"Christian Sewing needs to take a long look at the folks just below Garth Ritchie"
If and when Christian Sewing ejects Garth Ritchie and takes over the running of Deutsche's investment bank himself - as the Financial Times suggested he will earlier this week, then Deutsche's fee-generating investment bankers have a suggestion for him: clear out the bureaucrats.
"Christian needs to take a long, hard look at the folks one to two levels below Garth and learn - fast - who actually works and brings in revenues and who spends time (and money) at their summer places in Spain," says one senior London banker, speaking off the record.
"The money-makers here are all sick to death of the senior managers who are always asking for updated pipelines and never, ever asking us how they can help our pipeline," he adds. "We're controlled by bureaucrats who generated money for the bank in the past but now just sit back and get paid significant multiples while taking more holiday than they are entitled to."
Another senior Deutsche banker suggests Sewing's plan makes sense in the absence of an obvious successor for Ritchie. "Garth isn't great and hiring someone expensive will further hinder morale. So Sewing taking over is maybe not so bad, but he doesn’t know the first thing about revenues..."
Although this week's departures of veteran revenue generators Mark Hantho and John Eydenberg for Citi are seen as unfortunate, one NY banker says their exits aren't being lamented. "There are good people below them who can step in and are cheaper," he adds.
For the moment, both bankers and markets professionals at DB say the atmosphere is febrile and senior staff are in perpetual meetings. "Management is not saying anything," says one DB insider. "The real decisions makers are just locked in offices with HR." A senior equities trader in the New York equities business, which is allegedly being cut, says they've been offered no reassurance at all: "There hasn't been a word. The mood has shifted and is becoming more negative."
"Monday was denial. Tuesday was bargaining and today seems to be acceptance," says another New York markets professional. "We're like death row inmates who lost their last appeal."
There are rumours that Powell Fraser, Deutsche's head of U.S. synthetic equity sales left yesterday. But there are rumours too that Deutsche has just made a major U.S. debt trading hire. "Who knows what's going on now?", says one insider. "They need to communicate because when no one knows, people assume the worst."
In the meantime, Deutsche's summer interns have arrived and its first year analysts are arriving soon. "These kids are running around the floor just trying to learn the business," says one equities professional. "No one is telling them anything either."
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