Deutsche Bank is supposed to be making layoffs. Last week, there were reports that the German bank is thinking of making 20% of its people redundant this week and next. Headhunters in London say they haven't seen senior people coming out yet. When they do, Deutsche's surplus MDs could always hit-up some of the bank's former senior executives, who are regrouping in a private debt management fund in London.
We've written about F.A.B Partners before. Run by senior ex-Deutsche bankers Michele Faissola, Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu, it used funding from the Qatari Royal Family to acquire CIFC Asset Management, a debt investment firm with around $14bn under management last August. Since then, another former DB executive has quietly joined.
The latest arrival at F.A.B. is Wayne Grigull, a Deutsche veteran whose last role at the bank was global head of group relationship management and member of the global markets executive committee. Like Faissola and most of the other old guard in Deutsche's fixed income trading business, Grigull came to Deutsche from Merrill Lynch in New York in 1997. He only left the German bank again in March 2016. It's not exactly clear when Grigull joined F.A.B. (or what he'll be doing there), but he wasn't there last time we looked in October.
Will other Deutsche leavers really be able to join their former bosses at F.A.B? Doubtful: F.A.B. looks like a vehicle for Deutsche's ex-global markets royalty rather than somewhere that might suit the average Deutsche MD. CIFC Asset Management could be a different story, although there's little sign of the subsidiary hiring ex-Deutsche Bankers either.
Headhunters in London suggest Deutsche hasn't pulled the trigger on its layoffs yet because it's trying to save money. "They'll wait until they've actually paid these awful bonuses in March and see who leaves voluntarily," says one. "That way, they won't have to pay redundancy money."
Given that Deutsche bankers have already been informed their bonuses will be close to zero, you might think they'd be leaving already (indeed, this was likely part of the rationale for Deutsche informing them about it early). Seemingly, this isn't the case. "A lot of our clients are waiting for cuts in Deutsche Bank's equities business." says Oliver Rolfe at search firm Spartan Partnership. "There are still some very good people there, but so far exits have just been a trickle."