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Deutsche Bank plans to cut up to half of global equity jobs

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Deutsche Bank AG is preparing to cut as much as half its global workforce in equities trading as part of a broad restructuring to boost profitability, people with knowledge of the matter said.

[FRANKFURT] Deutsche Bank AG is preparing to cut as much as half its global workforce in equities trading as part of a broad restructuring to boost profitability, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The German lender is set to finalize a plan that may eliminate hundreds of positions in equities trading and research, as well as derivatives trading, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The bank is expected to start informing staff of cuts - including in the US and Asia - as soon as next month, the people said. Rates trading is also affected, they said.

Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing told investors late last month that he's targeting a round of "tough cutbacks" to the investment banking division after a long series of previous turnaround plans failed to deliver. The CEO is working on a fresh restructuring plan that will likely include deep cuts to the equities business as well as a non-core unit designed to house unwanted assets for wind-down or sale, people familiar with the matter had said earlier.

The planned cuts have already precipitated a stream of departures from the investment bank, with a big wave of senior executives likely to leave soon as well. Division head Garth Ritchie may soon be replaced in a shakeup that will see Mr Sewing take control of the investment bank on an interim basis while the bank searches for a permanent successor, people familiar with the matter have said. Mr Sewing is also considering replacing Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke and compliance head Sylvie Matherat, the people said.

Mr Sewing, who took over in April last year, had repeatedly reaffirmed Deutsche Bank's commitment to its presence in the US and Asia. The lender earlier this month told Bloomberg it's seeking to expand its US structured finance business.

The bank has been focusing its investment banking activities outside Europe on services that directly cater to large European businesses or that are clearly profitable. Mr Sewing at the AGM highlighted transaction banking, corporate finance, foreign exchange trading, credit trading and US commercial real estate. He didn't mention equities and interest rates.

BLOOMBERG