Over the weekend, Deutsche Bank confirmed what we talked about on Friday; it's going to IPO its asset management division as part of a restructuring move that John Cryan never really wanted but is now forced to attempt. But Cryan is also unraveling some of his dramatic decisions from 2015.
The bank is also reorganizing major businesses for the second time in 18 months, in two cases reversing high-profile strategic decisions from 2015.
It is keeping the Postbank retail-banking business in Germany it had sought for two years to sell. And it is recombining its corporate-finance and deal-advisory business with its sprawling trading unit, following a costly move to split them in late 2015.
Keeping trading inside the investment bank was “probably the right answer in the first place,” Mr. Cryan told reporters on a conference call late Sunday afternoon. “We just didn’t know it at the time.”
To be fair, "Hindsight" does sound like a German word.
But wrapped up inside this decision to put stuff back where he found it is a pretty major personnel move that has been in the offing for some time...
Deutsche Bank confirmed that its chief financial officer, Marcus Schenck, will move over to run the newly recombined investment bank and trading businesses, along with global markets chief Garth Ritchie. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Mr. Schenck was in discussions to succeed Jeffrey Urwin, currently head of the corporate and investment bank.
Deutsche Bank confirmed Sunday that Mr. Urwin plans to retire. He joined Deutsche Bank in mid-2015 and the management board just 14 months ago. Mr. Urwin couldn’t be reached for comment.
Urwin's "retirement" (check our comments section for a sense of his popularity) will make more than enough room for newly-minted deputy CEO Schenck to step into what we have been told by numerous sources inside Deutsche is a vast leadership void just under Cryan. Schenck in particular is something of an Übermensch. A former McKinsey consultant and Goldman Sachs partner with a doctorate in economics, Schenck also happens to be an actual German. Cryan would not have done better in finding a new deputy if he'd gone to central casting.
And while Schenck is sharing his new role with Deutsche lifer Christian Sewing, it would seem that he is the more obvious choice to inherit the heir apparent mantle. But to hear Cryan tell it, that kind of thinking is totally unnecessary...
Mr. Cryan said the deputy CEO titles will help extend his reach and make the bank more efficient. “I don’t intend to go anywhere,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t announce a strategy shift and then leave. “I’m all-in and 150% behind it.”
For a leader that has had to reverse his own most dramatic leadership decisions, fostered an environment of rank-and-file fury and is now looking to get a capital infusion that he has publicly stated that he never wanted, promoting a man seemingly destined to run Deutsche Bank to be your Number Two and then saying that you're not going anywhere...well, that takes balls.