Is this what Deutsche's U.S. COO is really doing next?

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The Kate Clifford Deutsche Bank mystery may have been solved. While no one anywhere is saying anything official, it seems that Clifford may have found herself a new job.

Deutsche insiders suggest that Clifford resigned to join Wells Fargo, where she will soon occupy a 'senior governance and controls role.' 

Wells Fargo declined to comment, as did Deutsche Bank. Clifford herself did not respond to a request for clarification.

As we noted yesterday, Clifford's exit from Deutsche seems somehow significant. She was not only chief operating officer (COO) for the German bank's U.S. operation, but “Head of US Regulatory Relations and Transformation.” Deutsche's relationship with U.S. regulators has not been the best historically and results to the latest U.S. stress tests are due at the end of June, so Clifford's timing seems meaningful to say the least.

However, maybe she just spotted an interesting job and went for it, irrespective of the impression her exit would create on all who wonder what's going on at DB? Clifford only joined Deutsche in September 2014, so she wasn't exactly a DB lifer and the fact that the bank's share price declined 76% during her tenure may not have encouraged her to stay on and receive even more Deutsche stock in coming bonus rounds.

Insiders say Clifford's new role at Wells will be a better fit for her skills. Before becoming COO of all of Deutsche Americas in March 2018, she was COO of various individual business units at Bank of America - a role considerably larger than those she'd done before. 

Clifford's apparent resignation at least suggests that there's nothing funny to come out of the DB U.S. stress test. However, another Deutsche insider questions her decision to leave for Wells Fargo. "What does it say about Deutsche Bank, if Kate Clifford thought it was an uptick?" he says. 

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