12 June 2017

Deutsche Bank Amps Wealth Arm

Published by Finews Asia – 12th June 2017

Deutsche Bank is putting renewed emphasis on wealthy clients by hiring dozens of new private bankers and pouring 65 million euros into a digital push. One region is poised to benefit the most.

German lender Deutsche Bank will hire 100 private bankers worldwide, global private bank head Fabrizio Campelli told the “Financial Times” (behind paywall) in an interview.

The Frankfurt-based bank’s latest bid to take on industry giants like UBS and U.S.-based Citi comes nearly two years after it separated its wealth management activities from asset management under Campelli.

Since that decision, Deutsche has struggled with a wide-ranging restructuring that may include selling part of its asset management arm. Deutsche’s assets under management dropped to 219 billion euros in the first quarter amid the turbulence.

Millions for Digital

The bank, led by former UBS finance chief John Cryan, is no longer in the stormy territory it was last fall, allowing it to focus on growth. Deutsche’s private bank will pour 65 million euros into digitization, Campelli said.

“We have many clients who are asking to interact with us on a less physical basis. They want to access their online banking or their portfolio analysis through technology,” he told the “FT”.

On private banker hiring, Asia will benefit most from the beefing-up, Campelli said, with net additions also planned in the U.S., the U.K. and the Middle East.

Last week, Asia private bank head Lok Yim flagged 50 news jobs of the overall total for the Asia-Pacific region.

“In each region we will have a more nuanced approach to the market,” said Campelli, who Lok reports to.

Campelli is seeking to bulk up Deutsche’s private bank outside of Germany, which is the largest portion of overall assets with 89 billion euros. Wider Europe and Asia follow in size, with roughly 48 billion each.

Prominent Exit

Deutsche’s private bank in Asia can use the attention from Frankfurt: last year, well-known regional head Ravi Raju defected to UBS, taking a key deputy with him.

Asia figures prominently in Deutsche’s plans to bolster more stable and lucrative money-management operations, as it dramatically scales back its once-powerful investment bank.

Deutsche is targeting the high-end of private clients, in a bid to parlay investment banking deals into wealth management business – a strategy also pursued by rival Credit Suisse, which is likewise hiring in Asia under Helman Sitohang.