Losing Focus?

Distractions Weigh on Deutsche

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s biggest commercial bank, which has been struggling with litigation risks and sluggish earnings, is in the midst of a deep restructuring that some say is distracting it from its core business.

  • Facts


    • A media report suggests that the head of investment and corporate banking, Jeff Urwin, is in talks to leave.
    • The bank last week posted a loss of €1.4 billion, or $1.5 billion, for 2016 and a 10 percent drop in revenue to €30 billion.
    • The bank’s asset management arm also faces uncertainty with plans for a partial sale and criticism of its new chief.
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main source imageBROKER Getty Images – Deutsche Bank head office Frankfurt downtown street 75489872
Deutsche Bank's head office in downtown Frankfurt may be too preoccupied with its own restructuring. Source: imageBROKER/Getty Images

At first sight, Jeff Urwin seems like a good fit for Deutsche Bank — not just because his second name, Herbert, sounds reassuringly German. The Brit is regarded as one of Wall Street’s most seasoned investment bankers.

After positions at Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and JP Morgan. Mr. Urwin joined Germany’s biggest commercial bank in 2015. For the past year has been on its management board, in charge of corporate and investment banking, a division his British chief executive, John Cryan, has high hopes for.

Nevertheless, Mr. Urwin and Deutsche Bank may part company. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the manager was already in talks about leaving. Financial sources said that’s unlikely to happen in the short term. But for some time, there has been speculation that Mr. Urwin is tiring of his job, and some colleagues aren’t happy that he runs his division from New York while many of the bank’s big clients are in Europe.

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