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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Christian Sewing, currently co-deputy chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), is to become the new CEO of Germany’s biggest lender, replacing John Cryan, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

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Christian Sewing, member of the board of Germany's Deutsche Bank is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Sewing, a German national, would replace Cryan, a Briton, at a time when the bank is trying to strengthen its brand in its home market. Cryan has been in office less than three years but investors have lost faith that he can return the bank to profitability after three consecutive years of losses.

The promotion of Sewing, 47, with a background in commercial banking, auditing and risk, comes as Deutsche Bank and its major shareholders debate the path forward for the investment banking unit where revenues have dried up and key staff defected.

His appointment could signal a shift in emphasis away from Deutsche Bank’s strategy of seeking profit growth through the investment bank and giving investment bankers greater influence.

Marcus Schenck, currently Sewing’s fellow co-deputy CEO who also helps oversee the investment bank, is close to leaving the bank, said the person familiar with the matter.

Sewing tops a list of candidates as the preferred option to be presented by Chairman Paul Achleitner at a hastily arranged board call on Sunday evening, the source familiar with the matter said.

Sewing would assume the helm at the company’s annual general meeting in May, German magazine Der Spiegel said on its website. Der Spiegel was first to report on Sunday that Sewing would likely become the bank’s next CEO.

Deutsche Bank said late on Saturday that the board would discuss the CEO position and make

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