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The Lone Tweeter of Deutsche Bank

Letting a top investment banker use social media to show he gets it
The Lone Tweeter of Deutsche Bank
Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Ted Tobiason, Deutsche Bank’s head of equity capital markets for the technology industry, is doing something that would get most investment bankers fired: tweeting about work. He’s the only investment banker authorized by the German firm to have a business-related Twitter account. While he’s no Ashton Kutcher (who has 9.6 million followers) Tobiason has attracted more than 100, including executives at Silicon Valley startups. His first tweet, which went up in January, predicted that there would be more than 40 initial public offerings by technology companies this year. “I want venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to know that our bankers love technology, that we are evangelists and not mercenaries,” says Tobiason, 43, who is based in San Francisco. “Tweeting is a way to show that we are part of the game and that we understand the changes in technology and we are using them.”

Tobiason is a rare bird on Wall Street. Investment banks tend to use social media for marketing and recruiting purposes only. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group, Barclays, and Bank of America (the banks Facebook chose to underwrite its $5 billion IPO) ban investment bankers from using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media on their work computers. One reason: The Securities and Exchange Commission requires banks to monitor and archive employee communications, and doing so on third-party platforms such as Twitter and Facebook is much harder than on corporate e-mail programs.