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Josef Ackermann


Josef Ackermann is not a financial term but a person. He is a Swiss banker and former CEO of Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading financial service providers. His tenure from 2002 to 2012 was often associated with a time of increased risk-taking and expansive growth for the bank.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Josef Ackermann” would be: “Yoh-zef Ak-er-mahn”.

Key Takeaways

  1. Josef Ackermann is a Swiss businessman and banker, widely recognized in the financial world. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and chairman of Deutsche Bank, proving a critical figure in the bank’s expansion and strategic direction.
  2. Ackermann is known for his controversial call for banks to earn a post-tax return on equity of 25 percent. While this sparked heated debates and controversies, it also signaled a considerable shift in global banking objectives and became a key aspect of the industry’s competitive landscape.
  3. During his tenure, he faced a major crisis due to accusations of breach of trust in the Mannesmann trial. He was accused of approving huge bonuses for executives of the telecommunications company Mannesmann, which was later acquired by Vodafone. However, he was later acquitted of these charges.


Josef Ackermann is an influential figure in the world of business and finance, most notably due to his tenure as the CEO of Deutsche Bank from 2002 to 2012. Ackermann’s importance lies not only in his leadership of one of the world’s largest and most prominent financial institutions, but also in his advocacy for a more aggressive and risk-oriented approach to banking and finance. Under his guidance, Deutsche Bank massively expanded its investment banking operations and significantly increased its global reach. Despite facing criticism and controversies, Ackermann’s strategies and vision have left a lasting impact on the global banking industry. His career and approach to banking make him a significant reference point in discussions regarding financial institution management and global finance policy debates.


Josef Ackermann is not a finance or business term, but rather a renowned figure in the global banking sector. Born in Switzerland in 1948, he is best known for his role as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank from 2002 to 2012. Ackermann led the bank through a period of significant transformation, converting it from a German-centric institution to a globally competitive banking powerhouse. Under his leadership, the bank expanded its presence in growth markets and emphasized investment banking. Critics sometimes questioned his aggressive business strategies; however, numerous measures of financial performance, including the bank’s profits, improved substantially during his tenure. Besides his work at Deutsche Bank, Ackermann has held several prestigious roles in global banking institutions, enhancing his reputation as an influential figure in international finance. His work and advice are therefore often sought for strategic decision making, banking management, and insight into the global financial system.


Josef Ackermann is not a business/finance term, rather he is a prominent figure in the world of finance. Josef Ackermann is a Swiss banker and former CEO of Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading financial service providers. However, several notable events during his career can serve for illustrative purposes: 1. Deutsche Bank’s Rapid Expansion: Under Ackermann’s leadership from 2002 to 2012, Deutsche Bank expanded aggressively into investment banking and moved from a domestic German bank into a global player. This strategy towards global investment banking is one instance of Ackermann’s impact in the finance world. 2. Profitability Target of 25%: Ackermann famously set a post-tax return on equity target of 25% for Deutsche Bank in 2005. This was very ambitious and controversial in the conservative German banking sector, and it led other banks to follow suit and set similar targets, which had a big influence on the overall sector. 3. Handling of 2008 Financial Crisis: During the 2008 financial crisis, Ackermann’s leadership of Deutsche Bank was put to a major test. Despite the crisis, Deutsche Bank did not require a government bailout, unlike many of its peers. This showcased Ackermann’s ability to navigate complex financial challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Who is Josef Ackermann?
Josef Ackermann is a Swiss banker and former Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank. He held the position from 2002 to 2012. He has also served on the boards of several major corporations worldwide.
What is Josef Ackermann known for in the finance world?
Ackermann is most known for his tenure at Deutsche Bank, where he is credited with shifting the bank’s focus more towards investment banking, and for his advocacy of the use of leverage in corporate finance.
What was his background before becoming CEO of Deutsche Bank?
Prior to his role at Deutsche Bank, Ackermann worked at Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA), a Swiss bank, where he rose to the executive board, and subsequently to Chairman and President.
Where did Josef Ackermann get his education?
Ackermann earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Saint Gallen in Switzerland.
What was the controversy surrounding Josef Ackermann during his CEO tenure at Deutsche Bank?
During Ackermann’s tenure, Deutsche Bank was involved in several financial scandals, and he was personally implicated in some criminal proceedings. However, all charges were eventually dropped or concluded without a verdict being returned.
After leaving Deutsche Bank, what role did Josef Ackermann take up?
After leaving Deutsche Bank, Ackermann served as chairman of the board at the Bank of Cyprus from 2014 to 2015, and he has held various other positions within major corporations worldwide.
What is Josef Ackermann’s stance on risk management?
Ackermann has been known for his aggressive stance on risk-taking in investment banking, although this strategy has also been associated with several controversies during his career.
What impact did Josef Ackermann’s leadership have on Deutsche Bank?
Under Ackermann’s leadership, Deutsche Bank grew to be a leading global investment bank. However, his tenure was also marked with several controversies and scandals. His aggressive risk-taking strategies were both lauded for promoting growth and criticized for their role in the financial crises.

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