Tomorrow morning, Anshu Jain will start his new job as co-CEO of Deutsche Bank. Despite having previously overseen operations that produce 90 percent of the firm’s profits in any given quarter, sitting on the management committee, and generally being considered a “star” both within the company and among those who follow his work, chief executive officer is a title no one thought AJ would be given if he remained at DB, because 1) people back in Germany don’t like that he’s an investment banker and 2) “In Germany, no one can imagine an Indian working in London who does not speak German being CEO of Deutsche Bank.” To the haters’ chagrin, though, that’s exactly what’s about to happen. And if they want to continue bitching about it, they can be Jain’s guest– their insults go in one ear and out the other.
“There’s always so much noise in Frankfurt about the investment bank versus” the traditional German lending business, says Christopher Wheeler, a London-based analyst with Mediobanca. “They’re constantly saying, ‘Here’s a fancy Indian investment banker who is guilty of lots of terrible things.’” Der Spiegel, the country’s best-selling weekly magazine, ran a 12-page cover story earlier this year laying much of the blame for Deutsche Bank’s troubles at Mr. Jain’s feet…While Mr. Jain has taken German lessons, he doesn’t speak the language.