Upset as Deutsche Bank closes its oil & gas team in the U.S. AND London

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Deutsche closed oil and gas

The Houston office is no more

So much for jobs at Deutsche Bank in London being safe under Christian Sewing. Deutsche insiders say the German bank has just closed its M&A oil and gas team in both the U.S. and London. Around eight jobs are thought to have gone in the City. Up to 100 jobs are thought to have gone worldwide.

Deutsche declined to comment on the closure, which was confirmed by both employees and headhunters. The bank is understood to be closing its Houston office along with its oil and gas M&A business, but will remain active in oil and gas equity and debt capital markets. One headhunter said members of the team are already interviewing elsewhere, despite still being employed by Deutsche for the next couple of months.

The closure comes after Mark Benton, Deutsche's former head of energy investment banking, left earlier this year, seemingly as a result of the German bank's managing director job cuts in February.  Benton's LinkedIn profile says he's, "looking for a new challenge." Benton had spent nearly four years at Deutsche after joining from Barclays Capital in 2014.

Deutsche insiders say members of the bank's London oil and gas team are not at their desks today. The absent individuals include: Prem Sohal, an associate who joined from the London Business School in 2016 and Nicolas Sabouret, an analyst who joined at the same time. Thibaud De Maria, a former Goldman Sachs executive director, who joined in August 2017 after seven years at Goldman Sachs was also absent when we called. Sohal, Sabouret and Maria didn't respond to queries about the team's closure. A colleague said the oil and gas team is out of the office, but that people in it will be back next week.

Revenues in Deutsche Bank's M&A business fell 22% year-on-year in the first quarter, while revenues in the equity capital markets (ECM) business fell 50% as a result of a €35m loss on a block trade of shares in a U.S. power company. 

When Sewing presented his new strategy earlier this month, he said investment banking division jobs relating to European clients would be safe and that only jobs dealing exclusively with U.S. or Asian clients would be pared back. The European oil and gas team was therefore supposed to have been in Sewing's safe space. Its closure has created concern at DB that there will be more European investment banking division job cuts to come.

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