Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) lost about 26 junior bankers in Hong Kong over the past four months, the biggest number of such departures from the firm in Asia in at least five years, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The employees, including four directors and four vice presidents, began leaving voluntarily in late February after receiving their bonuses, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. The departures came as Deutsche Bank added nine managing directors over the past 12 months in Asia, said Michael West, a Hong Kong-based spokesman.
Management changes and shrinking investment-banking revenue from China contributed to the exits, one of the people said. Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, whose ranking for underwriting debt and equity in Asia dropped since 2012, has fewer junior bankers to help execute deals as securities firms worldwide grapple with how to attract and retain young talent.
The departure of junior bankers would “greatly impact deal-pitching and deal-making capabilities,” said Alice Leguay, chief operating officer of London-based Emolument Ltd., which tracks bonuses and salaries for finance and legal professionals. “More senior bankers are already stretched and are unlikely to be able to pick up the slack” at most banks, she said.
About four junior bankers were also dismissed, taking those who left, including associates and analysts, to 30, one of the people said.
The junior bankers, most of whom focused on China deals, included about three from the debt capital markets division, according to the people. Michael Lam, who was a director of fixed-income capital markets for Asia, was among those who left, the people said. Lam declined to comment.
“The total number of bankers in our Asia-Pacific business will not vary significantly if at all year on year,” said West, declining to comment on the number of staff who left. The “turnover in banking was well within the single-digit percentage range.’
Following a management shuffle two years ago, Deutsche Bank has been led in Asia by Gunit Chadha, former chief executive officer for India, and Alan Cloete, previously head of global finance and foreign exchange. They replaced Robert Rankin, who moved to Europe to become co-head of the investment bank.
Two China-focused managing directors have also left the firm since May. Qian Jing, co-head of China investment banking, resigned last month to join Morgan Stanley as a managing director, and Ian Long, head of China equity capital markets, quit in mid-June, the people said.
Deutsche Bank is ranked ninth among managers of share sales in the Asia-Pacific region this year, the same as 2013 and down from eighth in 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show. China share sales made up 40 percent of the $204 billion in offerings by companies in Asia over the past 12 months, the data show.
The German bank is ranked fifth in underwriting bonds denominated in U.S. dollars, euros and yen for the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan in 2014 and last year, down from fourth in 2012, according to the data. Among advisers on mergers, the firm rose to sixth this year from ninth in 2013, the data show.
Co-Chief Executive Officer Anshu Jain, a former head of the company’s investment-banking unit, has said he wants to invest in that business to win market share as competitors retrench.
Global banks operating in Asia face pressure from a shrinking investment-banking market. Fee income from underwriting equities and bonds, as well as advising on mergers and acquisitions, fell 23 percent in the region from 2011 to 2013, according to New York-based research firm Freeman & Co.
Deutsche Bank’s recruitment of nine managing directors over the past year marked ‘‘one of its largest ever investments in senior banking hires” in Asia, West said. In the past six months, it recruited three managing directors in China, including Larry Chi, who will start in September as head of corporate banking and securities for the country, West said.
The two other managing directors are Gao Yiwen, formerly with UBS AG, and Kevin Ma, who will focus on financial institutions coverage, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Sean Cai, previously with HSBC Holdings Plc, and Vivien Gui, a former Morgan Stanley banker, were hired as directors, one of the people said.
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