The other shock at Deutsche Bank today

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James Davies Deutsche Bank

Amidst all today's excitement about Tom Patrick (regional CEO for the Americas) and Sylvie Matherat (chief regulatory officer) seemingly leaving Deutsche Bank, DB insiders suggest another big change has gone unnoticed: James Davies, a Deutsche Bank London lifer is off to New York.

Bloomberg reported the move, which Deutsche Bank declined to comment upon. After eighteen years working for Deutsche in London, Davies is reportedly becoming head of U.S. debt trading, replacing Zia Huque, who joined the bank from Merrill Lynch in 2004 and was promoted to head U.S. credit trading in 2015. Under Huque, Deutsche has reportedly been chasing hedge fund clients, although this might simply be an attempt to offset the departure of a key hedge fund point-man in May 2018.

DB insiders suggest Davies move is unexpected, both because Davies seemingly knows little about the U.S. market (although he spent two years running U.S. structuring in 2012) and because he seemed to be a rising star in London - for whom a move to Deutsche's less profitable and more diminutive business in the U.S. looks like a step down. Deutsche ranks first globally for credit trading according to Coalition, but U.S.credit trading market is dominated by Goldman, Citi and J.P. Morgan, with Deutsche ranking outside the top five for U.S fixed income trading according to Greenwich Associates.

"Davies is mostly a structurer," says one DB insider. "He doesn't know much about the U.S. market and he's not an expert on U.S. regulations. It seems very odd, and it seems like a step down."

However surprised some London staff are, Davies has become the go-to man at Deutsche Bank since Christian Sewing took over as CEO. In May 2018 he was promoted to head emerging market debt, having previously worked in structured products before becoming global co-head of credit financing & solutions and credit structuring. Davies' other global co-head, New York-based Armin Rothauser, was let go earlier this month, allegedly with the curt and unceremonious valediction, 'Armin leaving to pursue other opportunities.'  Davies needs to hope that he lasts longer in NYC.

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