The juddering death-march that is Deutsche Bank has proceeded with one clear objective in mind: crushing every last bit of hope its remaining employees might have naively retained. On that front, if on no other, John Cryan and co have been uncommonly effective. Trading jobs across the equities and fixed-income departments felt the chill touch of death. Bonus pools dried to a shallow puddle of tears. Most distressingly of all, Cryan continues to prolong his own masochistic suffering.
Accordingly, morale at the bank has sunk to some truly abysmal levels for employees at the receiving end of the pain. That fact will make it that much harder for Deutsche Bank's new chief of Wall Street operations – Thomas Patrick, who is replacing Bill Woodley, as Reuters reports – to match his predecessor's sterling record of disenchanting the rank and file. Indeed, the first challenge might be simply making clear who it is now in charge of making bankers miserable now:
"There is a huge morale problem this year because so many people got zero bonuses and they’re trying to bring in people from other banks with big packages," a manager at Deutsche's investment bank said, adding that staff currently had no clear understanding of who their bosses are.
For any disaffected Deutsche Bankers wondering where to direct their ire now, it's Patrick, who was promoted to DB's global equities business in 2015. His replacement of Woodley is just one in a recent series of shakeups aimed at streamlining the slow-motion implosion of DB. Last month the bank's investment banking chief just went ahead and laid himself off; this month, Cryan announced a restructuring that basically reversed everything the bank did in 2015.
With all that in the rear-view mirror, we look forward to learning what creative steps Patrick might take to continue DB's impressive run-up in discontent. Still, we have some clues:
"Deutsche Bank hasn’t been bad at generating revenues. The challenge now is to do that in an environment where cost-cutting is important but American banks now have a big head start," a source close to the matter said.
"BAML started its technology transformation in 2010. Deutsche in 2015. They are five years behind the technology challenge," the person said.
Ah, cost cuts. Right.