CEO of German stock exchange operator quits amid insider trading probe

  • Deutsche Börse CEO Carsten Kengeter resigns.
  • Kengeter attempting to settle insider trading investigation against him.
  • Shareholder pressure for him to resign has been mounting.

LONDON — The CEO of Deutsche Börse is stepping down amid mounting pressure from investors over an insider trading investigation.

The German company, which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, announced on Thursday that Carsten Kengeter will step down by the end of the year.

German prosecutors began investigating Kengeter for suspected insider trading in February. The investigation centred around talks held between the group’s management and the London Stock Exchange between July/August and December 2015. An attempted merger between the two was announced shortly after but eventually fell through.

Kengeter negotiated a settlement of the probe, agreeing to pay €500,000, but earlier this week a German court refused to approve the settlement.

Shareholders representing 6% of Deutsche Börse’s stock told the Financial Times on Wednesday that Kengeter’s position had “become untenable.” An unnamed source told the paper: “The best advice to him is voluntary resignation.”

Deutsche Borse said in a statement that Kengester was quitting “to allow the Company to focus its energy back onto clients, business and growth and to avoid further burdens caused by the ongoing investigation.”

Kengester and Deutsche Börse have previously said that the allegations against them are unfounded.

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