MOVES-Deutsche's capital czar Whitman departs

LONDON, Sept 21 (IFR) - Chris Whitman, head of the financial resource management (FIRM) unit at Deutsche Bank, is leaving, according to market sources, the latest senior manager to head for the exit after Christian Sewing became chief executive in April.

Whitman, a 23-year stalwart of Deutsche’s capital markets businesses, was appointed to the executive committee of the corporate and investment Bank as “capital czar” in June 2017 following a reorganisation in the division under former CEO John Cryan.

Whitman was one of the first in a swathe of Merrill Lynch fixed income bankers who joined under Edson Mitchell. Whitman started in New York as head of debt capital markets for North America.

His departure could be seen as a set-back for Deutsche’s long struggle to increase low returns on capital and an indication of the tension between maintaining the bank’s footprint in various businesses and its use of capital.

It may also reflect Sewing’s push to have a more streamlined senior management structure.

In May Sewing announced a retreat from US rates and global equities trading and a cut back on the number of business co-heads, including the removal of CIB co-head Marcus Schenck, leaving Garth Richie in sole charge.

Whitman was given the task of improving the allocation of scarce capital across CIB, on the back of a short stint running the CIB’s relationship loan book - credit portfolio strategies group - from 2016.

He had previous experience managing one of the bank’s functions during difficult times, when he guided group treasury from early 2007 for two years, raising US$100bn of long-term funding when the financial crisis took hold. He was then global co-head of equity capital markets for nearly three years before crossing back to fixed income as head of global risk syndicate.

Deutsche’s capital allocation function will now be led by FICC managers, insiders said.

A Deutsche Bank spokesperson declined to comment. (Reporting by Alex Chambers; editing by Steve Slater, Ian Edmondson)