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Ex-Deutsche Bank CEO Has A New Hobby

Joseph Ackerman is here to save the Bank of Cyprus.
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Partial penance.

After stepping down as CEO of Deutsche Bank in 2012, Josef Ackermann did some moonlighting destroying the Cypriot economy. Now, mistakes were made, but he doesn’t exactly feel bad about them, or so he says. We’re sure everything he did was right and proper and to the letter of the law. But at 67, Dr. Ackermann is wondering if maybe there’s more to life than pushing tiny countries into penury and handing off grenades before they explode.

OK, so maybe he feels a little bit bad. Either way, he’s spending some quality time in Nicosia hoping to, if not make amends, seeing how good he is at putting together puzzles he threw out of a plane in between visits to the island’s lovely beaches.

Redemption, said Mr. Ackermann, the former Deutsche Bank chief, would be too strong a word to describe why he, once one of the most powerful bankers in the world, agreed to be chairman of the Bank of Cyprus — the Mediterranean island’s largest lender, but puny in global terms.

In his office at bank headquarters in Nicosia — which is comfortable but not nearly as grand as his office was at Deutsche Bank — Mr. Ackermann said, “If I could give something back to the people or society, I would like to do that.”

One suggestion, though: Keep your wheels in a secure lot.

John Hourican, the chief executive of Bank of Cyprus since 2013, is another top manager with an international reputation in need of polishing. Mr. Hourican was formerly head of investment banking at Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Britain’s largest banks. Mr. Hourican left R.B.S. in early 2013 after some of its traders were found to be involved in a conspiracy to fix benchmark interest rates….

“They did burn my car,” Mr. Hourican recalled.

Mr. Hourican was away last March when several arsonists, who have not been identified, set the vehicle aflame after dousing it with gasoline.

“It was a bit of sending a message to the bank: ‘We’re still angry.’ I understand that,” Mr. Hourican said, “but I’d prefer if you hadn’t torched my car.”

A Banker Sees His Role in Cyprus as a Chance to Give Back [DealBook]


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