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Deutsche Bank to restructure business, part ways with key execs

Deutsche Bank axes key executives
Deutsche Bank axes key executives

German banking giant Deutsche Bank on Sunday announced a sweeping reorganization plan designed to "fundamentally change" how it does business, cleaving its investment bank into two parts and parting ways with some of its key executives.

As the bank continues to grapple with the fallout of trading and governance scandals, Deutsche made an announcement that was widely anticipated by Wall Street watchers. Accordingly, the bank plans to reshuffle a number of top level managers, including top securities trading executives.

In a statement, Deutsche said it plans to combine its corporate finance and global transaction banking businesses, while making its private and business clients division an independent business unit. As a result of the changes, its asset management arm will operate as a stand-alone division focused solely on institutional clients and funds.

In what it called "an extraordinary meeting" at the bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, Deutsche's management "resolved to restructure the bank's business divisions," including reorganizing its senior ranks and abolishing certain units.

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"The Supervisory Board's guiding principle, in light of the Bank's Strategy 2020, was to reduce complexity of the Bank's management structure enabling it to better meet client demands and requirements of supervisory authorities," the statement added.

In addition, the bank said it would abolish its group executive committee, while putting a representative of each of its four core operations on a newly constituted board.

In recent months, Deutsche has been enmeshed in investigations, amid allegations that it was rigging financial markets. Since taking the reins after the departure co-CEO Anshu Jain earlier this year, analysts have been anticipating that newly installed CEO John Cryan would move quickly to restructure the bank.

As a result of the changes, Colin Fan—the bank's co-head of investment banking—will depart on October 19, the bank said. Early Sunday, several outlets reported that Fan was on his way out. He will be replaced by Garth Ritchie, Deutsche's current head of global equities.

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The bank's move on Sunday underscored how big banks are moving further away from the so-called "financial supermarket" model that was a legacy of the 1990s.

In the aftermath of the 2008 meltdown, the template has often proved to be more hindrance than help—especially in the case of institutions like Citigroup, whose bloated structure was often cited as a factor behind why it lagged its peers in recovering from the crisis.

Deutsche's biggest regulatory headache stem from allegations of the manipulation of Libor rates. In April, New York regulators ordered the bank to fire several employees for their role in the scandal, and Deutsche was forced to pay a record-breaking $2.5 billion settlement with both British and U.S. authorities. Other big European banks, like UBS and RBS, were also forced to pay fines.

Last week, one of the bank's top executives departed to join a private equity group.

--The Financial Times contributed to this article.