Deutsche Bank Targets Top Five Spot in the Americas

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Deutsche Bank has made growth in the Americas a top priority in a bid to cut the gap with its U.S. rivals and break into the top five banks for global underwriting and advisory work.

Head of global banking Michael Cohrs, who oversees corporate finance, including capital markets underwriting and mergers and acquisitions advisory business, set the target for corporate finance at a London presentation last week.

He said: "The Americas is the biggest corporate finance fee pool in the world. We have to do better in the U.S., although last year we made more revenues from the Americas than in Europe."

The bank earned 49 percent of its corporate finance revenues in the Americas last year, compared with 45 percent in Europe, according to Cohrs.

However he said the bank, ranked sixth in corporate finance fees last year and holding that position this year, lagged its rivals in the sector by an average of $1 million in revenues per managing director last year.

"Closing the productivity gap is important. We are a 10-ton gorilla in Europe, where our efficiency is very good.

"However, the fee pool in the U.S. has rotated a little from leveraged finance, where we are strong, to M&A this year, and I have more work to do on that front," he said. Cohrs added that addressing the productivity gap compared with rivals would propel Deutsche to fourth in the rankings.

It has the biggest market share in terms of fees from corporate finance in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year, according to research group Dealogic. However, the bank ranks just tenth in the Americas.

The fresh targets in corporate finance will also focus for the first time on emerging markets, according to Cohrs, who said Deutsche would follow the blueprint laid down in the region by the global markets division, led by Anshu Jain.

At the same investment conference, Kevin Parker, head of the bank's asset management arm, admitted the institutional business was likely to take until 2008 to break even.

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