Deutsche Bank’s New Year’s reception in Berlin was always something special. As well as customers, guests at the reception include many lawmakers, creating a good opportunity to send political messages.
This year was a little different: Chief Executive Officer John Cryan used it partly for a message of thanks, after a tough few months that nearly brought the bank to its knees.
“Last September and October, you showed us how valuable our close relationship with you is,” said Mr. Cryan, a British-born banker who spoke German before several hundred guests. “At the time, many of you remained consciously on our side and supported us, both privately and publicly. We appreciate that, and we will not forget it.”
It was a new tone for Germany’s largest bank, which for much of the past two decades was far more focused on New York and London than on Berlin or Frankfurt.
It took the bank’s near-collapse to usher in that change.