Deutsche Bank is paying its investment bankers more, even as their profits fall

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Now that their leader, Anshu Jain, has been ordained as co-chief executive of the entire organisation when Josef Ackermann leaves, investment bankers at Deutsche have no need to fear suppression by a new chief executive who doesn't understand their value.

This is good, because Jain appears to be ensuring they're well-rewarded.

In the first half of 2011, Anshu's army have done well. Deutsche's second quarter results, released today, show that revenues for the first six months were miraculously up 2% year-on-year in the corporate banking and securities business. At Goldman Sachs and Citigroup there were double digit year-on-year revenue falls.

Individual business lines did well. Fixed income revenues for the first half at Deutsche were down an inconsequential 1% (there were drops of 24% at Morgan Stanley and 37% at Goldman Sachs). ECM, which has been built out over the past few years, achieved a dramatic market-beating revenue increase of 70%.

Someone needs to reward Deutsche's investment bankers. Someone is.

In the first half of 2011, the total compensation bill in the corporate and investment bank rose 6% versus the same period of 2010. Average compensation per head rose by a similar amount, to €225k for the first six months.

Not all banks break out their pay per head, but those that do (Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan), have reduced it so far this year.

Deutsche Bankers therefore have reason to feel pleased. They've done quite well and while other banks appear to be paying their investment bankers less, Deutsche looks like it's paying its own investment bankers more. It is also doing so even though net profits in the corporate and investment bank fell 3% in the first half.

Deutsche's generosity may have nothing to do with Jain and a lot to do with the fact that a growing proportion of its bonuses are deferred, making it difficult to reduce compensation in response to a fall in profitability. For the moment, however, Deutsche's bankers can tell themselves that Anshu Jain is looking after them. With luck, this may even continue.

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