Deutsche Bank plans to hire 300 more relationship and investment mangers for its wealth management business by 2021, as part of a plan to bulk up in areas the German lender hopes will bring steadier revenue streams.
Deutsche Bank is in the middle of a major restructuring as it tries to shrink its investment bank that has struggled to generate sustainable profits since the 2008 financial crisis. The shake up is expected to lead to thousands of job cuts in areas like equities trading.
Chief executive Christian Sewing wants instead to allocate more resources to businesses that have more stable revenue streams, with wealth management one of them.
“This drive to grow our business is now materialising with a big investment push,” Fabrizio Campelli, global head of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management told Reuters in an interview.
Under Campelli’s plan the number of relationship and investment managers will grow by 300 - around a third of the current numbers - globally. They will be spread across its America, Europe and Emerging Markets regions.
“We need to increase significantly our client footprint, which means the net increase of client facing individuals needs to be material,” he said.
Wealth management is attractive to banks as it requires less capital and its earnings tend to be less cyclical.
But it is also highly competitive. Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse are already big players, with wealth management at the heart of their business models, while upstart fintech companies are also trying to make inroads.
“The space is very crowded and the market is one that many banks have sought to make a mark on,” said Campelli, who has run the business at Deutsche since October 2015.
“We looked at trends we believe Deutsche Bank wealth management can be particularly relevant in and within those areas we are making some very targeted investments”.
Campelli said trends they are particularly focused on include the growth in entrepreneurial - as opposed to family - wealth, the increasing number of family offices, and the rise of millennial high net worth individuals, who tend to manage their wealth differently from previous generations.
He declined to say how big the overall investment would be to fund this growth, beyond “several hundred million” euros.
Top 10 ambitions
Deutsche’s wealth business had 213 billion euros ($242.35 billion) in assets under management (AUM) in the first quarter of the year, up by 14 billion euros from the end of 2018.
It currently trails its major Swiss and U.S rivals in private banking league tables, tending to sit outside the top ten.
Campelli, an Italian who has been at Deutsche since 2004, would not disclose the bank’s long term AUM target but said “if we can’t improve from just outside of the top 10 position, I will be very disappointed.”
The business generated 427 million euros in revenue in the first quarter, around 17 percent of the 2.5 billion euro total brought in by the private and commercial banking division, where the wealth management business sits.
The first wave of the hiring has started, with new recruits including Michael Rogers, who joined as the new head of the U.S. West Coast business from Merrill Lynch and Marco Pagliara moving from Goldman Sachs to be head of Northern and Eastern European wealth management.
When asked if Deutsche’s wider problems at its investment bank were hindering its plans to attract talent, Campelli said: “We’re paying them market rate, there is no need to pay a premium.” He added that the negative news around Deutsche gives their plans to build-up a more stable business more credibility.
“We need a business model which is stable and based on reliable macro trends and not so reliant on cyclical trends,” he added.