Deutsche Bank’s Troubled Post-Crisis Path Leads to Sewing as CEO

A decade after the onslaught of the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank AG is still struggling to adapt to a new era of lower investment banking returns that has forced lenders across Europe to rethink their business models.

Germany’s biggest bank has been through three strategic overhauls in as many years and a near-death experience that saw clients pull billions in the autumn of 2016. It’s raised some 30 billion euros ($37 billion) of capital since 2010, yet has a market value of just 24.3 billion euros as investors remain doubtful the company can revive growth.

Here are some of the milestones on the bank’s troubled journey over the past six years as it sought to restructure, find the right leaders and replenish funds eroded by fines for misconduct.

April 2018

Deutsche Bank names Christian Sewing as chief executive officer, replacing John Cryan, and appoints Garth Ritchie as head of the investment bank. Sewing, a 47-year-old lifelong Deutsche Bank employee who formerly oversaw operations including retail banking and wealth management, says the lender must speed up decision making and clear out unnecessary bureaucracy while regaining its “hunger” for business. Deputy CEO Marcus Schenck, who co-led the investment bank with Ritchie, will leave the company.

The leadership revamp follows weeks of press speculation over Cryan’s fate as supervisory board Chairman Paul Achleitner sought a replacement for the Briton less than three years after he took the top job.

Deutsche Bank's Troubled Post-Crisis Path Leads to Sewing as CEO

Garth Ritchie

Photographer: Arne Dedert/AP

March 2018

Deutsche Bank sells shares in its asset management unit, DWS, to raise about 1.4 billion euros in an initial public offering. The shares closed below the IPO price by the second day of trading, amid generally weak market conditions.

Less than a week after the bank sounded a bullish tone in its annual report, CFO James von Moltke pours cold water on the outlook for the securities unit, still the source of most of the bank’s profits. He says at a conference that the investment bank’s revenue would probably be flat to slightly down from last year in the first quarter.

February 2018

Deutsche Bank reports the lowest revenue in seven years for the fourth quarter and scraps a target for 2018 costs, adding to doubts over Cryan’s turnaround effort.

October 2017

Just seven months into the the CEO’s latest plan, some investors are reportedly losing faith. Three of the largest 10 shareholders in the bank tie their continued support for Cryan to a visible turnaround within the next few quarters. Two say that an external replacement may be the best option if Cryan can’t deliver by the annual shareholder meeting in May.

April 2017

The bank hires Citigroup Inc. Treasurer von Moltke to replace Schenck as chief financial officer, completing Cryan’s new management team.

March 2017