Exclusive | Deutsche Bank bulks up with dozens of new hires, some from rivals, as German lender sets sights on deal making in Asia

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by Mia Castagnone at scmp.com

Deutsche Bank is aggressively expanding its investment advisory team in Hong Kong, taking advantage of the current market condition to snap up quality talent, as the German lender positions itself for a rebound in deal making in Asia.

The Frankfurt-based banking group has recruited 50 managing directors in the past four months – including ex-Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse executives- with nearly one-third to be based in its Asia offices, said Fabrizio Campelli, the head of corporate bank and investment bank, and a member of its Management Board at the headquarters.

“We are believers in Asia, believers in Hong Kong, and we are growing this office as part of our ‘global Hausbank’ strategy,” Campelli said in an exclusive interview with the Post. The global Hausbank is the lender’s strategy to be a one-stop shop for its clients, offering a suite of financial services.

Asia will play a crucial role in the bank’s growth, he added, and Deutsche Bank wants to become “more relevant in certain geographies that are becoming more relevant to our clients”, referring to the strategy to broadly expand the bank’s presence in Hong Kong, Greater China and Asia.

The expansion comes at a time when many Wall Street lenders have cut their investment banking teams amid a lacklustre deal-making environment. Morgan Stanley in December cut roughly 1,600 jobs, while in May it was reported another 2,000 jobs were on the line. Goldman Sachs eliminated about 3,200 positions in January in one of its biggest cuts ever. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser said her company was willing to make adjustments to staffing levels at its investment bank.

Deutsche Bank itself has faced troubles recently. In March, there were serious doubts about its financial health amid the banking crisis in the US and Switzerland that led to the merger of Credit Suisse and UBS. Previous scandals include its ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and its role in laundering US$10 billion out of Russia, for which it was fined hundreds of millions by US and UK regulators in 2017.

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