The feel good factors are coming thick and fast at Deutsche Bank in London. First came the posters urging employees to share all the positive things they do there, now we understand that a fancy “artisanal” stand has turned up in the lobby of Winchester House.
Deutsche employees who might previously have visited the nearby Cafe Nero will imminently be able to get their caffeine fixes from the hipsterish caffeine purveyor inside their doors. The stand isn’t open yet, but apparently will be “soon”.
Some smell a rat. “This is just another attempt by Cryan to make us feel ok about the bonuses,” says one DB insider. “It’s like, sorry about your bonus – have an expensive coffee instead.” Deutsche is conducting its annual employee satisfaction survey soon, results to which are made public in July. Last year’s survey found that fewer than 50% of staff were proud of working for Deutsche Bank. Following the decision not to pay performance bonuses for 2016, this year’s survey is expected to be worse unless Deutsche bolsters morale through some other means.
The coffee stand may not be the way to do it. One senior trader says the new perk will be ignored by most people on his team. “We have our own coffee place, so basically this is a non-event. Even when it does open, the people here won’t care.”
Another alternative might be to fly traders about by private jet when they attend meetings offsite. Sam Wisnia, the newly promoted head of Deutsche’s rates and FX business did this last year, when he flew some of his team to Washington on a private yet he rented himself. Deutsche’s abstemious CEO John Cryan is against such things, but may need to offer some more impressive inducements if the satisfaction survey is to deliver the results required. “Deutsche is a very sad place right now,” says one VP.