Deutsche Bank Is Said to Trim Coverage in Asia Equities

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG is cutting onshore sales and derivatives coverage in individual markets across Asia-Pacific as part of a restructuring of its equities business in the region, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move will involve unspecified staff reductions, the person said, requesting anonymity because the changes haven’t been announced. The German bank plans to focus on its larger clients and its electronic equities business in the region, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News.

Deutsche Bank, led since early April by Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing, is accelerating a push to concentrate more on European customers and pare investment banking and other operations where it isn’t competitive. The lender this week flagged it will probably report another quarter of declining revenue as it scales back businesses and cuts thousands of jobs.

The Asian equity sales team has been reorganized “to ensure that we are more closely coordinating our efforts across our wider platform,” the bank said in the memo. It will place a priority on prime finance as well as its electronic business, said Asia-Pacific head of equities James Boyle.

Prime Balances

“Our prime balances are stable, and we’re selectively investing in our technology and people to sharpen our offer to clients,” Boyle said in an email, which didn’t mention any plans for staff reductions. “We’ve focused our equities platform to be more efficient.”

Sewing has announced a plan to shed at least 7,000 jobs. In Asia, the bank expects to cut back on purely local business, though Sewing has told staff he doesn’t plan to exit any country in the region.

The memo also detailed new roles for several regional executives, including Marlon Sanchez, head of prime finance sales for Asia-Pacific, who will take on additional roles as head of institutional clients group in Hong Kong and head of hedge fund complex for Asia-Pacific. Richard Chung has been appointed as co-head of Asia-Pacific equity execution, replacing Nick Silver, who is leaving the bank, the memo said. Hani Shalabi remains the other co-head.

Silver is joining Credit Suisse Group AG as head of equities for Japan, people familiar with the matter said earlier Thursday.

Other executive changes detailed in the memo include:

  • Angus Yang is appointed head of prime finance and Delta One
  • Paddy Hogan becomes head of Asia-Pacific equity sales, in addition to current role as head of equities for Japan; Nilesh Navlakha is stepping down as head of Asia-Pacific equity sales to concentrate on Southeast Asia and South Asia business, as well as running the Singapore equities platform
  • Claire Arnaudo is appointed to an expanded role of head of structured solutions for Asia-Pacific
  • John Key takes a newly created role of head of high-touch sales trading for Asia

Mia Popplewell, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman at Deutsche Bank, confirmed the contents of the memo while declining to comment on the job cuts.

Deutsche Bank is struggling to revive revenue and profit after years of turnaround plans. The lender will probably do “a little worse” this quarter than peers who have indicated they expect a flat top line, Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke said in a presentation late Wednesday.

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