2021 was a big year for Deutsche Bank's American business. As anyone who follows the bank on social media will know, a fancy new NYC office was opened in Columbus Circle and Deutsche's U.S. executives made sure everyone knew about it.
However, despite the new office and despite Deutsche's comparative success (versus its performance in previous years) in U.S. investment banking, there are signs that the German bank still has some issues in the U.S. market. Today's DB HR report reveals that 21% of people left Deutsche's Americas business last year.
This was considerably more than the 16% of people overall who left in APAC, the 13% who left in EMEA and the 5.5% who left DB in Germany. Deutsche cut a few people in its U.S. infrastructure functions last year, but 17% of those who quit its American business did so voluntarily.
Why would that be? After all, Deutsche didn't only have its new office with its roof garden and living wall as a draw in New York City, it also pays unusually high salaries to its New York bankers and has quite a few of its senior staff there. London bankers have even been complaining that the U.S. appeared to be getting preferential treatment.
The HR report doesn't give much away beyond the bald numbers. It seems that DB's U.S. business has been particularly impacted by the 'great resignation', while its German business managed to skip it entirely.
The exits mean that Deutsche has a greater need to keep hiring and replenishing staff in the U.S.. Although 17% of people left voluntarily, DB's Americas headcount only went from 8,300 in 2020 to 7,700 in 2021. The American business therefore hired 800 people externally last year (or moved them from DB offices elsewhere).
The U.S. departures come despite a rising approval rating among Deutsche Bank employees globally. Deutsche Bank's new compensation report revealed unexpectedly low bonuses in the investment bank for last year, but this will not have been a factor as bonuses for 2021 were announced only this month.
The Great American resignation at Deutsche Bank:
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