchange operator announced its plans to merge with LSEG.
Initially, the supervisory board of the exchange unanimously expressed its ”full confidence” in Kengeter following extensive conversations with experts and an analysis of the share purchase.
It was also thought the probe could be settled if Deutsche Boerse agreed to pay a fine of up to €10 million, but earlier this week a Frankfurt court ruled against the settlement.
Kengeter commented: “This decision was not easy for me since I feel very closely connected to Deutsche Boerse and I still have many plans for the company.
“In the light of the public accusations and allegations, I am taking this step to protect Deutsche Boerse in particular. I will thoroughly cooperate with the authorities until the end of the investigation. With this decision, I am paving the way for a new beginning for Deutsche Boerse.”
He will remain with the exchange until the end of the year and will oversee a transition period as the firm selects its new chief executive officer.