It was around this time last year when Deutsche Bank's London office turned into a den of passive aggressive acrimony after the bank admitted that it was paying very old fines to the US DoJ instead of 2017 bonuses. And then things only got worse after DB’s Head of Corporate & Investment Banking Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alasdair Warren told a bunch of non-believing underlings that the bank was going to crush it on bonuses in 2018 and fix everything.
The whole thing was quite the clusterfuck, and tips poured into Dealbreaker HQ from inside Deutsche Bank offices in Europe and the US painting a picture of a firm in real danger of losing the last vestige of trues it held with the rank-and-file.
Well, here we are one year later, and things are apparently...not much better at all.
As we talked about last week, DB's bonus pool is hardly fathoms deeper than last years painfully shallow puddle of tears. Tipsters from inside Deutsche's US operations are saying that things are feeling pretty bleak this bonus season:
No one is expecting much more than they got 2 years ago and wouldn’t be surprised if it’s below that, but at least it’s not last year.
And there seem to be layoffs coming soon as well. Last Friday an MD in equity sales trading went in to discuss his end of year and was informed that he was was going to be part of the restructuring that was coming. So cats out of the bad I guess. This was in the middle of the day mind you...just underscores the surreal environment here.
And things in London are no better. sources there seem pretty prickly about getting merely less-shafted on bonuses this year, and our old pal Alasdair Warren is now being rumored internally as another MD on the way out when his guarantee expires in May. It apparently feels long ago that Warren was DB's prized Goldman Sachs defector, and some inside DB London are acting psyched to say goodbye:
Good riddance. All he's managed to do is increase costs by bringing on other people with expensive [guarantees]. Remember this is the clown who said last year we would be paid market. This year's bonus pool of Eur1b is double last year's "no bonus" (except if you were a senior crony in the bank) of EUR500m. People are leaving faster than they can be replaced. New hires are more expensive than the folks leaving. The circle jerk dumpster fire continues!
Sounds like a party.
Burt Warren is also apparently not done fighting. He's looking to cut costs and deliver some savings back to John Cryan, and he's apparently doing it in a way designed to piss off the maximum amount of people in the quickest way possible. As part of his monthly town hall meeting, Warren reportedly made hay about a 22 million euro-sized hole of expenses created by his group last year. And since telling your people that they spend too much on the company dime isn't irksome enough to a group already pissed off about no 2017 bonuses - and, y'know, Brexit - Warren apparently presented a slide illustrating his plan to fill said hole.
We have it on good authority that this is that slide:
"No more "business weekends" in Frankfurt or Brussels, you charlatans! And limos are for closers! We also don't care if you prefer flying on Virgin, you will take RyanAir and LIKE IT!"
But hey, this might increase the bonus pool by like 6 million euros...so, either join the circle jerk dumpster fire or play by yourself! That's the Deutsche Bank motto for 2018!