If you want to keep on working for Deutsche Bank in Asia, you obviously don’t want to be working in equities trading. The unit is shuttering as part of the 18,000 redundancies Deutsche is making globally under sweeping plans to restructure its business. ECM jobs are also reportedly being cut across the region.
Away from investment banking, it still appears possible to have a stable Deutsche Bank job in Hong Kong or Singapore. Deutsche’s strategic announcement document, published on Monday, states that the bank is “focused on growing our core operations in Asia” and that by 2022 the region will account for 14% of global revenues, up from 12% last year. Deutsche hasn’t detailed what its ‘core’ jobs in Asia are, but it has provided some suggestions.
Wealth management front-office
As we noted last week, Deutsche wants to take on about 300 more relationship and investment managers globally by 2021, and about a third of them will be based in Asia. A new Deutsche statement about the restructuring has now reinforced these plans: “In wealth management, Deutsche Bank will invest in new client advisors, especially in the growing markets of Asia”. This hiring will be easier said than done. Deutsche is trying to bulk up in a competitive job market in which larger rivals such as UBS and Credit Suisse are also expanding.
Wealth management technology
While Deutsche’s statement doesn’t explicitly mention hiring in wealth tech, it does mention a “major focus of our investments will be on the digitalisation and the development of [wealth] platforms”. It seems likely that Deutsche will, at the very least, maintain its current tech workforce supporting its expanding Asian private bank. As we’ve been reporting recently, rivals in Asia such as Julius Bear and Bank of Singapore have been hiring in wealth tech… Deutsche needs to make sure it keeps up with them.
DWS, Deutsche’s asset management arm, was singled out for “growth” in Asia in Deutsche’s 2018 earnings report. “Building on our leadership position in Europe, we intend to make targeted investments in our coverage mostly in the Americas and in Asia,” Deutsche CEO Christian Sewing said in a January call with analysts, referring to DWS. A few months (and a big restructuring) later, and DWS is still hot. The unit remains a “pillar of Deutsche Bank’s strategy” and will “target expansion in Asia” as it continues to pursue its objective of becoming one of the top-10 asset managers globally.
Fixed income and currencies
Deutsche’s restructuring plan identifies this area as one of its “traditional strengths”. In Asia, Deutsche was the region’s fourth largest fixed-income bank by revenue last year, according to research firm Coalition. Most of these potentially stable jobs are based in Singapore, the bank’s main hub for Asian fixed income. Morale in the unit is “far from high”, however, and top traders may decide to leave of their own accord, reports Bloomberg.
The most stable Deutsche Bank jobs in Asia may turn out to be in bread-and-butter functions such as cash management and trade finance. Transaction banking will be “at the core” of Deutsche’s new Corporate Bank division, the main hub for corporate and commercial clients. Deutsche’s annual report also pointed out that transaction banking “acquired numerous major mandates” in Asia. As we noted last month, however, Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered – three firms with larger Asian operations than DB – have also been building in transaction banking recently. At Stan Chart, transaction banking income was up 5% year on year in the first quarter. Deutsche is therefore facing strong competition for corporate customers in Asia.
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