Deutsche Bank's McMurdo Says Asia Cuts `Largely Completed'

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG has almost finished restructuring its Asian investment-banking business and plans to add bankers in the coming months, said regional head James McMurdo.

“Yes we did trim, but we trimmed where we thought we were less competitive, or where we thought the opportunity was not that significant and that has largely been completed,” McMurdo, who leads corporate and investment banking for Asia Pacific, said in a phone interview Monday. “Our core banking team has stayed together, and we expect to be adding to it in the immediate future.”

McMurdo reiterated the lender is focused on Asia, servicing clients in local markets as well as global capital markets and cross-border deals.

His comments follow those of Lok Yim, head of the Asia-Pacific wealth business, who said last week the German lender is still recruiting for that business in the region. Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing has pledged to keep Deutsche Bank “strong” in Asia even as he prepared to overhaul operations worldwide.

Deutsche Bank ranked 13th in mergers and acquisitions announced this year in Asia Pacific, down from 9th place in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It ranked 14th in equity offerings in the region since the start of January, compared to 13th for all of last year, the data show.

This year, Deutsche Bank was a joint global coordinator for Xiaomi Corp.’s $5.4 billion initial public offering priced in June. It also worked on Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s $5 billion bond sale in January, and advised Ant Financial on its $14 billion equity fundraising in June.

The firm’s corporate finance division has gained market share and increased productivity, McMurdo said.

“We’re making more money with less people,” he said, without providing specific figures. “In the corporate finance business, in every one of our product areas, we are up materially year-on-year.”

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