Senior structurers disappear at Deutsche Bank as things get political

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Deutsche Bank cuts

It's not just cash equities staff, prime broking staff, corporate financiers in non-key sectors, U.S. rates traders, contractors, consultants and emerging markets bankers who are going at Deutsche Bank. It's also structurers, some of them quite senior.

Deutsche insiders say the bank is trimming equities structuring group. Among the exits is Ian Holt, global head of strategic transactions and global markets equity structuring and a Deutsche Bank veteran of nearly 20 years. As well as Holt, the bank is understood to have let go of Alok Bhalla, co-head of emerging markets structured credit, who joined Deutsche after losing his job at Credit Suisse in 2011. Bhalla's exit comes as Deutsche pulls back from emerging markets following the departure of Sean Bates, head of emerging market debt trading. Further cuts to the structuring team are expected.

Deutsche CEO Christian Sewing is understood to be in London today following his presentation at yesterday's Deutsche Bank AGM in Frankfurt. While Sewing is likely to offer reassurance to the approximately 35,000 employees at Deutsche Bank globally whom he wants to keep, insiders complain that the Sewing era is already becoming highly political.

"There's no shortage of rumour and all the senior people are simply trying to save their own skins," says one senior corporate financier at the bank. Sewing doesn't have a markets or investment banking background and is therefore highly reliant on Garth Ritchie, now the sole head of the investment bank for guidance. During yesterday's presentation, Sewing said the latest restructuring is the result of Ritchie's analysis of the bank's position and opportunities: if Ritchie is on your side, you are safe.

Some Deutsche insiders question some of the cuts made by Sewing and his own lieutenants like Peter Selman, the new head of global equities who joined in December 2017 after previously working for Goldman Sachs.  Selman is understood to have been behind the decision to let go of Martin Evans, head of Deutsche's linear corporate and special situations trading group, earlier this month. Deutsche insiders suggest Evans' exit was a mistake: "His expertise is already deeply missed and is impacting the business," says one. " - This was a political decision that was unrelated to the business and we are already suffering for it."

Deutsche Bank did not respond to a request to comment.

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