Cerberus Names Ex-JPMorgan Executive Matt Zames as President

(Bloomberg) -- Matt Zames, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive who had been seen as a candidate for Deutsche Bank AG’s top job, was named president of investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Zames will “lead a number of strategic investing and operating initiatives, including overseeing all investments in the financial-services industry,” the investment firm said Wednesday in a statement.

Cerberus veteran Frank Bruno was promoted from president to co-chief executive officer alongside co-founder Stephen Feinberg, according to the statement. Lee Millstein was promoted to president of international business.

The Wall Street Journal earlier Wednesday reported the changes at New York-based Cerberus, which oversees more than $30 billion in private equity, credit and real estate assets.

Zames was among candidates sounded out by recruiters as a potential replacement for Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer John Cryan, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month, before Christian Sewing was picked to lead Germany’s largest lender. Zames signaled he would prefer to remain in the U.S., a person familiar with the discussions said at the time.

Taking the Cerberus job means Zames will be involved in German banking anyway. The company holds stakes in Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank AG. In February, it led a group of investors that agreed to buy regional lender HSH Nordbank AG from two German states. The company was involved in at least five purchases of lenders in the country in the year before that deal.

Zames, 47, is a former hedge-fund trader who helped tidy up JPMorgan’s London Whale trading debacle. After he was promoted to co-chief operating officer in 2012, Zames was seen as a possible successor to CEO Jamie Dimon. He left JPMorgan as COO last year with the aim of running another company.

Cerberus in February bolstered its European banking roster with the hiring of Roberto Nicastro, a former group general manager of Italy’s UniCredit SpA, as a senior adviser.

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