Deutsche Bank asset, wealth management shakeout continues

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By Luisa Beltran | February 15, 2013 8:14 AM EST

NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters-PeHUB) - Deutsche Bank continues to see senior executives exit its asset and wealth management unit several months after failing to sell part of the business and installing new leadership in the unit.

Colleen Sellers, who is credited with building the private-equity funds-of-funds business, is leaving, several sources told peHUB, a Web site published by Thomson Reuters. She has been managing director of DB Private Equity, which is part of the Deutsche Bank Asset & Wealth Management unit. Sellers, who joined Deutsche Bank in 1999 through its acquisition of Bankers Trust, led the high-net worth team before moving to asset management in 2009, persons said.

During her career with the bank, Sellers spearheaded the move to offer alternative products, including private equity, to the firm's high net-worth clients, said one source.

"Colleen spent more than a decade building up the business," a different source said. "She did something quite special."

Meantime, Deutsche Bank said earlier this month that John McCarthy, who had been global head of RREEF infrastructure, was departing. The bank named Hamish Mackenzie and Nadir Maruf to replace him. RREEF is the business within the asset and wealth management unit responsible for raising money for Deutsche Bank's own private-equity funds, including infrastructure and real estate.

More departures came late last year.

Chris Minter, the global head of DB Private Equity, left the bank in October, sources said. John Crocker was let go in mid-December, just a few weeks after being promoted to co-head of private markets, peHUB reported earlier. Mark Schroeder, a managing director in the RREEF unit, also exited in December. Chris Burnham, who joined Deutsche Bank in 2006 as vice chairman and managing director of the asset management unit, left the bank at the end of 2012.

Sources attributed most of the departures to Deutsche Bank's failure to sell part of its asset management unit. Last year, Deutsche Bank was in talks to sell some of its fund business to Guggenheim Partners. The negotiations fell apart and, in June, Deutsche Bank concluded a strategic review of its asset management division without finding a buyer. Kevin Parker, who was head of the asset management unit at the time, left Deutsche Bank in late June, sources said.

"It's not unexpected," an industry source told peHUB of the turnover. "There's new leadership over there."

Indeed, in June, Deutsche Bank made a slew of management changes, including naming Michele Faissola to head the newly formed asset and wealth management group, which combined what had been separate asset management and wealth management businesses. Faissola came from the capital markets side of the bank and is credited with helping expand Deutsche Bank's rates and commodities operations and building the ETF business, Bloomberg has reported.

The exits that followed are significant in part because the departing executives are so senior, sources said. Burnham, for instance, had previously served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, as well as an adviser to Mitt Romney in his recent run for President. Before his promotion and departure from Deutsche Bank, Crocker was a managing director in the RREEF group, where he sold and marketed alternative asset products. Prior to that he worked on origination at placement agency Atlantic-Pacific Capital.

The high-level departures can also be seen in the context of a global restructuring that Deutsche Bank announced months ago, a source familiar with the situation said. In July, Deutsche Bank said it would cut 1,900 jobs in an effort to reduce $3.67 billion in expenses.

A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined comment for this article.

(peHUB is a Thomson Reuters Web site; story edited by David Toll, david.toll@thomsonreuters.com; david.toll.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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