Surprise as Deutsche Bank lays off healthcare bankers in London

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Healthcare redundancies Deutsche Bank

As it continues to cut costs under new CEO Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank is understood have made deep cuts to its healthcare investment banking team in London. Both Deutsche insiders and headhunters confirmed the cuts, which one recruiter described as, "carnage."

"No one has been spared," said one DB insider. "They've made cuts across the board, both seniors and juniors." A junior on the healthcare team confirmed that the cuts spanned the entire hierarchy and said they were, "unexpected." The actual number of exits is unclear, however. Deutsche will retain a presence in healthcare and has not cut the team in its entirety.

Deutsche declined to comment. The exits are understood to include Darren Campili, Deutsche's global head of healthcare, who joined the bank in 2006.

"The cuts seem to be completely arbitrary," complained a senior banker. "It's madness."

However, the cuts to healthcare probably shouldn't have come as a surprise. Sewing has said several times that he intends to pull back from some areas of corporate finance, particularly those in which the bank does not have strong representation with European and particularly German clients. So far this year, Deutsche ranks 15th for EMEA healthcare M&A according to Dealogic. Employees of the bank said previously that the London healthcare team employed around 14 people.

The layoffs come after Sewing said Deutsche plans to make most of its front office layoffs by July 2018. The bank intends to eliminate 7,000 jobs in total as it seeks to restore profitability.

As we reported last week, Deutsche is consolidating teams in the investment banking division as part of its cost-cutting exercise. Analysts, associates and VPs in London, Madrid and Milan are being placed into a single pool. So too are juniors covering resources, infrastructure and utilities, and then healthcare, consumer and retail. It seems healthcare bankers are getting the thin end of the wedge as the latter team is formed.

Some seem to have anticipated this eventuality. James Heath, a former Deutsche MD who spent less than two years with the bank after joining from EY in 2016, quit in March, and now works for BTG, a specialist in interventionist medicine. Other DB healthcare bankers may now be wishing they'd intervened sooner in their own careers too.

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