For all the sound and fury surrounding Deutsche Bank's new strategy and 18,000 redundancies, insiders say there hasn't been much action yet. And weirdly, new people have been arriving.
"For a company which is supposed to be 'exiting equities sales and trading', we still have a large number of equities people on the floor in London and 60 Wall Street," says one Deutsche insider. "Instead of losing their jobs, most people in trading seem to have been moved to the capital release unit (CRU)," he adds.
It's an observation that accords with that of several fixed income headhunters in London. "So much for the cuts," says one. "- The flow rates desk is untouched." Two other rates headhunters in London confirmed that rates traders in London are still very much in situ and seem sanguine about their prospects. "It's naive to think they won't be impacted, but they're also being told it's not the end of the world," says one headhunter of the DB rates team.
In strategy documents released on Sunday, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing said rates trading will be slimmed down. Yesterday's more detailed strategy document said that long dated rates products and rates derivative assets will be moved to the CRU along with all of the equities exposure and some capital intensive securitised products.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the speed of its redundancies. However, the bank has said it will eradicate 18,000 jobs between now and 2022, suggesting the process could take time. Sewing said at the weekend that the CRU will be wound down as quickly as possible, but this may yet prove wishful thinking.
While Deutsche Bank's existing traders wonder at their futures, new recruits keep arriving. As we reported last week, Campbell Gilbert, the former head of linear rates derivative trading at Mizuho recently turned up. So too did Jordan Griffith and Alex Purves, both of whom left Bank of America Merrill Lynch earlier this year - possibly after BofA indulged in some cost cutting of its own. Gilbert is thought to have replaced Ray Betita who reluctantly moved to London with DB before skitting back to New York to work for BNP Paribas in February. Even so, Deutsche's European government desk is now larger than ever, despite the fact that this has allegedly not been a good year.
Amidst all the changes, Deutsche staff say they have hit with the additional complication of a transition between one human resources system and another. The change is reportedly preventing staff from booking holidays, which is causing more angst than the so-far non-existent redundancies.
Photo: Tristan Bejawn, copyright eFinancialCareers
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