(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG’s Garth Ritchie, co-head of the investment bank, is considering leaving the firm as soon as this year, according to people with knowledge of the talks.
Ritchie, a two-decade veteran of Europe’s biggest investment bank who oversees all trading operations, is weighing all options about his future as his contract comes up for renewal later this year, said one the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No decision has been taken and discussions are ongoing, the people said.
The Wall Street Journal reported the potential exit earlier on Thursday. In an internal memo seen by Bloomberg, Ritchie and unit co-head Marcus Schenck said that report was “speculation,” and urged staff not to “get distracted.”
Deutsche Bank’s revenue from trading stocks and bonds, its biggest single source of income, has tumbled 32 percent since the end of 2015, triggering concern among investors. Chief Executive Officer John Cryan is now examining activities where the Frankfurt-based lender is trailing competitors to determine if it should try to win back market share or exit, people familiar with the review told Bloomberg News last week.
Shares in Deutsche Bank climbed 4.4 percent in Frankfurt trading, outpacing the 42-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Banks and Financial Services Index, which gained 2.4 percent. The lender’s stock is down about 27 percent this year, the second-worst performer on the index.
Ritchie, 49, joined Deutsche Bank in 1996 and rose through the ranks of its equities-trading division to become sole head of that business in 2010. Cryan promoted him to run the entire trading operation in a 2015 shakeup, and the South African native soon started shrinking capital-intensive bond-trading businesses and reallocating resources to stock-trading.
Yet revenue from trading has been declining ever since, and the business is now a key point of contention in Cryan’s turnaround strategy. The CEO last year merged Ritchie’s division with the corporate and investment bank, reversing the 2015 decision to split the businesses.
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