Are Deutsche Bank's dire bonuses for 2016 finally driving people away? After insisting that staff turnover was no greater than usual in the first quarter, DB seems to have lost more than its fair share of senior in the past week. David Waill, the U.S. head of leveraged loan management, has just joined a private equity fund. Jim McCrindle, a director in U.S. FX sales, is understood to have left for BAML. Matthew Geh, a senior European technology banker has left for J.P. Morgan. And chief economist Joe LaVorgna has absconded to "elsewhere."
Those who haven't left have been bought back. One of Deutsche's most senior U.S. traders was understood to be on the cusp of joining Barclays this week, but has seemingly been offered a big inducement to stick around instead. Deutsche insiders talk of massive buybacks whenever significant people try to escape: a director in the London investment bank reportedly achieved a 35% hike in his salary plus a guaranteed bonus; a managing director in Sam Wisnia's macro business was allegedly bid-back $3m after earning $1.5m last year.
Nonetheless, people are leaving and Deutsche Bank is hiring - both for replacement and for growth. Some of those hires have raised eyebrows on the Street. While Deutsche Bank itself counts as a second tier bank, several of its recent recruits have come from organizations considerably lower down the hierarchy.
Take, for example, the recent senior additions to Deutsche's U.S. healthcare team - from BMO Capital Markets and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Or Garret Rowan, who joined as a loans trader from US bank. Or Jonathan Rose, who joined as head of metals and mining in the Americas, also from BMO.
"Deutsche Bank always used to hire from the creme de la creme," comments one observer, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It's like they can't get those people any more," she adds.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment for this article. However, it would be wrong to suggest that the bank is only able to hire from less prestigious firms. This week alone it's announced the addition of Bill White from Citi as head of U.S. life sciences and Jeff Vergamini from J.P. Morgan as an MD in M&A. Robin Rousseau from Goldman Sachs is joining in September as head of M&A in EMEA. And Angus Yang from Citi is joining soon as head of prime brokerage in Asia.
Nonetheless, headhunters suggest it's easier to get into DB than it was and that the bank has opened its doors to recruits from rivals who wouldn't previously have been granted admission. One of those recruits is Jacob Bourne, who joined from Scotiabank at the height of Deutsche's troubles in October 2016. Bourne is head of U.S. inflation trading at DB - the business which reportedly made a $60m loss earlier this year.