Deutsche Bank CEO Wants to Give Strong Units ‘Oxygen to Prosper’

Deutsche Bank AG’s radical overhaul is about focusing the German lender on businesses where it’s most competitive and the days of “spectacular ambition” at the investment bank are over, according to Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing.

“We have to provide our strong businesses with the oxygen to prosper,” while withdrawing from less promising areas, Sewing told journalists in a call on Monday. Corporate banking will be at the core of the strategy, and could be worth more than the entire company is now, he said.

Deutsche Bank plans to exit the equities business and cut its 91,000-person work force by a fifth. By changing course, Sewing is ending a trading foray that lasted for three decades and finished with a series of losses. By trying to compete in almost every part of the banking market, the company spread itself too thin, Sewing said. The company often tried to generate growth opportunistically, rather than being “driven by strategy and purpose.”

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