Deutsche Bank Shuffles Leadership as Focus Shifts to Revenue

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Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing pushed through the largest revamp of the management board since launching a restructuring plan two years ago, as his focus now shifts to revenue growth.

The lender appointed Fabrizio Campelli to lead its investment bank and the corporate banking unit, roles previously held by Sewing. The CEO had his contract renewed until April 2026, according to a statement on the changes Monday.

“The realignment of responsibilities will allow the CEO to focus” on issues spanning the whole bank and not just individual units, Supervisory Board Chairman Paul Achleitner said.

In July 2019 the CEO began a sweeping restructuring plan centered around a withdrawal from equities trading and 18,000 job cuts. The major part of the cuts are now behind the bank as it moves into the third year of the plan and the focus is instead on growing revenue, Sewing has said.

Deutsche Bank Shuffles Leadership as Focus Shifts to Revenue

The bank also said Chief Operating Officer Frank Kuhnke will leave, confirming an earlier report by Bloomberg. The lender appointed Rebecca Short to the management board as chief transformation officer, the role previously held by Campelli. She will also assume oversight over the lender’s wind-down unit from Kuhnke. The management revamp will also see Chief Risk Officer Stuart Lewis leave next year.

Sharpened Focus

“The aim of the reorganization is to focus the management team more closely on the four business divisions in order to ensure sustainable profitability following the bank’s return to profitability last year,” Deutsche Bank said in the statement. “The bank has also realigned some infrastructure functions to further sharpen the focus on controls, costs, and risks.”

Revenue at the investment bank jumped by almost a third last year as clients sought to navigate the volatility cause by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both fixed-income trading, led by Ram Nayak, and underwriting of debt issues and equity capital raises, led by Mark Fedorcik, soared amid buoyant global capital markets.

Deutsche Bank Shuffles Leadership as Focus Shifts to Revenue

Campelli earlier in March gave an upbeat outlook for the investment bank at a conference, sending shares of the lender higher. A British and Italian citizen, he has been with Deutsche Bank since 2004 and first worked in the investment bank for about five years before moving on to run the lender’s strategy division and then its wealth management unit.

Sewing took on the dual role of CEO and investment banking head as part of his decision in 2019 to pull out of equities trading and slash the division’s headcount. The decision was seen with skepticism by the bank’s regulators, who told Sewing soon after they’d prefer him to give up the role out of concern it overburdens him.

“We welcome the early contract renewal” for Sewing, Alexandra Annecke, a fund manager at Union Investment which owns Deutsche Bank shares, said by email. “We expect him, and think he will manage to, push forward the restructuring of the bank as a whole and increase its profitability.”

Summary of the changes to Deutsche Bank’s management board:

  • Contract renewal for CEO Christian Sewing who takes on HR responsibility
  • Fabrizio Campelli to take over investment bank, corporate bank from Sewing
  • Rebecca Short joins management board as chief transformation officer and to run Capital Release Unit
  • Chief Risk Officer Stuart Lewis to leave next year; succession to be decided
  • Chief Operating Officer Frank Kuhnke to leave firm
  • Chief Administrative Officer Stefan Simon to assume responsibility for compliance, anti-financial crime
  • President Karl von Rohr to delegate oversight of Private Bank Germany to Lars Stoy

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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