Deutsche Bank's Lee Leaving Amid Southeast Asia Departures

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG’s Southeast Asia vice chairman Philip Lee is leaving the German lender, capping a string of senior departures in the region.

Lee, also the chief country officer for Singapore, is departing to pursue other interests, after building out the bank’s Southeast Asia client franchise over the past five years, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. David Lynne, who leads its global transaction banking team in Asia Pacific, will become Singapore chief country officer, the memo shows.

Lynne will keep his existing positions, which also include a role as head of fixed income and currencies for the region, according to the memo. Deutsche Bank is appointing Asia Pacific Chief Operating Officer Chandra Mallika as deputy chief country officer for Singapore, the memo shows. The appointments are subject to local regulatory approvals.

Under Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank is accelerating a push to concentrate more on European customers and pare operations where it isn’t competitive. In Asia, the bank expects to cut back on purely local business. Lee’s departure marks a near dismantling of the team Deutsche Bank had built through a series of high-profile hires in Southeast Asia just a few years ago by poaching from rival banks.

Lee had joined Deutsche Bank in 2013 after nearly two decades at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he had been the CEO of investment banking for Southeast Asia. At Deutsche Bank, he oversaw more than 2,000 employees in Singapore, where the firm has operations from transaction banking, asset and wealth management to investment banking.

Singapore remains a critical hub for the bank’s Asia Pacific operations, said the memo, which was signed off by Werner Steinmueller, Deutsche’s Asia Pacific chief executive officer.

A representative for Deutsche Bank confirmed the contents of the memo.

Since the start of the summer, Deutsche Bank has also lost its top Indonesia banker, who was poached from Citigroup Inc. in 2014, and its Thailand chief country officer, hired from UBS Group AG in 2013, Bloomberg News reported earlier. In Singapore, May Chan, head of Southeast Asia debt capital markets, and Carolyn Tan, head of Asian equity sales, have also left, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

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