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Deutsche Bank Will Merge Swiss Wealth Management Units

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Europe’s biggest bank, will merge its wealth management units in Switzerland as it seeks to boost profitability by reducing costs.

The company will integrate Swiss Sal. Oppenheim into Deutsche Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. by the end of next year, pending regulatory approval, it said in a statement on its website today. Any necessary staff reductions “will be communicated at an early stage and implemented in a considerate manner,” the Frankfurt-based bank said.

Deutsche Bank is cutting 1,993 jobs throughout its business to help boost profit during the European debt crisis. It’s counting on wider margins in asset and wealth management as higher capital requirements, which regulators are due to introduce next year, increase costs in investment banking. The firm said Oct. 30 it will complete the majority of the job reductions, including 562 in asset and wealth management, by the end of this year.

“The difficult market environment is driving a consolidation process in the industry worldwide,” Marco Bizzozero, who heads Deutsche Bank’s Swiss unit, said in the statement. “Efficient structures and offerings consistently geared to the needs of clients will be more important than ever for a successful bank model.”

Sal. Oppenheim Switzerland lacks “critical mass,” said Bizzozero, who is also head of wealth management for Deutsche Bank in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, excluding Germany.

Deutsche Bank said it will cease to use the brand of its Swiss Sal. Oppenheim unit. The wealth manager’s business outside Switzerland, based in Cologne and covering Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, won’t be affected, Deutsche Bank said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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