Deutsche Bank hiring 100 staff to boost equities trading-source

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE is hiring about 100 people to boost its equities trading operations as it seeks to recover ground in an area seen as vital to its new strategy, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank is photographed early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The move comes as Deutsche, a traditional bond trading powerhouse, looks to improve profitability by shifting business to less capital intensive areas such as equity trading.

The hiring process, which has started recently, will beef up operations in the United States, Europe and Asia and across product groups, with an emphasis on technology and electronic trading, the source said.

Deutsche is also looking to improve its prime finance department, which helps hedge funds finance their positions, deploying more people and capital to it, a second source said.

A spokesman for Deutsche declined to comment on the firm’s strategy. The bank employed 101,000 people at the end of 2015 but did not give a figure for equity trading.

Chief Executive John Cryan has urged investors to have patience as the overhaul of Germany’s biggest lender is expected to peak this year, following a record loss in 2015.

He acknowledged in January that Deutsche had lost momentum in equities sales and trading and vowed to invest in the unit, just as European rivals are scaling back their own securities divisions.

Deutsche’s revenue from trading stocks fell 28 percent to 520 million euros ($581 million) in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, with a significant drop in equity derivatives weighing while prime services had a positive reading.

Credit Suisse meanwhile said on Wednesday it would shave another 800 million Swiss francs ($822 million) off costs and cut 2,000 more jobs at its Global Markets division, where it sees trading revenues dropping by 40 to 45 percent in the first quarter. It added, however, that it would continue to build its cash equities and prime finance business.

The Swiss bank as well as peer UBS UBSG.S are concentrating on their wealth management business and Barclays BARC.L has large retail banking operations, while Deutsche Bank has said it is sticking with a focus on investment banking.

Deutsche Bank’s finance chief had said earlier this week that the first two months of 2016 were the worst start to a year for banks in general that he has seen in his banking career.

Data published by Coalition, an industry analytics firm, on Thursday shows that Deutsche maintained its position as one of the top five global investment banks in 2015, taking the second rank in Europe after J.P. Morgan and the number one spot in Asia.

Globally, it remained the third largest player in fixed income, currencies and commodities, while it fell behind in equities, the data showed.

Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Keith Weir