FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank’s new Chief Executive John Cryan praised the lender’s revamped asset and wealth management operations at a “town hall” meeting in London on Friday, people attending the event said.
Cryan explicitly asked for “tough questions” from staff at the hour-long event, which was live-streamed to employees around the world, but he shed little light on his plan to set Germany’s biggest lender on a stronger footing following debilitating fines and legal troubles that have damaged its reputation, the people said.
“Cryan has a wealth management background and loves the stability of that business,” one of the people said.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the event.
Cryan aims to present the bank’s future strategy by the end of October at the latest, completing a process started by his predecessor Anshu Jain, who had lost the confidence of large investors as the bank’s troubles grew. Jain resigned in June.
Boosting profitability, cutting costs and repairing relations with regulators are seen as crucial objectives for Cryan, who joined the bank’s supervisory board in 2013 and once served as chief financial officer at rival UBS.
Some elements of the revamp are already known, including plans to split off and float its Postbank unit. Deutsche Bank also aims to slim down the rest of its retail business and rein in capital intensive investment banking operations.
Deutsche Bank may also cut nearly a quarter of its 100,000 staff worldwide to reduce its costs, financial sources told Reuters last week.
Asset and Wealth Management is likely to be spared much of the trauma, after its revamp - and hundreds of job cuts - over the last three years.
Earnings in the segment have been rising despite restructuring costs. Business head Michele Faissola, who moderated the town hall for Cryan, has made clear he intends to move asset and wealth management from savings-mode to growth.
Takeovers are not on the agenda but Deutsche has said the business would be getting around 800 million euros ($900 million) for investment in new talent and IT.
($1 = 0.8933 euros)
Reporting by Kathrin Jones; Writing by Jonathan Gould; editing by Susan Thomas