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Deutsche Bank CEO considers outside hire to head investment bank

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Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is considering whether to appoint a new investment banking head after ousting Garth Ritchie during its recent restructuring, people familiar with the matter said.

[FRANKFURT] Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is considering whether to appoint a new investment banking head after ousting Garth Ritchie during its recent restructuring, people familiar with the matter said.

Mr Sewing - who had taken over direct oversight after Ritchie's departure - thinks it may make sense to relinquish the extra responsibility to focus fully on his CEO role, the people said. No decision has been taken and it's not clear if any potential candidates have been approached about the role overseeing the bank's biggest source of revenue, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.

Mr Sewing kicked off Deutsche Bank's biggest overhaul in recent memory earlier this year after attempts by his predecessors failed to restore sufficient growth and profitability. The bank has yet to convince investors that it can meet goals for raising revenue in businesses it wants to keep, while exiting stock trading and firing staff across the firm. The lender is planning to cut about 18,000 jobs.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment. The considerations are at an early stage and may still not happen, the people said.

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The investment banking role places big demands on Mr Sewing's calendar, several people said. He speaks to direct reports on an almost daily basis and travels frequently to stay in touch with clients and staff, they said. That's on top of other duties he's taken on, including a recent decree that he and two management board members must sign off on any new hires.

The investment bank division - formerly known as CIB - has long been Deutsche Bank's biggest source of trouble as revenue plunged by almost a third between 2015 and last year. Sewing split up the CIB in the revamp, turning the part that provides cash management and trade finance to companies into a standalone unit now known as Corporate Bank, while placing equities trading and some other parts into a wind-down unit.

Mr Sewing also created a governance body below the management board known as group management committee and appointed several executives to run the business, some of whom report directly to him, namely corporate bank head Stefan Hoops, Mark Fedorcik as head of corporate finance and financing and fixed-income trading head Ram Nayak. He also made Louise Kitchen and Ashley Wilson co-heads of the wind-down unit.

During the July restructuring, Deputy CEO Karl von Rohr took on responsibility for asset management and the retail division while Chief Operating Officer Frank Kuhnke oversees the wind-down unit. That leaves the possibility for Sewing to balance the setup by handing the investment bank portfolio over to a third person.

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