Deutsche Bank

  • 23 May 2014 at 12:42 PM

Deutsche Bank Clarifies Its Business Plan

Deutsche Bank is determined to remain among the top five investment banks in the world, its co-chief executives told shareholders on Thursday at a typically raucous annual meeting, even as other European lenders cut back their profitable but risky trading activities. […] “There will be winners and losers in the banking world,” said Mr. Jain, a native of India who delivered a prepared text in competent German. “We want to position Deutsche Bank systematically as a winner.” [Dealbook]

The German lender is proposing to raise the maximum bonus senior managers can receive to twice their fixed annual salary, double the current level. Deutsche Bank officials say the move is necessary so that the bank can comply with European rules on pay, while also competing for staff with U.S. rivals. They say that if the bonus increase is rejected, the bank would need to raise base salaries to retain top talent. But opposition to the proposals is mounting from shareholder groups who argue the payment is excessive and fosters improper behavior. Germany’s Schutzverein der Kapitalanleger, an organization of small shareholders, said it would vote against the proposal because it lifts the bonus cap indefinitely, rather than for a defined period subject to review. Another shareholder group, the Ethecon, said it plans to vote against Deutsche Bank’s proposal which “would further raise the already irresponsible and inhumane risk appetite level.” [WSJ]

Vulgarities and indiscreet chatter have percolated through Wall Street’s trading floors and online chat rooms for many years, and might have stayed there were it not for a string of recent regulatory crackdowns. Now, thanks to investigations that have produced reams of internal communications among traders and brokers, a window has opened onto the predominantly male locker room culture of finance. Some banks — anxious to avoid further embarrassments — are taking steps to clean up that culture. “Some of you are falling way short of our established standards,” Colin Fan, the co-chief of the investment banking division at Deutsche Bank, the big German lender, said in a recent internal video, outlining a code of conduct that has echoes of the famous etiquette guidelines published nearly a century ago by Mrs. Post. “Let’s be clear,” Mr. Fan continued. “Our reputation is everything. Being boastful, indiscreet and vulgar is not O.K. It will have serious consequences for your career, and I have lost patience on this issue.” [Dealbook]

Deutsche Bank, as you all know, owns a Las Vegas resort and casino called the Cosmopolitan. The bank never set out to be the proprietors of such an establishment, but after a developer who they loaned money to defaulted, they didn’t have much choice, did they? So now, here we are, 6 years and $4 billion later. Senior execs at the bank won’t be seen there. Guests aren’t particularly interested in gambling at the place. And, by the way, it’s never turned a profit. So it wasn’t entirely surprising to hear the Germans had decided to try and find someone to take the investment off their hands and that was before this happened: Read more »

  • 16 Apr 2014 at 9:58 AM

Who Wants To Buy A Las Vegas Resort?

As some of you may recall, Deutsche Bank owns a casino1 (and hotel) in Las Vegas called The Cosmopolitan. If it seems out of character2 for the Germans to be proprietors of an establishment whose motto is “Just the right amount of wrong,” where people lay scantily clad around a pool by day and gorge themselves on food and drink before vomiting while waiting in line to get into a club by night, that’s because Deutsche only meant to get into the business of funding the project, not running it. Unfortunately, in 2008 the original developer, Ian Bruce Eichner, had to go and default on his loans, and when it became apparent that no one else wanted to invest in the place, the bank decided to just finish the thing itself, spending an addition $3 billion that went towards things like “a three-story crystal-strewn bar meant to evoke the inside of a chandelier.” Anyway, the resort has been been making slightly more money than in earlier years (while still “post[ing] net losses of around $100 million every year since opening”) and management has decided that as much fun as its been owning an in-house nightclub called “Rose. Rabbit. Lie.”, it’s time to sell. Read more »

Kai Lew was allegedly a little too open with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Read more »

Deutsche Bank AG was ordered to give four traders fired in a rate-rigging investigation their exact jobs back while a court is hearing an appeals bid by the lender over the issue. The lender must pay a penalty equal to the men’s monthly salary unless it reinstates them in their original positions, Frankfurt Labor Appeals Court spokesman Wolfram Henkel said in an interview today…The Frankfurt Labor Court ruled last year the terminations were illegal and the bank must reinstate the employees, who made submissions for Euribor and Swiss Franc Libor. The court found “indications” that the fired staff wrongfully took derivatives trading positions into account when deciding what rates to submit. While it’s against bank rules to fix rates, the lender couldn’t use this as a reason to fire them because it didn’t have sufficient guidelines on rate submissions, didn’t control the process, and had systems in place that fostered the behavior, the court wrote in the judgment. [Bloomberg]