What's Behind Deutsche Bank's Hiring?

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Wall Street is abuzz with this year's spate of hiring at Deutsche Bank. The Frankfurt-based giant has been expanding a wide range of operations in the Americas and abroad, including mortgage lending, energy investment and DWS Scudder, a division of Deutsche Asset Management Americas unit.

The bank didn't respond to requests for hiring projects or year-to-date totals. However, Deutsche Bank added 20 new sales and product management professionals to its DWS Scudder division in July. In a press release, Philipp Hensler, managing director and head of DWS Scudder Distributors, said those hires "underscore DWS Scudder's aggressive growth strategy for the U.S. marketplace."

Deutsche Bank's has also added two new co-heads and managing directors to its North American Energy Investment Banking practice; recruited a U.K. mortgage lending team to develop "db mortgages," a new lender for the U.K. intermediary mortgage market; and opened a branch in Saudi Arabia. The bank has hired two senior health care bankers in New York and three client advisors.

"Deutsche Bank is a global player trying to be on the cutting edge of sales, trading and the high-net-worth individual. It's one of the top ten most desirable institutions to work for in the world," says Ken April, President of April International, a New York- based executive search firm who says he's facilitated placements at Deutsche Bank in finance and accounting.

Other recruiters are skeptical of Deutsche Bank's allure. One, who wanted to remain anonymous, said job seekers who are moving laterally often consider other firms first. "It's not that they don't do a good job at what they do," says one recruiter of Deutsche Bank. "But when people think of making a move somewhere and want to go to a top firm, that's not the first one that comes along." He adds: "They're not seen as in the same league as Goldman."

The same recruiter speculates that Deutsche Bank's aggressive hiring strategy is designed to attract interest from potential employees. "It's a snowball effect if you (hire) en masse. People say, 'That's happening there? I better look.'" If Deutsche wants to make itself an employer of choice, he says, "mass hiring is a good way to help people wake up and see what's going on."