Bonus Watch '19: Deutsche Bank Unsubtly Telling Deutsche Bankers That Their Enmity Is Mutual

We're no math geniuses, but can Deutsche Bank cut bonuses back from nothing?
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The power dynamic amongst the biggest financial services firms has shifted dramatically in recent years, yet one bank has managed to hold on to the top of one particular league table with breathtaking consistency: Deutsche Bank still reigns supreme when it comes to being the worst at talent retention.

challenger-deutsche

In 2017, Deutsche punished staffers for mistakes made almost a decade earlier by eschewing bonuses almost entirely to pay a mindboggling amount of fines. And last year's bonus pool was pathetically shallow as well after Deutsche forgot those promises it stupidly made and joined in on the fad of using corporate tax savings to do share buybacks instead of paying it out in bonuses. So after two straight years of a deteriorating corporate ethos and a talent exodus unrivaled in finance, has Deutsche Bank learned its lesson about buying carrots instead of just using a stick?

Deutsche Bank AG’s management board has decided to cut the bonus pool by around 10 percent compared with 2017 as the German lender tries to juggle cost pressures with concerns of a talent drain, according to people familiar with the matter.

Oh, Deutsche...

Bonuses will be paid more selectively in an attempt to keep its top earners, the people said, declining to be identified as the decision hasn’t been made public. A decision on the final figure could change, depending on the bank’s fourth quarter numbers, they said.

So based on Deutsche's Q4 18 numbers - which will be impacted by yet another regulatory crisis, plunging share price and growing rumors of a forced merger - top performers at the bank might get a little bump in their bonus checks. That's a fun game when you consider that "Top performer at Deutsche Bank" translates from the German as "Unindicted." Why is Deutsche playing with fire, risking losing the few people who haven't already fled the sinking bank?

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is seeking to slash costs while holding on to key staff that generate revenue for the troubled firm. 

Ah, we get it now! Sewing is using another deeply shitty bonus season to save on severance packages. After all, if people quit in fury after being screwed on their bonuses, you don't have to pay them to go away. That's some German engineering right there, folks.

Deutsche Bank to Cut Bonus Pool by About 10% for 2018 [Bloomberg]

Related

CryanBonusPool

Bonus Watch '17: Deutsche Bank Bonus Pool More Like A Sad, Shallow Shower Puddle Of Bonuses

Deutsche Bank's mismanagement of this year's bonus season is like a new form of performance art.

deutschefife

Bonus Watch '18: You Are All Deutsche Bankers Now

How's a $0 bonus sound? Does zero money work for you this year?

deutsche-bank-logo-eyes

Layoff Watch '18: Deutsche Bank Just Fired Fruit

What's the German compound word for "Put the mango down! Mango is for closers"?

deutsche-bank-logo-eyes

Bonus Watch '17: Deutsche Bank TOTALLY Dealt Away 2016 Bonuses In DoJ Deal

Bad news for Deutsche bankers...but we look great here!

SewingThanos

Layoff Watch: "Deutsche Bank: Infinity War"

Die Götterdämmerung of 60 Wall Street has begun.

deutsche-bank-logo-eyes

Bonus Watch '19: Equity Traders At Deutsche Bank Seeing A Lot Of Zeroes...With No Numbers In Front Of Them

One Deutsche Banker describes this bonus season as feeling like "a prelude to just shutting the whole thing down."

challenger-deutsche

Deutsche Bank CFO Incredulous That People Actually Believe The Merger Rumors Swirling Around His Tire Fire Of A Bank

James von Moltke cannot believe that the press has the balls to say that anyone wants to merge with Deutsche Bank.