Indians in Demand

Deutsche Bank must select a new leader, a successor to the current chief, Josef Ackermann. The rumor mill points to Anshu Jain.

Deutsche Bank is one of the largest banks in the world. The trading leg is the mother ship of the bank, producing as much as 80 percent of the bank’s profit. The head of the trading and transaction side of the bank is Anshu Jain, an Indian-born executive.

The issue is that the CEO must be the figurehead of the bank. They must embody the bank’s philosophies and be its chief advocate spokesperson. Critics of Anshu Jain say the bank needs a German CEO, one that knows the culture of Germany and has a fluency in the German language. Evidently this wasn’t a consideration when Jain took over the trading desk.

The more valid concern is that traders have been under tight scrutiny ever since AIG blew up. It was the structured products group that demanded those high bonuses when the nation’s economy was going up in flames. As a result, trading is considered a high-risk activity, which may put Deutsche Bank at higher risk.

As a solution to the “problem,” J├╝rgen Fitschen, another member of the bank’s management board, has been slated to act as co-CEO. The pairing brings together the head of the trading floor with the head of German operations. Mr. Jain can run the bank while Mr. Fitschen assumes the more ceremonial aspects of the post. The move is also in line with Ackermann’s desire to diversify assets and invest in both the retail bank and asset management.

Dhruv Rana