Meet the two most important men at Deutsche Bank in Asia

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Meet the two most important men at Deutsche Bank in Asia

There’s a power shift going on within Deutsche Bank in Asia – its business focus (and, potentially, its hiring focus, too) is moving toward…transaction banking. Meanwhile, two men, David Lynne and Burkhard Ziegenhorn, are primed to take advantage.

Deutsche CEO Christian Sewing’s strongly-worded speech at the bank’s AGM yesterday was all about “tough cutbacks” to the firm’s struggling Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB), with equity trading jobs in the firing line. But Sewing had kinder words for his transaction bankers (whose unit is currently part of CIB). Deutsche has “frequently paid too little attention” to trade finance and cash management, the two core businesses within Global Transaction Banking (GTB), he said.

Sewing hinted that Deutsche may even split off GTB – which enjoys strong profit margins – from the rest of CIB. The transaction bank will be “given the freedom and the resources to fully exploit its potential,” he said, adding that Asia is a region primed for growth.

That Sewing would single out Asian transaction bankers is not entirely surprising – they have been punching above their weight for at least two years. We reported back in March 2018 that transaction banking was among the most stable teams to work for at DB in Asia. This followed the publication of Deutsche’s annual report, which pointed out that GTB “acquired numerous major mandates” in Asia and highlighted the importance of “strengthening intra-Asian trade”.

It’s now likely that GTB will be growing – rather than just staying stable – in Asia, especially in Singapore, its main regional hub. The unit currently has 10 vacancies in Singapore alone right now, according to its careers website. Earlier this month, in a potential sign of more recruitment to come, Deutsche named Burkhard Ziegenhorn as GTB head of Southeast Asia.

Burkhard, who starts on June 1, is a Deutsche veteran whose clout within the bank should help him to press the case for the expansion of the GTB team in Singapore. He’s held several senior GTB roles globally at DB since joining in 2002 and was previously the unit’s Frankfurt-based COO and head of business management.

If you want a transaction banking job in Singapore, therefore, Burkhard is a good person to get to know. Ultimately, however, you may find yourself interviewing with his boss (and fellow DB veteran), David Lynne, head of GTB for APAC. Lynne was appointed in May last year and is also head of fixed income and currencies for the region.

In an interview with The Asian Banker in December, Lynne stressed that DB’s Asian transaction banking platform is critical to delivering to its key global clients, whether “our core German corporate clients, or core US west coast-based fund managers”. Asian-headquartered corporations have also become important to Deutsche’s GTB business as they internationalise their operations, he added.

Image credit: Getty, justhavealook

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