Deutsche Boerse says CEO to step down amid trading probe

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) –


German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse said Thursday its chief executive, who is under investigation on insider trading charges, would step down at the end of the year.

CEO Carsten Kengeter informed the supervisory board he would leave "to allow the company to again focus its energy completely on its clients, business and growth".

The company added in a statement that Kengeter did "not want to further burden (Deutsche Boerse) with the ongoing investigation".

The supervisory board accepted the decision "with regret" and thanked Kengeter for his leadership since 2015.

"Details on the transition will be announced shortly, as soon as decisions have been taken," Deutsche Boerse said, adding that Kengeter would continue to lead the company in the meantime.

The inquiry centres on a financial operation carried out by Kengeter on December 14, 2015, consisting of the purchase of shares worth about 4.5 million euros ($5.3 million) in the Deutsche Boerse group.

Two months later, in February 2016, Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange unveiled their merger plans, an announcement which sent their share prices shooting upwards.

He is suspected of having discussed the merger plan with LSE management from the summer of 2015, and then having bought the shares with that information in mind.

Deutsche Boerse has repeatedly denied that its chief committed any wrongdoing.