Deutsche Bank’s Overhaul May Leave Thousands in U.S. Without Jobs
Deutsche Bank rattled investors, and a lot of employees, when it announced that it would cut 18,000 workers—nearly a quarter of its global staff—in a massive restructuring.
As the company announced late Sunday, it is ”radically transforming its business” in order to become “more profitable, improve shareholder returns and drive long-term growth.” That means it will exit the investment banking business, including equities trading and brokerage.
Shares are down more than 93% since a high in 2007. Today’s price is hovering around $7.50, down about 6% from Friday’s close of $8.03.
Shareholders aren’t happy, as the business will be shrinking. But thousands of employees have something more immediate on the line as layoffs began this morning. As CEO Christian Sewing wrote in a memo to all employees: “I am very much aware that in rebuilding our bank, we are making deep cuts. I personally greatly regret the impact this will have on some of you. In the long-term interests of our bank, however, we have no choice other than to approach this transformation decisively.”
A company spokesperson told Fortune that it wasn’t releasing how many jobs were in danger in different locations. The cuts are having big implications in the bank’s stock trading centers in Asia, London, and the U.S. The bank’s website shows operations in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
A Fortune review of broker and adviser registration records on file at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, showed that 2,405 currently registered agents were listed as working at Deutsche Bank. Of those, 1,909 were employed in New York state.
“The result will be a flood of the market with individuals coming out of an institution with a tarnished reputation,” said Roy Cohen, a Wall Street career coach who thinks layoffs will ultimately touch each of the bank’s business lines.
Finding a new position will be tricky. “Particularly in the New York metro area it’s going to be a tough time,” Cohen said. “Job search slows down in the summer. And in the fourth quarter, folks are not so willing to leave their jobs before they get their annual bonuses.”
Then there are the bigger trends. Employment growth in financial services slowed to 1.2% in the first quarter of 2019 from 1.6%, according to ADP Research Institute. The overall employment growth rate is 1.9%.
Deutsche Bank, in a separate statement, said that ”the U.S. is the second most important market for Deutsche Bank and will a remain core market. We will retain a significant presence here and remain a close partner to our U.S. clients and to international institutions that want to access the U.S. market.”
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