Anshu Jain had a clear vision when it came to the future of the financial industry. The former Deutsche Bank co-chief executive was convinced that a handful of large financial institutions would dominate the global financial sector. His goal: to keep Deutsche Bank part of this exclusive club.
When he took over the bank in 2012, Mr. Jain set a goal of becoming one of the top five in all key areas of investment banking. Overall, he set his sights on the number-three spot worldwide among investment banks – attacking the top dogs on Wall Street like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
It was an ambitious goal that suited the successor to Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank’s long-time chief executive, who helped set up the bank’s Wall Street operations and in the last decade succeeded in turning Germany’s largest bank into a major global investment banking player.
The Jain-Ackermann era is now a thing of the past – Mr. Jain was replaced as co-chief executive in July by John Cryan, a mild-mannered British banker who has set about returning the bank to its roots, reducing its global ambitions. He’s even cutting back on investment banking – long considered off-limits – to protect the bank’s capital base.
The shift is borne out in the numbers: Deutsche Bank’s performance in investment banking was sobering at best in 2015. Joining the top five seems an increasingly distant goal.