For Deutsche AM, It's Back to the Future
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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

For Deutsche AM, It's Back to the Future

Deutsche Bank is bringing back an old brand as it prepares to IPO its asset management arm as early as the first half of next year. Meanwhile, the structure and leadership for that business are taking shape.

Deutsche Asset Management chief Nicolas Moreau confirms today that the multinational bank will rebrand the asset manager as DWS globally. Yet the unit will use the transitional brand "DWS — Deutsche Asset Management" in the U.S. for a time, the Financial Times reports. The global rebranding process will be completed in 2018, though Xtrackers ETFs and RREEF in real estate will keep their brands.

Moreau also revealed the leadership team of managing directors for what will soon be DWS again. In addition to Moreau himself (who will be based in Frankfurt), they include: Pierre Cherki, co-head of the investment group; Jon Eilbeck, chief operating officer; Bob Kendall, co-head of the global coverage group; Stefan Kreuzkamp, chief investment officer and co-head of the investment group; Thorston Michalik, co-head of the global coverage group; Claire Peel, chief financial officer; and Nikolaus von Tippelskirch, chief control officer. Karl von Rohr, Deutsche Bank's chief administrative officer, will chair Deutsche AM's supervisory board.

Additionally, Moreau unveiled Deustche AM's new legal structure, a GmbH & Co. KGaA (Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien), effective in Q1 2018. He describes the move as helping "to unlock the full potential of Deutsche AM to facilitate growth."

"Our future legal structure demonstrates the long-term commitment of Deutsche Bank to our business while giving us the operational autonomy to advance our growth strategy," Moreau states.

Under the KGaA structure outside investors and "worker representatives" will have less say than in a traditional, publicly traded German company, the FT reports. Ingo Speich of Union Investment tells the newspaper that the added complexity of the KGaA structure "may lead to a valuation discount," a sentiment echoed by an unnamed source. A second unnamed source tells the paper that the structure will give Deutsche Bank "more flexibility in its ownership", giving the multinational the ability to slip below a 75 percent stake in its asset manager while still keeping control.

John Cryan, CEO of all of Deutsche Bank, unveiled the Deutsche AM IPO plans back in March. Word this past summer is that the IPO won't happen until the first half of 2018 at the earliest.

The DWS brand goes back more than 60 years in Germany, and Deutsche even used it in the U.S. after it bought Scudder 15 years ago.

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