Asiamoney/Euromoney, April 2017
Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan makes no secret of Asia’s importance in putting some of the worst years in its recent history firmly in the past.
Regulatory scandals, capital problems and strategic headaches at home and in the US have taken their toll on Deutsche’s reputation and finances, with fines exceeding a total of $10.5 billion since April 2015. But the bank has had a relatively trouble-free time of it in Asia, a region offering political stability and good growth prospects.
Little wonder that Cryan, who has had enough fires to fight in Europe and the US to last a lifetime, considers Asia “absolutely critical”, as he told staff at a town hall meeting in the region in February.
“For John Cryan, Asia is a growth market,” says Werner Steinmueller, Asia Pacific CEO for Deutsche Bank. Steinmueller’s own appointment, announced in July, was intended to be important in this respect: the first Deutsche Bank board member to be based in Asia.
So, Deutsche’s Asia business matters. But is it any good?
Deutsche has had to navigate its way through a tricky operating environment in which investment banking volumes are increasingly appropriated by mainland Chinese players and it is ever-harder for the multinationals to make a buck. It has had to do so at a time when bonuses worldwide, Asia included, have been cut because of the bank’s multitude of North American and European regulatory fines.
Several prominent bankers have left Deutsche over the last year, prompted by a mixture of zero bonuses, doubts about the overall bank or simply a desire to leave investment banking outright.
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