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Deutsche's Big Wealth Headcount Expansion

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , 2 July 2019

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The wealth management side of the firm is expanding headcount worldwide.

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management said that it plans to hire 300 additional client-facing employees in the Americas, Europe and emerging markets, showing how the Frankfurt-listed bank is stressing the wealth side of its business as a revenue generator. Shares in Deutsche Bank were up by more than 1.0 per cent on the day.

The new staff will be hired by 2021, the bank said in a statement yesterday. The increase is equivalent to a rise of about one third in this division overall.

The wealth arm of the bank has approximately 900 staff, including RMs and investment management figures.

Deutsche said that its business build-out will concentrate on five main areas: global China growth, notably offshore wealth for ultra-high net worth and high net worth clients; Americas -  entrepreneurs, with new coverage staff in areas such as the US West Coast and offshore Latin America; European market penetration, leveraging its market leadership with established families and mid-sized company owners in Germany and building out in areas such as southern Europe and the UK; emerging UHNW wealth in South East Asia, the Gulf region and with non-resident Indians; and family offices, working with the bank’s corporate and investment bank and asset management arm DWS.

While Germany’s largest bank has been pushing to improve profitability and scale, flirting with rival Commerzbank for a merger deal (subsequently abandoned), the move suggests that its leadership sees wealth management as an important growth area. This will put it up against European, American and international rivals such as UBS, HSBC and JP Morgan. Like such banks, it has also reduced its investment banking risk exposures following tighter capital rules post-2008. 

The wealth management jobs story contrasted with weekend reports (citing unnamed sources) stating that Deutsche Bank is considering cutting its headcount by more than a fifth (Bloomberg, 30 June 2019). Such a cut, made by chief executive Christian Sewing, would equate to up to 25,000 jobs.

Wealth growth 
The bank intends to be a “top-tier” global wealth management player,” Fabrizio Campelli, global head of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, said in a statement. “They focus on growth markets where we have a distinctive and attractive proposition to offer our target clients, while maintaining sound operational, financial and non-financial risk management.”

The bank announced last year that it would aim to increase its share of revenues from more stable sources such as wealth management to 65 per cent by 2021.

Recent hires in the Americas include: Angel Chen, from City National, RM, Los Angeles (announced June 2019); Michael Rogers, from Merrill Lynch, RM, Los Angeles, new head of West Coast (June 2019); Lori B Jackson, from US Trust – RM, New York (November 2018), and Wendy McMillan, from Wells Fargo, private banker in San Francisco (October 2018).

Hires in Europe include: Piers Harris, from Credit Suisse, RM UK (to start in August 2019); Marco Pagliara, from Goldman Sachs, head of Northern and Eastern Europe (June 2019); Stefanie Ruehl Hofmann, from HypoVereinsbank/UniCredit, RM (started April 2019); Martina Fischer, from Goldman Sachs, UHNW banker, Germany (January 2019), and Claudio de Sanctis, from Credit Suisse, head of WM Europe (December 2018).

As for emerging markets, hires have included Jackie Lit, from DBS Private Bank, RM, North Asia (covering China) (announced April 2019), and Ahmed Hammouda, from Credit Suisse, head of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) desk Geneva.

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