In four days' time, Garth Ritchie will almost certainly be gone. The head of Deutsche's corporate and investment bank will have his 23 year Deutsche Bank career nixed on Sunday according to the Financial Times - just as Deutsche Bank's board approves Christian Sewing's plan for 15,000 to 20,000 redundancies.
For Ritchie, it will be the end to an illustrious but also ignominious career. Ritchie himself may have thrived at DB, but under his reign Deutsche Bank's equities business faltered and profits at Deutsche's corporate and investment bank went from €2bn in 2016 to €1bn in 2017 to €530m last year.
For this feat of achievement, Ritchie earned €2.4m in compensation in 2016, €3.25m in 2017 and...€8.2m in 2018, including an allowance of €250k a month for making preparations for Brexit, to be paid until November 2020.
Ritchie's time at Deutsche Bank has been increasingly lucrative, in other words. And his departure could be equally well paid.
While most of the 20k people leaving Deutsche Bank are likely to receive very minimal severance packages (in the UK the bank now pays the statutory minimum) Ritchie will almost certainly receive a giant pay-off by virtue of the five year contract he signed in September 2018. If Deutsche Bank wants to dispense with Ritchie before 2023, it will have to pay he and his Brexit allowance to go away quietly.
This is causing some gritting of teeth inside DB, where there are complaints that Ritchie hasn't done hardly anything to prepare for Brexit anyway and has primarily looked after himself. "Garth is a trader," says one former colleague. "And Garth always looks after Garth. This contract effectively locked-in his price for five years."
Some of the blame for paying for and paying-off Ritchie should be attributed to Paul Achleitner, the Deutsche Bank chairman who supported Ritchie's rise and who extended Ritchie's contract last September. "Garth is Achleitner's guy," says one DB insider. "If we have to pay him off Achleitner should take full responsibility."
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