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Deutsche Bank loses top European dealmaker to Citigroup

Deutsche Bank AG

Deutsche Bank loses top European dealmaker to Citigroup

Robin Rousseau is latest in string of departures from German lender

Deutsche Bank has lost its top European dealmaker Robin Rousseau to Citigroup, in the latest in a string of departures from the German lender as it presses ahead with its painful restructuring.

Citigroup announced Mr Rousseau’s appointment to its European investment banking team on Tuesday morning, ending the Frenchman’s less than three-year run at Deutsche, where he headed M&A for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) from London.

Phil Drury, Citigroup’s Emea head of banking, capital markets and advisory said Mr Rousseau would take the title of vice-chairman and would focus on “senior strategic client coverage” particularly in France, where he will now be based.

Deutsche would not immediately comment on the departure, which follows several other defections in the year since the German bank announced plans to radically reshape its business by cutting 18,000 staff and slashing other costs including by trimming bonuses and asking senior bankers to accept voluntary pay cuts.

High-profile departures include Adam Bagshaw, Deutsche’s former co-head of Emea corporate finance before he left for HSBC in late June, as well as fintech head Tommaso Zanobini, who joined Moelis last October.

Deutsche also lost a clutch of senior investment bankers in the run-up to the long-anticipated strategy review in July 2019, including New York-based dealmakers John Eydenberg, Mark Hantho and Mark Keene, who all negotiated their exits last summer before joining Citigroup.

The German bank has done some recent hiring. It added former Nomura banker Christina Too and former Bank of America dealmaker Gordon Butterworth as managing directors in its Emea healthcare practice, and appointed former Greenhill banker Scott Littlejohn as a managing director in its US financial institutions practice.

A person familiar with the situation said Mr Rousseau’s role would be filled on an interim basis by Deutsche’s Emea co-heads of investment banking coverage, Patrick Frowein and Berthold Fuerst.

Deutsche has had a mixed 2020 for investment banking revenues, growing fees faster than European peers in the second quarter, but significantly slower than the pack in the first three months of the year. US banks have generally been stronger, continuing a long-running trend of winning share from Europeans.

Citigroup’s global M&A fees are up 9.2 per cent so far this year, making them the world’s fourth-biggest player, according to data from Refinitiv. Deutsche is no longer in the top 10. Citigroup’s Mr Drury said the bank would “continue to recruit top investment banking talent” for its business.

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