Deutsche Bankers start to wonder who's got the guarantees

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As the year draws to an end and Deutsche Bank stock drops to its lowest level in living memory, employees at the bank are looking around and wondering who's going to get paid for the year gone by. Somewhere towards the front of the list are clearly all those favourite credit traders (Ardacan Celebi, Aditya Singhal, Niru Raveendran, Vivek Mittal, Vikramdeep Gill, and Gary Sloan), but this year's DB bonus pool will also be heavily weighted to all the lucky, lucky, (lucky) people who achieved guaranteed bonuses in the first half.

Many of the guarantee holders are people who tried to leave Deutsche in 2018, but were bid-back as the bank tried to protect its best producers. Mark Fedorcik, the New York-based co-head of the corporate and investment bank, said in May that Deutsche would "defend" its high performing staff from avaricious rivals and "make it almost impossible for them to leave." In June, London headhunters told us the German bank was offering pay increases and guaranteed bonuses up to 50% higher than the previous year to preferred staff who tried to escape to rival firms.

"There are a lot of counteroffers at Deutsche Bank," said the head of one fixed income search firm at the time. "They're happy for some people to leave, but will bid-back strongly for staff they value."

Who do they value? Credit traders aside, Deutsche insiders and headhunters point to the bank's leveraged finance division, led by Nick Jansa. One of Deutsche's most successful business areas, the EMEA leveraged finance team ranked second this year behind JP Morgan, according to Dealogic. Jansa, who's worked for Deutsche since around 1995 and who moved to the UK in 2005, is understood to be especially hot property.

"Jansa is excellent and a lot of people have tried to lift him," says one headhunter, speaking off the record. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Jansa himself was eyed-up by HSBC before it hired J.P. Morgan veteran Ray Doody as head of leveraged and acquisition finance in 2017.  Jansa was allegedly locked down with a pay rise back then. This June, he was subsequently made co-head of corporate finance for EMEA with Adam Bagshaw. If Deutsche really likes someone, it will treat them well. The question is how much is left for the rest.

The bank declined to comment.

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