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IPE special report May 2018

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Deutsche co-CEO rules out further asset management acquisitions

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  • Deutsche co-CEO rules out further asset management acquisitions

EUROPE – Deutsche Bank’s recently rebranded asset and wealth management division will not look to acquire rivals as part of its growth strategy, the banking group’s co-chief executive has said.

Anshu Jain admitted the creation of Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management (DWAM) – launched earlier this year after the bank decided against selling part of the asset management business – would need to go hand in hand with “a high level of humility and respect” for the manager’s well-established competitors.

Speaking in Frankfurt, Jain said growth within the division would require clients to trust DWAM, something that would not happen “rapidly”.

“We know it’s going to take time,” he said. “It’s going to be a multi-year journey.”

He also dismissed the suggestion DAWM would seek to grow through further acquisitions – such as the 2009 acquisition of Sal Oppenheim for €1bn.

The subsidiary announced recently it would cut as much as one-third of its workforce to return to profit.  

Jain said it was important for Michele Faissola, head of DAWM, to focus on turning the new division into a “cohesive whole” before any further deals were struck, and that the company was up against “world-class, top-notch” investors.

“If I were to remind you,” said Jain, “you’ve got Deutsche Asset Management, you’ve got Sal Oppenheim, you’ve got the wealth management business, you’ve got DWS – there’s a whole series of businesses that are there already and need to be turned into one cohesive whole.

“It’s tough to have the discipline to deliver on the five ‘c’s,” he said (referring to the five characteristics of character, capacity, capital, collateral and conditions, used to gauge the creditworthiness of potential borrowers), “while going through the acquisition of another target – no matter how tempting.”

Jain also responded to questions about abortive sales talks for real estate business RREEF with Guggenheim Partners, noting that talks following a strategic review only affected “a very specific sliver” of the business.

Explaining why the bank opted for a re-branding exercise over sale, he said: “Michele and his team expressed a very strong preference to keep the business. That’s where we are. That debate is over. That business is no longer for sale.”

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