Where is Garth Ritchie? The head of Deutsche's corporate and investment bank is still fully engaged and still doing his job, but Deutsche insiders complain that they don't see him much. - And that this has long been the case.
"He's like an empty suit," says one senior investment banker in London. "He is just simply absent. - Anyone, or even no one would be better."
While this sounds rather harsh, an equities trader in Ritchie's own historic area agrees that the man is rarely seen: "I've probably seen him once in three years, and that was during a townhall."
Similarly, an equities trader in the U.S. says Ritchie's only conspicuous in New York around twice a year - even though Deutsche's U.S. equities business is a bit of a problem child and could probably benefit from some executive love.
Ritchie's alleged invisibility is reminiscent of Diego De Giorgi, Bank of America's ex-head of global investment banking, who decided to leave in January after bankers complained of rarely seeing him for 18 months previously.
Some at Deutsche dispute Ritchie's absence though. One London insider said he's in the office all the time, sends regular emails, and runs frequent town halls. "Garth doesn't do floor walks and doesn't send a memo every day or week, but then I've never seen a head of the investment bank at Deutsche do that - and I doubt it goes on elsewhere," he said.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Some senior executives in banks do do floor walks though. - Gary Cohn famously used to tour the Goldman trading floor and show some leg. Lloyd Blankfein was also known to pay Goldman traders visits, although it's not clear whether David Solomon does the same.
As a former trader who joined DB's equities floor in 1996, it might be expected that Ritchie would like fraternizing with people doing his old job now. Then again, he might be too busy trying to run the corporate and investment bank.
Ritchie's colleagues would certainly like to see him more though. - Following a report in April 2018 that Ritchie was thinking of leaving and recent suggestions that he's thinking of leaving again, his perceived absence is being interpreted as a sign of disengagement. "There is a beautiful, gorgeous face-saving dance here," says one Deutsche Banker. "Garth always wanted out. The board wanted him to stay for sake of appearances (stable management!). Now Richtie can say he’s leaving as he doesn’t support the board plan of changing the investment bank's strategy. It’s just fabulous."
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