Aram may join Deutsche Bank's top leadership with Anshu Jain

Aram may join Deutsche Bank's top leadership with Anshu Jain

When India-born Anshu Jain takes over the reins of Deutsche Bank from CEO Josef Ackermann at the end of May, it is likely that his compatriot Ashok T Aram may also join the top leadership of Germany’s largest bank.

He is a candidate for the management board’s Group Executive Committee (GEC), which will be expanded from 12 to 17 members, news magazine Der Spiegel reported.
GEC is comprised of members of the management board and senior representatives from the business divisions and from regional operations. It advises the 7-member management board on strategic decisions.

Aram, Deutsche Bank’s CEO for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, is a front-runner to become the new head of its Asian operations.

Coimbatore-born Aram, who has been at the helm of Deutsche Bank’s MENA operations since September 2010, is expected to succeed Robert Rankin as the head of Asian operations.

Rankin, together with investment banker Colin Fan, will build a team to take over the leadership of Deutsche Bank’s highly successful investment banking division in London from Jain when he moves to the headquarters in Frankfurt.

Jain and his designated co-CEO Juergen Fitschen will reorganise the bank’s management board ahead of their take- over. They have decided to replace two senior board members to bring in young bankers with long international experience, especially in investment banking, Der Spiegel said.

Deutsche Bank’s new leadership is becoming increasingly international and investment banking will play a stronger role in its operations than before, the magazine said. "In the management board alone, there will be three new investment bankers holding foreign passports."

Aram has been with Deutsche Bank for more than 15 years since joining its Asian operations in mid-1990s and at the age of 29, he became the youngest managing director in the bank’s history.

In 2009, Aram had moved to the private equity firm Abraj Capital based in Dubai and served as its managing director, but returned to Deutsche Bank a year later.
Boon-Chye Loh from Singapore also is a candidate for the Asian post, Der Spiegel said.

There has been no official confirmation of the reported shake-up of the management board planned by Jain and Fitschen, and Deutsch Bank officials said they will not comment on the media reports.

Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board is expected to discuss the proposed changes at its meeting in Frankfurt on March 16.

A new addition to the GEC will be Christian Ricken, currently management board member of Deutsche Bank’s private and business banking subsidiary.
He will share the private and business clients division together with management board member Rainer Neske.

Der Spiegel said Hugo Baenziger, management board member in charge of risk management and Hermann-Josef Lamberti, chief operating officer responsible for the bank’s information technology and personnel divisions have been asked to leave, even though their contracts will expire only in 2014.

Baenziger was replaced by the new leadership to avoid future conflicts in the management board because he was an aspirant for the CEO’s job and enjoyed the support of Ackermann, media reports said.
Both of them are Swiss nationals.

Baenziger’s responsibilities will be shared by current chief of financial operations Stefan Krause and risk management specialist Bill Broeksmit from London.

Lamberti will be replaced by investment banker Stephan Leithner, who as a new management board member, will not only head the personnel division, but will also become the chief of Deutsche Bank’s European operations.

New chief operating officer of the board will be Henry Ritchotte, who until now held this post in the investment banking division based in London.

Der Spiegel said the leadership changes will also bring some "culinary changes" to the twin-tower headquarters of Deutsche Bank as it plans to open shortly a vegetarian restaurant to cater to its vegetarian staff, including Jain.