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Deutsche Bank’s Asia cuts have ‘largely been completed’

People walk past the Deutsche Bank AG logo displayed outside a building housing the Deutsche Bank Group offices in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Photographer: Junko Kimura/Bloomberg

HONG KONG • Deutsche Bank AG has almost finished restructuring its Asian investment-banking business and plans to add bankers in the coming months, said regional head James McMurdo.

“Yes, we did trim, but we trimmed where we thought we were less competitive, or where we thought the opportunity was not that significant and that has largely been completed,” McMurdo, who leads corporate and investment banking for Asia Pacific, said in a phone interview yesterday. “Our core banking team has stayed together, and we expect to be adding to it in the immediate future.”

His comments follow that of Lok Yim, head of the Asia-Pacific wealth business, who said last week the German lender is still recruiting for this business in the region.

CEO Christian Sewing has pledged to keep Deutsche Bank “strong” in Asia even as he prepared to overhaul operations worldwide.

The size of wealth assets under management in Asia is second only to Deutsche Bank’s home market in Germany, though overall growth has been subdued in recent years.

McMurdo reiterated the lender is focused on Asia, servicing clients in local markets as well as global capital markets and cross-border deals.

This year, Deutsche Bank was a joint global coordinator for Xiaomi Corp’s US$5.4 billion (RM22.15 billion) initial public offering priced in June. It was a global coordinator for Tencent Holdings Ltd’s US$5 billion bond sale in January, and advised Ant Financial Services Group on its US$14 billion equity fundraising in June.

The firm’s corporate finance division has gained market share and boosted productivity, McMurdo said.

“We’re making more money with less people,” he said, without providing specific figures. “In the corporate finance business, in every one of our product areas, we are up materially year-on-year.” — Bloomberg