Cryan's Overhaul

Rearranging the Pieces at Deutsche

Deutsche Bank DPA
Deutsche Bank could be in for a wholesale management reorganization.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    John Cryan, the new co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, is considering an extensive restructuring program to return the bank to profitability.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • John Cryan took over as Deutsche Bank’s co-CEO from Anshu Jain on July 1. He will become sole CEO once Jürgen Fitschen leaves next May.
    • Mr. Cryan is reported to be thinking about completely abolishing the bank’s Group Executive Committee, its second level of management.
    • The bank’s current management structure is highly complex and has led to the duplication of some activities and caused confusion about responsibilities.
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John Cryan, the new co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank, was clearly speaking from the heart in his welcome letter to the bank’s employees.

“We absolutely must wean ourselves off the proliferation of committees,”  Mr. Cryan wrote on July 1, the day he replaced Anshu Jain as chief executive of Germany’s largest bank. “Of course, committees can sometimes play a useful role, but they cannot be used as a substitute for personal accountability.”

It was one of many reform promises in the letter. But behind the mild-sounding language appears to be the most far-reaching restructuring of top management in a decade.

According to two insiders at the bank, Mr. Cryan is considering completely removing the Group Executive Committee, the so-called GEC, which is a broad second-level of managers below the bank’s decision-making management board.

The management board itself may also get a makeover. Mr. Cryan is considering reorganizing the board so that all four of the bank’s operating divisions once again have a representative. Thousands of lower-level administrative jobs are also expected to be cut.

Deutsche Bank has declined to comment on the speculation.

The management reorganization is just the latest sign that Mr. Cryan is serious about cutting costs and overhauling the bank’s culture, structure and business model, which critics say has been in urgent need of an overhaul since the 2008 financial crisis.

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