Deutsche Bank Makes Key Asia Wealth Hire, Will Float AM Arm Next Month

Josh O'Neill, Assistant Editor, 22 February 2018


Germany's biggest bank has this week announced a key hire in Asia at its wealth management business, and is also ready to partially list its asset management unit, DWS, in the coming weeks.

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management has appointed Ingrid Widjaja as group head, dedicated to client coverage in Southeast Asia, it said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Germany’s largest lender is preparing to publish an “intention to float” document for its asset management unit next before listing the business on the Frankfurt stock exchange in March, according to media reports. 

Widjaja will lead a team of six, four of whom joined the firm in the past month. The team include head David Ng, relationship managers Katherine Lok and Florence Tee, and investment advisor Lee Chin Kit, all of whom joined in the past month. She is based in Singapore, reporting to Kin-Mun Kwong, Head of WM Coverage, Southeast Asia. She has around 30 years' experience in the banking sector. She was previously with HSBC Private Banking Singapore from 1999, most recently as market head – Indonesia, managing director.

“Supported by a strong team, with her professionalism, expertise and experience in the wealth management industry, I am sure Ingrid will be able to help us to even better serve our clients and to capture the business potential,” said Kin-Mun Kwong, head of WM coverage, Southeast Asia.

This is the third team hire under Kwong’s supervision that is dedicated to covering clients in the Southeast Asian market. The bank hired six Singapore-based relationship managers led by Jonathan Ng and Gregory Goh in December 2017, as reported by this publication.

Hurt by a string of scandals and under pressure from shareholders demanding a turnaround, Deutsche Bank aims to sell around a quarter of its asset management arm, DWS, for €1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) - €2 billion to help recoup three consecutive years of losses. This values the business at around €8 billion at the top end of that range. 

"Over the past six months there has been a huge desire within the bank to get the IPO done,” a person close to the process reportedly said. “The timing looks good, given strong market valuations.”

By the end of this week, Deutsche Bank’s executive board is due to approve the intention to float before it is published as early as Monday, people close to the IPO said.

Roughly two weeks later, the IPO prospectus and the price range are scheduled to follow, with the first day of trading in the week starting March 19.

Nike Bone, a spokesperson for DWS, declined to comment.

DWS oversees some €720 billion of assets, making it Europe’s third-largest asset manager behind France’s Amundi with €1.4 trillion and the UK’s Standard Life Aberdeen (£646 billion). 

Source: Google

The successful partial spin-off of what is one of Deutsche Bank’s most consistently profitable operations could spur confidence in chief executive John Cryan’s turnaround strategy. Over the past two months, the bank’s shares have slid 18 per cent as investors turned a cold shoulder to the Frankfurt-headquartered lender following its lacklustre fourth-quarter performance.

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