Deutsche Bank Hires Morley to Bolster Wealth Unit on Brexit

  • Net asset flow at unit was positive in the first quarter
  • Clients are no longer concerned about the bank, he says

Deutsche Bank AG hired Michael Morley, a former chief executive officer at Coutts, to head the wealth management unit’s U.K. operations as it seeks to boost the number of rich clients the firm serves there.

The Frankfurt-based lender wants to tempt clients away from banks who may have difficulties providing services in the European Union from Britain and vice versa after Brexit, Fabrizio Campelli, Deutsche Bank’s global head of wealth management, said in an interview. To do that, the unit is planning to consolidate its U.K. wealth management operations into a single legal entity ahead of the country’s exit from the political bloc, he said.

Michael Morley

Source: Deutsche Bank

The new set-up will enable Deutsche Bank to “take advantage of the risk others are facing,” the 44-year-old Italian said. Clients being able to do business in both jurisdictions without facing a clunky experience will be key after Brexit, he said.

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management’s invested assets plunged 26 percent last year to 216 billion euros as clients were spooked by news around the bank, which agreed to settle a U.S. mortgage probe for $7.2 billion in December. Net asset flow at the unit turned positive in the first quarter of this year and Campelli plans to hire about 100 client-facing staff over the next 18 months across Asia, Europe and the U.S. to boost the money it oversees.

“The volumes that have come back have been very material,” Campelli said. “Our clients are not concerned anymore.”

Morley, 60, is the first hire in the expansion strategy, which should enable the unit to grow faster than the wider markets where it operates, Campelli said. He declined to provide specific targets.

“London will continue to prosper as an important convening center for international private client capital” despite Brexit, Morley said in a statement. He will report to Europe, Middle East and Africa wealth management head Peter Hinder.

“The U.K. is at the heart of the significant investments we are making,” Campelli said in the statement. “This is just the start.”

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