Deutsche Bank said to be mulling over 10,000 job cuts in global retreat

John Cryan, former chief executive of Deutsche Bank, and current CEO Christian Sewing attend the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb 2, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

FRANKFURT (BLOOMBERG) - Deutsche Bank is considering 10,000 job cuts and retreating from equities markets across the world as part of a sweeping overhaul by chief executive officer Christian Sewing, people familiar with the matter said.

The cuts could represent about 10 per cent of the Frankfurt-based bank's workforce. Under Sewing's predecessor, John Cryan, the bank had a previous target of 9,000 cuts by 2020, though the Frankfurt-based lender may have made less than a third of those cuts.

Sewing is accelerating a push to refocus the lender on its European home market and reverse a two-decade effort to compete head-to-head with the large Wall Street firms that dominate volatile securities trading. The future of the investment bank had been a key factor in the tumultuous management shakeup that saw him take over from Cryan last month.

The new target for job reductions was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal. Germany's biggest lender is expected to announce a range of restructuring measures to coincide with its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. The lender is working on sharply reducing its presence in the US equities market and has also started cutting activity in the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region, according to another person with knowledge of the matter.

Sewing has promised a large-scale restructuring of the investment bank to focus on areas that have more direct links with European companies. Deutsche Bank has also signaled that its scaling back US rates sales and trading, its corporate finance business in the US and Asia and reviewing global equities. Those measures, the bank said last month, will lead to a "significant reduction" in employees, without giving more information.

Deutsche Bank closed 0.6 per cent lower at 10.90 euros in Frankfurt on Wednesday (May 23). The stock has lost about 31 per cent this year, making it the worst-performing major European bank.

There has been increasing evidence in recent weeks that the pace of job cuts is picking up, with the investment bank bearing the brunt. Deutsche Bank has said it will move to smaller premises in New York and will close its Houston office entirely due to a withdrawal from advisory services for the oil and gas sector.

A number of senior executives from the investment bank have left since Mr Sewing first hinted at the restructuring to come when he discussed the bank's first-quarter results in April. They included its top securities executive in the US, Barry Bausano, as well as global M&A head Thomas Piquemal.

Among others to leave the bank are London-based head of CEEMEA equity sales Darren Veenhuis, the people said. Veenhuis declined to comment to Bloomberg Wednesday. Pascal Moura, who runs equity research for the region from Dubai, is also leaving the bank, the people said. Moura didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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