Don’t embarrass us! In what may have been a response to a recent incident, Deutsche Bank’s investment banking co-chief has made it implicitly clear in an internal video that “vulgar” behavior will not be tolerated. Go against the new company mantra and you’re likely to be shown the door.
The video, first reported by German newspaper Die Zeit, features investment banking co-chief Colin Fan, who appears to be responding to ongoing concerns over the behavior of its investment bankers.
“Some of you are still are long way from meeting our standards,” he said. “To be absolutely clear: our reputation is everything. It’s not OK to brag or to be vulgar or indiscrete. That will have severe consequences on your career.”
A Deutsche spokesperson confirmed to us the legitimacy of the video and said: “A new culture is taking hold, step by step, here at Deutsche Bank. The substance and tone of this video is intentionally direct and part of an ongoing programme. We expect every employee to understand and comply with our standards.”
However, Fan told employees in the video that he has “run out of patience on this,” suggesting that he may have been responding to a recent issue.
“Every communication which has the slightest chance of being interpreted as unprofessional must stop. Right now,” he said. “Think carefully about what you say and how you say it. If you don’t, it can have serious personal consequences for you.”
The video was sent to Deutsche Bank corporate and investment banking employees globally and is required viewing – although a number of Deutsche bankers we spoke to in New York said they had yet to view it and weren’t aware of its existence.
The situation is a bit reminiscent of something that occurred at Goldman Sachs in 2010. The bank reportedly told employees to knock it off with all the cursing in emails, texts and IMs, warning that “habitual profaners” could end up in their manager’s office for a sit down. Unlike Deutsche Bank, Goldman chose to deliver the message verbally.
Additional reporting by Florian Hamann