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On the heels of the criticism going back and forth between members of Deutsche Bank's supervisory board (the equivalent to a Board of Directors) this week DB's shareholders voted against a compensation package for DB's senior management.

In what has to be a stinging rebuke for both DB's board and management, investors voted 51.9 percent against the pay package versus 48.1 per cent in favor of it. Though the vote was non-binding, DB's board surely has to take the result very seriously especially considering the fact that the vote against the pay package was the result of a broad based revolt among shareholders and observers of DB, including ISS, one of the leading shareholder governance advisory firms.

In some ways an even more alarming result for DB's board and management is the fact that a proposal for a special audit of DB's top management's conduct in various legal matters only narrowly failed by a margin of 46.4 percent in favor of the audit to 53.6% against. Taken together, these two results are about as clear a vote of no-confidence in DB's board and management as shareholders could have delivered at DB's annual meeting.

May 20, 2016 9:32 am EDT
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